HomeArticlesThe Rocks in Amritsar, Punjab: Independence 🇮🇳 & Partition 🇵🇰
The Rocks in Amritsar, Punjab: Independence 🇮🇳 & Partition 🇵🇰
January 7, 2020
I’ve heard a lot of people say that they’re worried about coming to Amritsar because it’s a border town. It’s right on the Pakistani border here, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, one of the safest places I find and I’ll tell you why because right here behind me they have tourist’s police and these tourist’s police patrol the tourist areas and they look after tourists and I know Delhi has tourist police, but they do absolutely nothing. The Amritsar tourist police, they help all foreigners, all tourists and they’ll actually walk you to where you’re going. You can go and ask them any question and they were like, they basically hold your hand and take you to where you’re going and help you do whatever you need to do. They are that good and this is something you do of what Sikhs believe this is a Sikh City, right? I’m right here behind the Golden Temple and they believe that something called ‘sewa’ which means service to others. It’s just part of them. They believe that serving others is serving God and that is why they are so good compared to other tourists police around India, so I feel incredibly safe here in Amritsar. This is the tourist police centre right here and it is a great model to every other Indian city to follow. Come and see what they’re doing. Just do what they’re doing and it’s gonna boost tourism numbers for sure. Now I’m here today with my wife Manu and we are gonna take you on basically a beginner’s guide of Amritsar. But we’re not gonna go to the Golden Temple right here. Why are we going there Manu?
Manu: Because it’s been done too much. Karl: Ah, it’s done. Everyone has done the Golden Temple. We’re gonna show you some different stuff in Amritsar today. We are gonna show you the best ‘chole kulche’ in the world. I guarantee you it’s the best in the world and we’re gonna explore a couple of darker parts of history here, right? What are they? Manu: Well two of the most unfortunate events happened here. One was the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and also this place was greatly affected by the indo-pak partition. So they have a museum for it here. So we are going to go and explore these two things Karl: Let’s do all that today. And yeah, you’ll be ready to come here and explore yourself. Manu so a lot of people would come here, a lot of foreigners, but they might not know why this spot here at Jallianwala bagh is so important. Tell us the story. Manu: So the story was that a lot of people gathered here to protest, peacefully protest against the Rowlatt Act and the army came in and fired on unarmed people which included women, children, old people and everyone. They were all unarmed.
Karl: Which army?
Manu: The British army, forgot to mention that not the Indian Army, the British army at the time and there was only one entry to this place. So they couldn’t get out and they were firing with tanks and guns on unarmed people and because they wanted to, they tried to jump the walls but they could not because it’s so high. So they jumped into a well and the drowned and died. This isn’t even the saddest part. The saddest part is that general Dyer, the general was treated like a hero back home in Britain.
Manu: Yes he was. Karl: No way. So he came here slaughtered, you know hundreds of Indians in this garden and He went home as a hero.
Manu: Yeah! And people actually collected funds for him and gifted him that as an award.
Karl: Oh, really? But what was the significance? What did this trigger in India though, this massacre?
Manu: It triggered a movement called the non-cooperation movement that was then led by Gandhi. That was the first major movement that Gandhi led. A lot of people joined in the Muslim, the Hindu, people from every section because they were all shocked at How they could do this.
Karl: You can’t massacre peaceful protests, right?
Manu: and get away with it. Karl: Yeah, it’s just shocking honestly. So now you know the history behind Jallianwala Bagh. So when you come here it’s a very, very sombre place and you can see all these locations that she talked about. There’s still the bullet holes in the wall. They mark the location with it shots were fired. The well is still here, you can still see the exact well. Yeah, it’s a very sad sad place to visit but It was the beginning of India’s freedom movement, one of the defining moments that that led to India’s freedom. So that’s the positive angle of it. So Manu as an Indian here, How do you feel when you come to a place like this? Manu: Well I have read about this before of course, but now that I’m here it’s my second time but still my heart sinks when I even think about and imagine that event happening because Because the people were not even warned about it. They were not even warned by the British Army. And they just started firing. Behind us is Shaheed Udham Singh, the person who actually flew over to England to kill General Dyer, the general who fired on all these people. Karl: Really? It was like an assassination mission.
Manu: Yeah, an eye for an eye kind of thing. Karl: And it was because he was here right?
Manu: Yes, he was at the massacre serving water to people.
Karl: Wow, he just couldn’t get it out of his mind. Right? So he do what he had to do.
Manu: Yes. Karl: Wow. Now, so while the history of Amritsar is quite dark. Punjabi people, the people who live here are certainly not that. They are some of the jolliest people here in all of India. They’re known for their dancing. They’re known for their really upbeat music filled with drums. And of course, they’re known for their incredible food. That’s what we’re gonna do right now Manu. We are gonna go eat the best ‘Kulche’ in the entire world.
Manu: Chole Kulche, let’s eat. Karl: I verified this, okay. It’s the best you can get and it’s probably one of, it is my favorite food in all of India. And also whenever it’s crowded like this always keep an eye on pickpockets. Never keep anything in your back pockets. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, when you’re in a crowd like this you just have to be careful. I’ve seen a lot of ‘Kirpan’ which are swords here basically. People carry swords and a lot of these Sikh guards actually. Why do they carry these swords and what does it symbolizes in Punjabi culture? Manu: It’s a part of their religion. They are suppose to carry these five Ks. Which is Kirpan, Kesh (long hair), Kaccha (underwear), and I forgot the other two. Karl: They remind me
Manu: Kara ( a steel bracelet), one is Kara, the kara they wear in their hand. There is one more that I can’t remember. I think they can tell me in the comments. Karl: They remind me of warriors with these big swords and everything. Manu: That’s how the religion originated. Before it was a religion, it was actually a clan that used to fight wars. Karl: Really? Who with?
Manu: Ahh, Muslim kings, British, just like bad people.
Karl: Who ever got in the way of Punjab.
Manu: Bad people basically, bad governance. Karl: Great
Manu: Hey, that’s the best statute I have seen of Ambedkar. There is Parliament and there is Constitution and then there’s Ambedkar and the best part is there is no pigeon beep* on Ambedkar. Karl: Manu so what’s happening over here.
Manu: They’re giving out free water to everyone because service to mankind is the core value of Sikhism because they believe in service of others. Karl: Really, so they keep free water here for everyone and free food.
Manu: Yeah free water, free food. You’ll find this everywhere where Sikhs are.
Karl: Okay, So mana has already failed at ordering at a Punjabi Dhaba (restaurant). Manu what have you done? Manu: Shut up! I ordered Dal Makhani and pudina (mint) paratha. Karl: Ohhh man, When you’re in Amritsar you have to eat this Amritsari kulche and It’s basically a very fancy, much tastier Paratha. Well for my foreign viewers a naan bread stuffed with potatoes and then a ton of spices in the potato making and then ton of spices on top. Yeah It’s the best bread you’ll have here and all of India and this is my favorite breakfast whenever I’m here in India. So you want to go somewhere where you don’t get the one with the yogurt in it. The onion right without the yogurt is incredible. It’s kind of like wow. Manu: How can the onion ‘raita’ made without the onion? Karl: I mean, it’s not a raita. It’s it’s more like a, It’s kind of onion chutney. You haven’t had it before.
Manu: No, no, no onion raita is, ‘raita’ is basically yogurt. Karl: Okay, she has no idea what I’m talking about but With this bread usually, you’ll have chickpeas always, beautiful beautiful Punjabi chickpeas. Then you’ll get this this onion this watery onion, right? And that’s how I’ll describe it. It’s very watery and it’s kind of like a watery onion curry and is freaking delicious. But here they’re not serving it. They given you an onion raita with with the yogurt instead which is not the best. You’re gonna love it.
Manu: Can we start eating now.
Karl: No Manu: I am not listening to you anymore. Karl: Okay, Let’s eat. All right. I gotta apologize what Manisha ordered pudina paratha and Dal makhani, the combo was incredible together.
Manu: Bow before me. Karl: Bow before you, wouldn’t go that bow. I’ll bow before the kulche but not you sorry, babe. Order all these meals chole kulche and pudina dal makhani. It’s a great lunch and sweet lassi. The lassi is still coming. Lassi is a yogurt drink mixed with rose water and sugar. This is like Amritsari food 101, okay. Do this as soon as you get here. And this is all you’ll eat while you’re here. You you’ll be homecoming and you won’t find it anywhere else. In Delhi It’s not the same.
Manu: I am still hungry. So I decided to order a chur-chur naan. Karl: How can you eat so much. You’re so small.
Manu: I am hungry. Karl: The chur-chur is even bigger than normal kulche. It’s humongous look at this. This is a chur-chur naan. Manu: I still have some dal makhni left, still. Karl: Everybody look at this, I can make her laugh. See my joke are the best. Anything I do she laughs. Manu: Because you are a clown.
Manu: You are a clown. Stop filming me. Look what I’m eating here. Karl: Stop eating that. Manu this place says partition museum, but from the looks of things I can’t see a museum. After that food I’m so sleep Manu.
Manu: I’m not.
Karl: I ate too much. Manu: Have a chai.
Karl: Yess, we will and actually today the partition museum is
Manu: closed. Talk about bad luck.
Karl: Monday it is closed.
Manu: This is how lucky we are. Karl: I have never been to this place before but I know it’s only two years old and this still renovating most of it. Only this small part here is open and then from here around It’s still closed and is still under renovation. I really look forward to coming back to this place once it’s done. Because the partition is, talk a bit about partition for people so Yeah What happened? Hard question, right?
Manu: Yeah, how can I explain it in two minutes? It was the biggest displacement of people. Bigger than the world war I think and there were riots, there was violence, communal riots. What else? Karl: If you wanna watch a movie on partition watch one by Deepa Mehta called earth. It shows the brutality that happened during partition. Manu: It’s like a, It could be another video like the whole partition.
Karl: Totally but the partition happened right through the heart of Punjab where we are, right here. So a lot of Punjabis are on the Pakistan side and a lot of Punjabis are here on on the Indian side So if you’re coming to Amritsar its kind of four or five things you need to do. First, you need to go to the Wagah border ceremony. It starts on the afternoon, with a ton of videos on YouTube about the Wagah border ceremony. It’s the border between India and Pakistan which you can actually cross across in the Pakistan if you have a visa, You can cross through there and it’s a massive ceremony there and is tons of pomp, basically from both the India and the Pakistan side. It’s a real treat to watch. You got to do that. You got to go to the Golden temple alright, that that’s a must that goes about saying right? Then you should go to Jallianwala bagh and just feel the mood there, okay. And if the partition museum is open, check that out. And of course do not miss going to a Punjabi restaurant, what’s called a dhaba and eating chole kulche and if you’re an Indian, there’s an added bonus is something else you can do. It’s brand new. It’s called Kartarpur corridor and we went there yesterday and film the whole video there. And this is where Indians only can use this corridor which goes four kilometres into Pakistan to visit it very very famous Gurudwara, a holy Sikh temple. But foreigners aren’t allowed on this. So I sent my wife over there. I sent Manisha over there by herself all the way to Pakistan. So there’s a separate video on that. There’s also a separate video of me actually walking across Wagha border and filming the whole thing. That’s one of my most popular videos actually. It’d about I think it’s at like eight and a half million views. It’s incredible. So that’s your Amritsar what to do 101. Don’t get run over Manu.
Manu: I thought you are gonna get run over. Karl: Likely story likely story, so say goodbye, babe.
Manu: Goodbye Karl: Back to Delhi for us. Hit the subscribe button and if you want to support the work that I create, hit that join button become a channel member. There’s a bunch of exclusive member only benefits. Thank you guys so much for your support and Long live India.