watershed in the history of Punjab. Through teachings of Guru Nanak, Bhakti movement
received a great impetus. Sikhism began as a socio religious movement, which was more
interested in fighting evils in religion and society. It was Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru,
who transformed the Sikhs into the Khalsa. They rose to challenge tyranny and after centuries of
servitude, established a Punjabi Raj based on secularism and patriotism. Maharaja Ranjit Singh,
in the works of a Persian writer, changed Punjab from Madam-Kada to Bagh-Bahist (from the
abode of sorrow to the garden of paradise). But soon after his death the entire edifice collapsed
due to internal intrigues and British machinations. After two abortive Anglo-Sikh wars, Punjab
was finally annexed to the British Empire in 1849.
The fight against the British rule had begun long before Mahatma Gandhi’s arrival on the
scene. The revolt found expression through the movement of a revivalist or reformist character.
First it was the Namdhari sect, which believed in self-discipline and self-rule. Later, it was Lala
Lajpat Rai who played a leading role in the freedom movement. Punjab was in the vanguard of
India’s freedom struggle on all fronts in India and abroad. Punjab’s hardships did not end with
Independence. It had to face the misery of partition with large-scale blood shed and migration.
Besides their rehabilitation, there was the task of re-organization of the state.
Eight princely states of East Punjab were grouped together to form a single state called
PEPSU—Patiala and the East Punjab States Union—with Patiala as its capital. PEPSU state was
merged with Punjab in 1956 with its capital at Chandigarh. Later in 1966, Haryana was carved
out of Punjab. Situated in the north-western corner of the country, Punjab is bound on the west
by Pakistan, on the north by Jammu and Kashmir, on the north-east by Himachal Pradesh and on
the south by Haryana and Rajasthan.
The state ranks seventh as gross producer of wheat in the world and it generates third largest
marketable surplus after Canada and Australia which is about one tenth of the global trade in
wheat. In case of rice, its marketable surplus is second only to Thailand. This has become
possible due to the excellent conditions with respect to creation of infrastructure, adoption of
appropriate technologies, good extension services and government incentives and enabling state
policies. The state government has continued to give greater thrust on development of
agriculture. The record productivity of cotton i.e., 756 kg lint per ha was achieved during 2016-
17. Area under cotton rose from 2.53 lakh hac to 3.5 lakh hac during 2017-18.
Horticulture is a high value segment of agriculture. In Punjab, with only 4 per cent of total
cropped area, horticulture crops are contributing approx. 10.50 per cent GDP to the total
Since both surface as well as ground water resources in the state have already been fully
utilised as such the increase in agricultural production solely depends on the improved efficiency
of water use. State is focusing on significant improvements in the economy of water use and in
the operational efficiency by modernisation of existing canal system which is centuries old.
During the year 2016-17 the work of lining of watercourses in a length of 4758 km was carried
out and an area of 210375 hectare brought under better irrigation facilities by the Punjab Water
Resources Management and Development Corporation. An area of 6700 hectare was brought
under irrigation by installation of deep tube well sand laying under ground pipelines.