Punjabi Muslims

So earlier today I was reading this profile of a Harvard professor that Chan had shared on Google Reader, and I came across this name called Iqbal Dhaliwal. The name immediately rang a bell, and I realized I’d come across this name long long ago in the Competition Success Review (yes, I admit I used to read that ) when he topped the civil services exam.

So one of my hobbies is to try find out about a person’s origins and ethnicity given his/her name. Like I once figured that this colleague is of Danish descent because his surname ends with -sen while the more common spelling of that name is -son. And so I was trying to figure out where  Iqbal Dhaliwal came from. It was clear from the first name that he’s Muslim. And the last name, I thought, sounded Punjabi.

And then my thought process went something like this:

First name Muslim, last name Punjabi-sounding… So is he a Punjabi Muslim? But then, I don’t know any Punjabi Muslims. Do there exist any Punjabi Muslims at all? Hey, wait a minute, I remember reading somewhere that the majority of people in Pakistan speak Punjabi. So there must exist Punjabi Muslims. But I don’t know any.. I don’t know any Punjabi Muslims but there are lots of them in Pakistan. Yeah, I don’t know any because all of them are in Pakistan. Yes, all of them are in Pakistan, most of them at least!

I know Kannadiga Muslims, Bengali Muslims, Gujarati Muslims, Kashmiri Muslims and Muslims from UP. But I don’t know any Punjabi Muslims. Because there are no Punjabi Muslims in India. Because ALL of them went to Pakistan. Tells you how much of an impact partition had in the Punjab,  compared to anywhere else in India.

8 thoughts on “Punjabi Muslims”

  1. I guess Iqbal Dhaliwal is a Sikh. Iqbal is a common name among Sikhs as well. Besides that, his middle name is ‘Singh’. So, the probability of him being a Muslim is low.

    For example, the present governor of Puducherry is Dr. Iqbal Singh and he is a Sikh.

  2. Haryana, Jammu, Delhi, Western UP, Himachal Pradesh, Jat regions of Rajasthan, and northern Gujrat all belong to Punjab.

  3. “Tells you how much of an impact partition had in the Punjab, compared to anywhere else in India.”

    I am not sure if I like the tone of this sentence.

  4. Well, this is not the best example, but there was a long-forgotten Urmila Matondkar movie called Pinjar which was set in Punjab and touched the topic of the Hindu-Muslim divide in the state.

    Apparently, culturally both the Hindus and Muslims are very similar in their everyday habits, dressing and lifestyle.

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