Punjab Research Group

Held to a huge ransom by the Taliban, NWFP’s Sikhs have nowhere to go by Behroz Khan

Posted in Articles by Pippa on April 29, 2009


May 4, 2009, Outloook India


Decades before the cartographer sliced the subcontinent into Pakistan and India, ancestors of Kalyan Singh demonstrated the wanderlust typical of the Sikh community. They settled down in the green, picturesque Ferozkhel valley of Orakzai, one of the seven autonomous agencies which together comprise what is now called the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). In his own 45 years of life, Kalyan had never experienced religious discrimination. He ran his business, lived a contented life with his family. And, despite the intolerance now sweeping across a swathe of FATA, Kalyan Singh would have told you, had you ever asked him, that the sturdy Pashtuns are hospitable, caring and kind-hearted.

Read full article: http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?sid=1&fodname=20090504&fname=Pakistan+Sikhs


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Micro-History: The Evolution of a New Genre by Bhagwan Josh

Posted in Articles by Pippa on April 28, 2009

Presented at the Professor JS Grewal Seminar, 19-21st March, 2009. Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar


In their attempts to come to terms with multi-dimensional power relations and the changes that occur within them over time, Societies as well social groups continue to grapple with the following important questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? This ‘we’ is pre-eminently a cultural artefact. Many a times these are called questions that concern the identity of a society or a social group. In the process of debates and discussions while answering these questions, societies generate stories or narratives about themselves as well as about others in their immediate or distant environment. Poets and writers of the past and the present, balladeers of the bygone days as well as historians of the modern period, have all fulfilled this deep-seated social need by shaping up suitable and desirable ‘mirrors’ of the past. Creating stories or narratives in the pre-colonial period took the form of various genres.

Read full paper: micro-history-b-josh

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Baba Nanak Remembered by Shafqat Tanvir Mirza

Posted in Articles by Pippa on April 28, 2009

1984 & I: A Survivors’ Colony in Chandigarh by NIRUPAMA DUTT

Posted in Articles by Pippa on April 28, 2009

This year, 2009, marks the 25th Anniversary of 1984, when horrendous crimes were committed against the Sikhs in the very land of their origin. To commemorate this sad milestone, we at sikhchic.com have asked our regular columnists, as well as our contributors and readers, to share with us the impact 1984 has had on their lives.


A large oil painting of a tall and handsome Sikh dominates Lakhbir Kaur’s modest sitting room in Kumbra village in Mohali, near Chandigarh, Punjab.

“I found a small black-and-white one of my father in a relative’s album and my husband got a friend of his to make this painting.”

Recalls Lakhbir: “It’s the day after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. We were sitting in our home in Delhi‘s Sultanpuri watching television when the mobs started the rampage. Our Muslim neighbours immediately gave us shelter and advised my father to cut his hair and beard. My father, Deedar Singh, after retiring from the army, was working as a security guard in a private company. Since he was also the Congress President of Sultanpuri, he believed he was safe. Both my brothers were out and he went to look for them. He asked us to stay with the neighbours and said he would return shortly. We never saw him again, not even his remains.”

Read further: http://www.sikhchic.com/article-detail.php?cat=21&id=789

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Bringing Culture Back in: Social Remittances and Local Practices in the Migration-Development Nexus

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on April 28, 2009

Monday, 18 May 2009, 15.00-17.00

Danish Institute for International Studies, Main Auditorium, Strandgade 71, ground floor, 1401 Copenhagen K



In recent years, the migration-development nexus has become a central issue on national and international policy and research agendas, especially in relation to economic remittances and their impact on national economic development. Yet, local socio-cultural practices are often ignored in the celebration of the migration-development potential as are the changes following new practices and ideas which migrants bring along, so-called social remittances. Likewise, the complex relationship between migrants and their countries of origin is generally overlooked by policy makers, who tend to divide migrants into emigrants – seen as potential remitters, and immigrants – often seen as potential problems. At this seminar, two of the leading scholars in transnational migration, Peggy Levitt and Ninna Nyberg Sørensen, challenge the mainstream perception of migration and development, arguing that culture must be brought back in, and a transnational social field perspective must be applied.


This is the third seminar in the 2009 Migration Seminar Spring Series Revisiting the Migration-Development Nexus: visions, challenges and prospects. The series critically explores visions and practices concerning migration and development. In recent years, the development potential of migration has gained much interest among policy makers, international development organizations and researchers. However, the discourses of migration and development revolve mostly around financial remittances, often ignoring local practices and migrant perspectives. These seminars revisit the migration-development nexus. Based on cutting-edge research and ongoing policy involvement, the seminars present current policy development as well as migrant responses and practices, questioning common sense assumptions and presenting new perspectives.

For more information: http://www.diis.dk/sw77419.asp


Practical Information

The seminar will be held in English.

 Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Please use our online registration form no later than Friday, 15 May 2009 at 12.00 noon.

ETMU-days – 2nd Call for Sessions

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on April 27, 2009

We have already received submissions for work shops in ETMU-days 2009 of following subjects (language of the group inside brackets):Finland (Finnish)

Migrant’s health and well-fare (Finnish and English)
Muslim women as a minority (English and Finnish)
Diversity management, migrant labour (Finnish or English)
Intercultural and transnational competence in higher education (Finnish or English)
Finland and innovative cultural diversity? (Finnish and English)
Ethnicity from the point of view of visual anthropology (Finnish and English)
Adaptation of Karelians to

There is still room for new submissions and thus we announce the second Call for Sessions open. We are waiting for the suggestions for work shops by 25th May. Our secretary (maiju.parviainen[AT]joensuu.fi) is also ready to receive your abstract suggestions to be send on to the co-coordinators for the work shops. We are about to add further information about the work shops to the website of Etmu in the near future.

Further details: http://www.etmu.fi/index_eng.html

ETMU Days 2009 – Joensuu (Finland) 22-23 October 2009

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on April 27, 2009

The 6th ETMU Days will be held in Joensuu, Eastern Finland, under the title “Finland and Innovative Cultural Diversity”. The main speakers are Doreen Massey (The Open University, UK) and Tariq Modood (University of Bristol, UK). The purpose of the event is to create an opportunity for researchers and representatives of different sectors for open dialogue with each other and to discuss Finland of tomorrow. The ETMU Days in Joensuu will form a multiform ensemble including scientific presentations, workshops and roundtable discussions on current topics. The theme of the evening banquet is “FinlandRemix” which offers something traditional and something new wrapped in a package never seen or experienced before!

Further details: http://www.etmu.fi/etmudays/eng/etmudays.html

AHRC PHD Studentships in Historical or Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway

Posted in PhD Studentship by Pippa on April 27, 2009

The Department of Geography has been awarded an AHRC studentship in Historical or Cultural Geography and is seeking suitably qualified candidates to commence PhD research in the academic year 2009-10.  The studentship pays all fees and a full maintenance award ( £14 940 for 2008-9, subject to review) for a three year period of research.

The topic areas for applicants are open within those broad disciplinary orientations to the arts and humanities. We would welcome applications from masters students working on questions of diaspora, multiculturalism, transnationality, ethnicity. We would also very much welcome applications from non-Geographers who feel that cultural or historical geography would be a conducive disciplinary home for their work.

Applications from those in related disciplines with an interest in working in Geography are encouraged.  Potential applicants are strongly recommended to discuss their ideas with Professor Tim Cresswell, Director of Graduate Studies, Professor David Gilbert, Director of the Social and Cultural Geography research group, or another member of staff with related interests before making a formal application.

Applications must be made by June 15th 2009http://www.rhul.ac.uk/registry/admissions/applyonline.html
For more details of the Department and forms see: http://www.gg.rhul.ac.uk/

Latest edition of Finnish Journal of Ethnicity and Migration

Posted in Academic Journals by Pippa on April 20, 2009

Pasi Saukkonen, Leena Suurpää & Tuomas Martikainen: Generations in Flux – International Interdisciplinary Conference on Ethnicity, Integration and Family Ties
ETMU Days 2008:
Astrid Thors: Opening Address
Jussi Pajunen: Opening Address

Floya Anthias: Translocational Belonging, Identity and Generation: Questions and Problems in Migration and Ethnic Studies
Rashmi Singla, Anne Sophie Fabricius & Anne Holm: South Asian Diasporic Youth in Denmark: Socio-Economic Strategies
Marko Juntunen: Diasporic Silences and Multicultural Encounters in Varissuo, Finland

Book Reviews
Ines Hasselberg: Herbert, Joanna (2008) Negotiating Boundaries in the City: Migration, Ethnicity, and Gender in Britain.
Heli Hyvönen: Pennix, Rinus, Berger, Maria and Kraal, Karen (eds.) (2006) The Dynamics of International Migration and Settlement in Europe: A State of the Art.
Perttu Salmenhaara: Leitzinger, Antero (2008) Ulkomaalaiset Suomessa 1812–1972.



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Special Sikh Book Signing at Waterstone’s Canary Wharf

Posted in Events by Pippa on April 20, 2009

The authors of In the Master’s Presence: The Sikhs of Hazoor Sahib will be signing copies and talking about their acclaimed new book on Friday 24th April at Waterstone’s Canary Wharf (Cabot Place East, London E14 4QT) from 12 to 2pm.


Expert swordsman Nidar Singh Nihang and historian Parmjit Singh will be joined by acclaimed photographer Nick Fleming (www.nickfleming.com) who will be sharing his unique experience of living life as a nomadic Sikh warrior in the northern India state of Punjab.


Waterstone’s are offering £10 off the recommended retail price for anybody buying a copy on the day.  

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Book review – Rural Development in Punjab: A Success Story Going Astray

Posted in Book reviews, New Publications by Pippa on April 20, 2009

Eds Autar S. Dhesi and Gurmail Singh. Routledge India.


FOR long, Punjab remained a source of inspiration for rest of the states in India. The role played by its sturdy farmers to make the country self-dependent in the food sector is an amazing success story. Owing to its hard-working people, Punjab remained a leader state for several decades in the country. Following its rising status, various states strived hard to move ahead on the development front.


Read full review in The Sunday Tribune: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090412/spectrum/book4.htm

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People’s history of the Punjab: Humanism and equality Dr Manzur Ejaz

Posted in Articles by Pippa on April 15, 2009

April 10th, 2009

Islamic extremism is not new in the subcontinent: At one time even the Emperor Akbar, the most liberal among Mughal rulers, was forced to ban alcohol under the pressure of the religious establishment. However, at that time the difference was that an alternative ideology was also evolving, but this is not the case in the political discourse of today. The Pakistani state has successfully created a disconnection from the tradition of an alternative ideology by promoting the religious version of the ruling Muslim elites – most Muslim rulers were conservative Sunnis – and Mullahs.

The alternative ideology in the Punjab started with the Chishtia’s challenge to the establishment through the rebellious poetry of Baba Farid-ud-din Masood Ganj-e-Shakar (1175-1266). Baba Guru Nanak, following this tradition, critiqued the political economy as well as the system of ideas prevailing in both Hindu society and ritualistic Muslim religion. Nanak negated the political system more directly than anyone else had done in the Punjab before him.

Read full article: http://www.wichaar.com/news/319/ARTICLE/13559/2009-04-10.html

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