Punjab Research Group

Books not Bombs – The New York Times

Posted in Articles, Film, News/Information by Pippa on November 26, 2008

Do have a look at this short 6 minute video. It offers an alternative to bombs and perhaps more hope for the future.


Opinion by Nicholas D. Kristof in The New York Times


Books Not Bombs

While the U.S. government is fighting Islamic extremism in Pakistan with bombs, private donations are quietly financing a more important campaign: education.


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WASHINGTON DIARY: Unwarranted fears by Dr Manzur Ejaz

Posted in Articles, News/Information by Pippa on November 25, 2008

It was evident that the hateful ideology taught at our schools and colleges could not overcome the eternal compassion that people of the same culture have for each other. It revived my faith in humanity and the capacity of human beings to forgive and love each otherWhile in Pakistan for about two weeks, my hectic schedule allowed me little time to turn on the TV or read the newspaper. It was just the opposite of my usual view of Pakistan from abroad, derived mainly through the print and electronic media. What I saw was very different from what I would have expected, given the media reports.


Life was quite normal: the streets were full of school-going children and office-goers in the morning and sickening road congestion in the evening shopping hours. The scene was the same wherever I went, from Sahiwal to Sialkot. There was no mention of bomb threats or jihadi attacks in the part of Punjab where I was travelling. Although from media reports it would seem that the entire country was being run by extremists.

These aspects were exceptionally important for me, because during my visit I was hosting a group of Sikh men and women led by Dr Shahmshir Singh, an ex-official of the World Bank.
To read the full article: http://www.wichaar.com/news/294/ARTICLE/10050/2008-11-18.html

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Moving Worlds – A Journal of Transcultural Writings

Posted in Academic Journals by Pippa on November 18, 2008


Moving Worlds is a forum for creative work as well as criticism, literary as well as visual texts, writing in scholarly as well as more personal modes, in English and translations into English. It is open to experimentation, and represents work of different kinds and from different cultural traditions. It reappraises acknowledged achievements and promotes fresh talent. Its central concern – the transcultural – is the movement of cultures across national boundaries, and the productive transformations resulting from these crisscrossings. Its outreach is regional, national and international, that is, towards the diversity and richness of global/local communities.

Moving Worlds is a biannual international magazine. Each issue will highlight a particular theme and also carry material of general interest.

The journal is sustained by a sense of history – Leeds has a pioneering role in the field of Commonwealth and Postcolonial studies – and so is committed to the politics of resistance and reinvention in a post-imperial world. It is impelled by a keen awareness of the marked developments and changes which have taken place in the field in the last 30 years, in other words, a pressing need to explore new work, new directions and new perspectives…

Published by Moving Worlds at the School of English, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK. Contributions of unpublished material are invited. Books for notice are welcome.

See further: http://www.movingworlds.net/index.php

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Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies

Posted in Academic Journals, Diaspora by Pippa on November 18, 2008

Diaspora is dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of the history, culture, social structure, politics, and economics of both the traditional diasporas – Armenian, Greek, and Jewish – and the new transnational dispersions which in the past four decades have come to be identified as ‘diasporas.’ These encompass groups ranging from the African-, Chinese-,Indian-, and Mexican-American to the Ukrainian- and Haitian-Canadian, the Caribbean-British, the Antillean-French, and many others.


Published three times a year by the University of Toronto Press.

See further: http://www.utpjournals.com/diaspora/diaspora.html

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Course on Sikh sacred music – hosted by Hofstra University’s Religion Department

Posted in Music, News/Information by Pippa on November 18, 2008

It is my great pleasure to bring to your awareness the second course on Sikh sacred music held and hosted by Hofstra University‘s Religion Department. This course is composed of 5 two hour lectures and one public concert:


Sacred Music of the Punjab II: Every Tues and Thurs at 6:30-8:35 pm. November 18, 20, 25, December 2, 4 and 9 (concert)


Lectures: Netherlands 18, North Campus, Hofstra University (Oak Street, off Hempstead Turnpike)


Concert: Monroe Lecture Centre, South Campus, Hofstra University (California Ave, off Hempstead Turnpike)


website: http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/REL/SIKH/index.html


The first course was taught by Bhai Baldeep Singh (Delhi). The second will be taught by Dr. Gurnam Singh (Patiala) along with his group. Such courses have never been offered at a Western University before – this is a very unique and rare opportunity! Hofstra University are proud to be able to promote the study and reflection on Sikh Sacred Music and Song (Gurmat Sangeet and Gurshabad Kirtan). As before, this course will also culminate in a Free Concert, open to the general public, we encourage your participation and attendance.


This Evening Course has still places open, register as soon as you can since these places are limited. See the attached poster for further details. And please forward this news to your sangat (Sikh community).


We encourage full participation by the Sikh Community so that I, as Bindra Chair of Sikh Studies at Hofstra University, can show to the Dean, Provost and Vice Chancellor that there is a strong interest in this area, in order that they may invest in building future courses. Such courses and concerts bring academic representation, respect, integrity, and reflection upon the Sikh tradition that can only benefit us all. The Sikh tradition has so much to offer the world about toleration, celebration and respect for diversity that it is a tragedy in today’s troubled times not to raise awareness about the Sikh Guru’s teachings. These courses are very timely given the continued media misrepresentation of Sikhs, and general ignorance of the wider American public; too many Sikhs have been victims of hate crimes based upon mistaken identity. The public needs as much education as possible about who Sikhs are and how glorious and profound their tradition, scripture and service to humanity has been.

Visiting Professorial Fellowships 2009-2010 at the University of London

Posted in Funding opportunities, Research Fellowships by Pippa on November 18, 2008

The S.T. Lee Professorial Fellowship
A generous endowment by Dr S.T. Lee, of Singapore, has made possible the creation of this Fellowship, open to applicants of professorial or equivalent status for the purpose of supporting research in London in any field relevant to the work of one or more of the School’s Institutes. The Fellowship may be held for a period of up to 6 consecutive months between September and June of any academic year. (A longer tenure may be possible, but will not attract any financial support beyond that available for the first 6 months. Applications for periods significantly shorter than 6 months are unlikely to be successful).The endowment also provides for the delivery of the annual S.T. Lee lecture on a theme of the Fellow’s choice.
For further information see attached: sas-visiting-professorial-fellowships-_final

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Saadat Hasan Manto 1912-1955

Posted in Articles, Partition by Pippa on November 17, 2008
Saadat Hasan Manto by Kanwal Dhaliwal
Saadat Hasan Manto by Kanwal Dhaliwal

Saadat Hasan Manto was born in Sambrala, East Punjab, in 1912 and died in Lahore in 1955, not quite 43 years old. Much of his working life was spent in Bombay, the setting of many of his stories, where he earned a living as a journalist and screenwriter. Over a literary career spanning a quarter of a century, he wrote for the radio, translated several works from Russian writers, whom he admired, and by the time he died he had produced 22 collections and written well over 200 short stories. It is Manto’s short stories that have continued to enhance his reputation as one of the world’s great masters of this craft.


Manto always remained the outsider and was content with that, something he wore as a badge of honour. He once wrote that he pronounced a thousand curses on that society which put a halo proclaiming “of blessed memory” around a man’s head after his death. He said if such a thing was done to him, his rotting bones would find no peace in the grave. Manto’s prayer has not been answered and with time, his reputation has grown.


 Manto’s subjects were often outsiders and outcasts, in particular prostitutes and street traders, procurers and gangsters. He wrote about the absurdity and inhumanity of the religious divide and the hypocrisy of the so-called respectable classes. He always wrote about society’s rejects, viewing the world through their eyes. The despised and downtrodden people that he wrote about emerge through his stories with more dignity than the established order has ever thought them capable of possessing. Manto chronicled the holocaust of the Partition of India not with teary-eyed sentimentality but with compassion, managing to extract in the process, as he put it, gems of a rare hue from the sea of blood in which he had plunged himself to get at the truth. What makes Manto great is his humanism, his feeling for the human condition and his belief that that in the heart of even the vilest man, the light of decency and fellow feeling is never quite extinguished. Manto wrote his own epitaph: “Here lies Saadat Hasan Manto. With him lie buried all the arts and mysteries of short story writing. Under tons of earth he lies, wondering if he is a greater short story writer than God.”


Ironically, his headstone bears no such inscription, but it does bear a couplet of Ghalib, Manto’s favourite poet about whom he once said: The truth is that after Ghalib no one has the right to write poetry.


_ Khalid Hasan


For further information on Kanwal Dhaliwal: http://www.art-d-kanwal.com/

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Italian Sikhs

Posted in Diaspora, News/Information by Pippa on November 17, 2008

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Rabbi Shergill is one of a kind, says Sufi singer and scholar Madan Gopal Singh

Posted in Articles, Music, News/Information by Pippa on November 17, 2008

For Punjabi music and more importantly contemporary Indian music, eminent Sufi scholar, singer, filmmaker and a university professor Madan Gopal Singh feels Rabbi Shergill is nothing less than a blessing.

“His music is a breakthrough at Pan-Indian and global levels something that not many people have been able to do in contemporary music scene in our country. The Naxalite movement in Punjab gave birth to superb protest music in the region but again it didn’t go out of the state. I was singing Sufi music, doing concerts with Sahmat taking it all over the country but it was all very localised. One could never become the Pan-Indian phenomenon,” feels Singh who has closely watched Rabbi’s growth as an artiste.


To read the full article in The Hindu:



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Migrations & Identities – A journal of people and ideas in motion

Posted in Academic Journals, Diaspora, Migration by Pippa on November 17, 2008

The title migrations & identities represents a programme: We aim to interrogate notions of ‘identity’ while asking how the fact of mobility and displacement does shape understandings of self and the wider world, among both migrants and ‘host’ societies.  By the same token, we seek to understand how ideas and concepts are transformed as they ‘migrate’ from one place and culture to another.  These issues have been, and continue to be, addressed under a number of rubrics and through a number of approaches in the humanities and social sciences.  In acknowledgement of this, migrations & identities is multi- and interdisciplinary in its conception and management.  It also aims to cover the widest possible range of places, periods and methods, subject only to a shared curiosity and enthusiasm about the possibilities of working at the interface between the investigation of the material conditions of migration processes and the study of ideas and subjectivities.  In particular, we hope that scholars working in many fields will find in migrations & identities a forum for discussion of the methods appropriate to a project of linking observable experience and mentalities in different times and places, and that among the topics of discussion will be the real challenges involved in conversing across disciplinary boundaries. 


We invite manuscripts from scholars representing all disciplines and methodologies which can contribute to this discussion.  These might include case studies based on empirical research which are framed by and reflect on the methodological and theoretical issues set out above, essays which focus on questions of theory and methodology, or review articles. The journal will be published twice a year.


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Punjab History Timeline

Posted in News/Information by Pippa on November 17, 2008

How would you like the details of 2000 years of Punjabi and Sikh history at your fingertips? UKPHA launches http://www.punjabhistory.org/ – a new Punjab History timeline resource on the internet.

When Alexander the Great burst through the Himalayan ranges and into the Punjab in 326 B.C., he was an early proponent of what became an established tradition of conquerors and marauders who entered from foreign lands to variously plunder, conquer, ravage, and then leave. The continuity, viciousness, and inevitability of these incursions made a profound impression on the indigenous people of this unique area, informing virtually every aspect of life in the Punjab. The consequence is a land of continual conquest, migration, and settlement and a people congruent with these hard facts of life.

This website uncovers some of the events and remarkable people that have defined the region of the Punjab.

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The South Asian Mosaic of Society and the Arts (SAMOSA) Festival

Posted in Events, News/Information by Pippa on November 11, 2008

Yes, we are live and ready to roll those samosas with a superb launch on 16th November at the National Museum at 4pm.  This year we have two pranksters from the westend in London who both have the roots in East Africa. Shane Solanki and Yusra Warsama open the festival with a performance entitled, “Oceans Apart” based on the personal journeys of both poets woven into the fictional story of a couple who fall in love despite their cultural differences. Sounds like we should be inviting Harpeet and Clement…:)

Tickets are available on the door @ 500/=. For advance bookings, please email: samosa@awaazmagazine.com



The South Asian Mosaic of Society and the Arts (SAMOSA) Festival which was first organized at the GoDown in 2005, is a cultural tool conceptualized by AWAAZ. It has showcased the South Asian community within East Africa through a series of exhibitions, discussion forums, concerts and dance performances. The vision is to make the SAMOSA Festival, with its emphasis on cultural fusion, become an item on the world cultural calendar, to be mentioned in the same breath as the Zanzibar International Film Festival, the Grahamstown National Arts Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival.

Previous festivals have successfully focused on aspects of the past. This year’s SAMOSA theme is “Celebrating Daily Life”. It will allow us to highlight what is joyous and beautiful in the day to day interactions of each and every one of us.

Our aim is not only to forge partnerships with our sponsors but also, through our advertising campaign, to draw attention to our partners’ often unsung contributions to the wellbeing of the community at large. It is for this reason that we would like to interest philanthropists  and corporates in joining us for what is to be the largest, most exciting SAMOSA Festival ever.

See further: http://www.samosafestival.com/

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