Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/671

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655
PUNJAB


cultivation in Kashmir has been more encouraging. Potatoes are grown extensively on cleared areas on the hills. The Punjab produces freely many of the Indian fruits. Grapes are grown in many of the Himalayan valleys where the rain is not excessive; but they are inferior to those brought from Kabul.

Forests.—The forest area of the Punjab consists of 9278 sq. m., of which 1916 sq. m. are reserved and 4909 sq. m. protected. The wasteful destruction of trees is checked in the hill forests rented from native states by the British government. The principal reserved forests are the deodar (Cedrus Deodara) and chil (Pinus longifolia) tracts in the hills, the plantations of shisham (Dalbergia Sissu) and sal (Shorea robusta) in the plains, and the fuel rakhs or preserves (Acacia, Prosopis, &c.).

Manufactures.—Most of the native manufactures of the Punjab are those common to other parts of India, such as the ordinary cotton fabrics, plain woollen blankets, unglazed pottery, ropes and cord, grass matting, paper, leather-work, brass vessels, simple agricultural implements and the tools used in trades. Other manufactures, not so general, yet not peculiar to the Punjab, are woollen fabrics, carpets and shawls, silk cloths and embroidery, jewelry and ornamental metal-work, wood and ivory carving, turned and lacquered woodwork, glazed pottery, arms and armour and musical instruments. But some of these classes of manufacture are represented by work of special kinds or special excellence in particular parts of the Punjab, notably the silk fabrics of Multan and Bahawalpur; the carpets of Lahore and Amritsar; the kashi or glazed tile-work (an ancient art still practised in a few places); koft-kari, inlaid metal-work (gold wire on steel), chiefly made at Gujrat and Sialkot; shawls and other fine woollen fabrics, made by Kashmiri work-people at Ludhiana and Nurpur, as well as in Kashmir; silk embroidery for shawls, scarfs and turbans, at Delhi, Lahore and Multan; embroidery on cloth for elephant-trappings, bed and table covers, &c., at Lahore and Multan; enamelled ornaments, in Kangra and Multan; quill embroidery on leather, in Kangra and Simla; lacquered woodwork, at Pak Pattan. Cotton-weaving gives employment to about a million persons, but the most flourishing industry is the woollen factories of Amritsar, Gurdaspur and elsewhere. Injury has been done to some of the native arts of the Punjab, as of other parts of India, by unwise copying of European patterns. The Lahore School of Art attempts to correct this and promote the study and execution of native forms and designs. The Lahore Museum contains illustrations of the arts and manufactures, as well as raw products, of the Punjab; and also a large collection of the sculptures, mostly Buddhist, and many of Greek workmanship, found in the north-west of the province.

Trade.—The trade of the Punjab is almost wholly dependent upon agriculture. In a normal year the principal feature of the trade is the movement of wheat to Karachi, which is the chief port for the province. But in a bad season, when the rains fail, this movement is at once checked, the wheat is held up in reserve and an eastward movement in cheaper grains begins. In 1904 32½ million maunds of wheat were exported, but 1905 was a bad season and the amount fell to 21 million maunds. The other chief articles of export are pulse and raw cotton. The chief imports are European cotton and woollen piece-goods and yarn, Indian piece-goods, sugar, metals and jute goods. The through trade in the main staples of grain and piece-goods is in the hands of large European and native firms. In addition to the foreign trade there is a considerable provincial trade with the United Provinces, and a trans-frontier trade with Kashmir, Ladakh, Yarkand and Tibet on the north, and with Afghanistan on the west.

Irrigation.—Irrigation for large areas is from canals and from reservoirs, and for smaller areas from wells. The canals are of two kinds: those carrying a permanent stream throughout the year, and those which fill only on the periodical rising of the rivers, the latter being known as “inundation canals.” There are only a few parts of the country presenting facilities for forming reservoirs, by closing the narrow outlets of small valleys and storing the accumulated rainfall. The old canals made by the Mahommedan rulers, of which the principal are Feroz's Canal from the Jumna and the Hasli Canal from the Ravi, have been improved or reconstructed by the British government. The principal new canals are the Sirhind, drawn from the Sutlej near Rupar, which irrigates parts of the native states of Patiala, Nabha and Jhind, as well as British territory; the Bari Doab Canal from the Ravi; the Chenab Canal from the Chenab, irrigating the prosperous Chenab colony; and the Jhelum Canal irrigating the Jhelum colony. The total area irrigated by the canals of the province in 1905-1906 was 6,914,500 acres, the eight major works, the Western Jumna, Bari Doab, Sirhind, Lower Chenab, Lower Jhelum, Upper Sutlej, Sidhnai and Indus accounting for all but 751,000 acres. The ravages of the boll-worm in the cotton crop made 1906 an unfavourable year; but in spite of that the Lower Chenab Canal paid nearly 21% on the capital invested, the Bari Doab 11% and the Western Jumna nearly 10%.

Railways.—The Punjab is well supplied with railways, which have their central terminus at Delhi. One main line of the North-Western runs from Umballa through Lahore and Rawalpindi towards Peshawar; another main line runs from Lahore to Multan, and thence to the sea at Karachi; while a third runs along the left bank of the Indus, from Attock southwards. From Delhi to Umballa there are two lines, one of the North-Western through Meerut and Saharanpur in the United Provinces, and a more direct one, which is continued to Kalka, at the foot of the hills, whence a further continuation to Simla has been opened. The south-east of the province is served by two branches of the Rajputana system, which have their termini at Delhi and Ferozepore; and also by the Southern Punjab, which runs from Delhi to Bahawalpur.

Population.—The total population of the Punjab (including native states) according to the census of 1901 was 24,754,737, showing an increase of 6.4% in the decade. The Jats, who number some five millions, form the backbone of the cultivating community. Large numbers of them have become Sikhs or Mahommedans in the tracts where those religions predominate. The Rajputs, with a total of over a million and three-quarters, comprise tribes of different religions, races and social systems. By religion they are mostly Mahommedan, only about one-fourth being Hindus, while a very few are Sikhs. By race they include the ancient ruling tribes of the Jumna valley, the Tomar and Chauhan, which gave Delhi its most famous Hindu dynasties; the Bhattis of the south and centre, which have migrated from Bikanir and Jeysulmere into their present seats; the Sials of Jhang; and the Punwars of the south-west. In the northern or submontane districts the Rajputs also represent the old ruling tribes, such as the Chibbs of Gujrat, the Janjuas of the Salt range and others, while in Kangra district they preserve a very old type of Hindu aristocracy. The Gujars are an important agricultural and pastoral tribe. They are most numerous in the eastern half of the province and in the districts of the extreme north-west, especially in Gujrat, to which they have given their name. Baluchis and Pathans are strongly represented in the south-west. The distinctive religion of the Punjab is Sikhism (q.v.), though Sikhs form only 8.5% of the total population. Of the rest, Mahommedans are more numerous than Hindus.

Language.—Of the 24,754,737 people in the Punjab about 18,000,000 speak the provincial language, Punjabi, which varies in character in different parts of the province. About 4,000,000 speak Hindustani (see Hindostani), this number including those whose ordinary vernacular is Hindi, but who understand and are gradually adopting the more comprehensive Hindustani. These two languages are the most generally used throughout the province, but not equally in all parts. The other languages in use are more or less local. The hill dialects, known as Pahari, are akin to the language spoken in Rajputana; and so also is the speech of the Gujars. Hindustani is the language of the law courts and of all ordinary officials and other communications with chiefs and people.

Administration.—The administration is conducted by a lieutenant-governor, who is appointed by the governor-general, subject to the approval of the Crown. Two commissioners take the place of the board of revenue in most other provinces. A survival of the “non-regulation” system is to be found in the title of deputy-commissioner for the district officer elsewhere called collector. The highest judicial authority is styled the chief court, consisting of five judges, which corresponds to the high court elsewhere. A legislative council, first created in 1897, was enlarged in 1909 to 26 members, of whom ten are officials and five are elected. The province is distributed into five divisions or commissionerships. Most of the commissioners also exercise political functions over the native states within their jurisdiction.

Education.—The Punjab University, which was founded in 1882, differs from other Indian universities in being more than a merely examining body. It is responsible for the management of the Oriental College at Lahore, and takes a part in the improvement of vernacular literature. It also conducts Oriental examinations side by side with those in English, and has been the first to introduce a series of examinations in science from matriculation to the degree, as well as a final school examination in clerical and commercial subjects. The higher and special educational institutions are the Lahore Government College, the Cambridge