Punjabiyat vs “Punjabistan”: Features of Punjabi Ethnic Nationalism (A Case of Pakistan)
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Punjabiyat vs “Punjabistan”: Features of Punjabi Ethnic Nationalism (A Case of Pakistan)
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Alina L. Filimonova 
Occupation: Associate Professor, Department of South Asian History, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University
Affiliation: Lomonosov Moscow State University
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The essay focuses on the specific features of Pakistani punjabiyat, which is interpreted as Punjabi ethnic nationalism. Having analyzed the Pakistani punjabiyat in the perspective of classic theories of ethnic nationalism and South Asian nationalism concepts, the author defines its characteristics and explains the connection between the specific form of Punjabi ethnic nationalism in Pakistan and the process of “punjabization” understood as the overwhelming influence of Punjabis in the country, which has begun since its inception in 1947.

Ethnic nationalisms and consequent regional ethnic movements are a typical feature of almost all large ethnic groups in Pakistan. However, Punjabis have not only avoided this behavioral pattern: they commonly renounce their group identity for the sake of the unifying Pakistani ideology (pakistaniyat).

Analysis of the specifics of Pakistani punjabiyat leads us to the conclusion that its growth has been slowed down and hindered by the “punjabization”. Punjabiyat as an idea of the Punjabi ethnic identity has lost to “Punjabistan” perceived as the de-facto social, economic and political dominance of Punjabis in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Pakistan, punjabiyat, “punjabization”, “Punjabistan”
The research has been carried out within the framework of the Russian Science Foundation grant № 23-28-00293. https://rscf.ru/en/project/23-28-00293/
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