Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Punjab and the Web

These holidays I decided to take a look at Punjab's presence on the web. The web has been around for quite awhile now, but as far as Punjab goes, we haven't really embraced it yet.

A look at some of the Punjabi portals. The best results for a google search on "punjab" or "punjab portals" that I found were Punjabilok, Punjabi123, iPunjab, Punjab Online and WebPunjab. Now compare these with well-known Indian portals like rediff or indiatimes, and you get the idea. Now, as far as "punjabi news" goes, a couple good sites did turn up. Punjab Newsline and punjablinks.com are reasonably good sources of regional news, apart from the websites of dailies like The Tribune or Ajit. And take a look at Punjab.com or OnlyPunjab; where's punjab news? There aren't even links to Punjabi resources on the net. "punjabi songs", though, did give some good results, but anyway you would probably be downloading them via p2p and not http.

Another thing I tried out was Punjab on wikipedia. Not much there. But its the same for many Indian states. And with the kind of history that Amritsar has, you would have expected more on its page. Surprisingly, Jalandhar and Patiala have more info than Ludhiana. For those who don't know, wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Right now, its probably the biggest information resource on the net. Its probably not the most reliable resource(really?), but still, its the first place that many people visit when they want info on something. Given the really minuscle info on wiki, we sure don't care as much. TIETians, try TIET on wikipedia.

When I tried to look at my hometown, Jalandhar, via Google Earth, I sure was disappointed. This is the highest res image of Jalandhar that I could get.


And the best map of Jalandhar that I could find was from the Jalandhar MC.


Now take a look at what Google Earth is supposed to do, and that too without the hacks. I don't know how you can request them to get high res images for Punjab, but I'll try. You try too. This is what Patiala looks like (And as for a map of Patiala City(not district), I couldn't even find one). Its the same story for all of Punjab's cities. For comparison, look at the Delhi College of Engineering in Rohini.

Delhi College of Engineering

Finally, a look at the "official" home of Punjab, the website of the Punjab Government.

One more thing, about blogs related to Punjab. It would be nice if there was some sort of listing of Punjabi bloggers, or of blogs related to the state. So if you are a blogger, and you are from Punjab, or write about Punjab, do leave your link on the comments page. I'll start adding links to Punjabi blogs over here.

Its quite clear, we can do a lot better. If you are free and have nothing better to do, why not start putting Punjab on the web. Blogging is a wonderful option. It can be time consuming, but its a great way to kill time, especially on vacations. And you can write about anything, not just the state you live in or the state of your life. Another option is to start building comprehensive articles related to Punjab on wikipedia. If you are a librarian, you can do a lot over there. And if you have the money and the patience, why not build a portal? We sure would be happy to have a nice Punjabi portal.

Of course, there's a lot more that could be done and a lot more that I didn't talk about. If you feel I missed out on something really good(except for songs), do tell me. Because google didn't tell me, and by giving the site a few links and hits, we can sure can bump up its google pagerank!!

The Constitution of India
Actually, many "official" Indian sites [nic.in] are woeful. While the President's and the PM's sites are still okay, look at the official site for the Constitution of India. Better still, look at our constitution in English(Word documents?? And the index... Is that how one treats the foundation of their nation?) and Hindi(somewhat better, PDFs). The rest you can see for yourself it you feel like...

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"i guess all the punjabi mundey are busy chasing girls and getting drunk.."

Or maybe just wasting their time chatting on the net...hehe.

And thanks for the comment. Was really surprised to find it, posted this such a long time ago...
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