1st Edition

Punjab River Waters Dispute in South Asia Historical Legacies, Political Competition, and Peasant Interests

By Kuldip Singh Copyright 2025
    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines Punjab river waters controversy in South Asia, a major defining feature of Punjab politics. It also studies the waters imbroglio at the intersectionality of Punjab, the rural Sikh community, the neighboring state of Haryana and the Indian central government.  

    The book examines the history of the dispute dating back to the partition of the country in 1947. It looks at the constitutional provisions and other laws which govern the allocation of inter-state river waters in India and their application/ departure in the allocation of river waters in case of Punjab, and assesses the impact of river waters issue on politics of the State. The author investigates how Punjab peasants, an influential segment of the society, has played a catalytic role in determining party positions on the subject, resulting in a situation where the Sutlej Yamuna link (SYL) canal will not be allowed to be constructed in Punjab territory.  

    An important contribution to the waters dispute in the Punjab, this book will be of interest to academics studying South Asian and Indian politics and rural political economy.

    Chapter 1. Introduction; Chapter 2. Origins of the Dispute: 1947-1979; Chapter 3. Tripartite Agreement and the Political Turmoil; Chapter 4. The Abrogation of Accords, and ‘Politics of Region’; Chapter 5. Supreme Court Verdict on the Termination Act, and its Aftermath; Chapter 6. Conclusions: Reflecting on Legacies, Political Competition, and Peasant Interests; Bibliography; Index


    Kuldip Singh is a former Professor of Political Science, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India. During his tenure he served as Head of the Department and was also the editor of the Punjab Journal of Politics. In recent years, he has published extensively on Sikh ethno-nationalism and fall of Punjab militancy.