Punjab Research Group

Studying the Sikhs – Hew Mcleod and Likhansar – A poem

Posted in Articles, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on July 22, 2009

After the sad loss of Hew Mcleod, Amarjit Chandan who was a friend of Hew has sent these to share with everyone.  

Likhansar: A poem by Amarjit Chandan co-translated by Hew McLeod.

Likhansar. Poem. [Bilingual]. Revsd. Amarjit Chandan. May 2008

 On my behest Hew wrote this a couple of years ago and its Punjabi translation done by me was published. studying with sikhs Mcleod 2007

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W. H. McLeod

Posted in News/Information by Pippa on July 22, 2009
Photo courtesy of Amarjit Chandan

Photo courtesy of Amarjit Chandan


It is with great sadness that we learnt that after a long illness Hew McLeod passed away on Monday 20 July. He was one of the most eminent scholars of Sikhism in the world and though for some he was controversial, no one can deny his phenomenal contribution to Sikh and Punjab Studies. May he finally rest in peace.

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University of Cambridge and SGPC colloboration

Posted in News/Information by Pippa on July 22, 2009

21 July 2009

After signing historic Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Cambridge and SGPC Mr Michael O’Sullivan Director Cambridge Commonwealth Trust exchanging papers with Jatherdar Avtar Singh President SGPC. In the middle is Professor Alison Richard the Vice Chancellor of the University. The collaboration will benefit East Punjabi students to work on MPhiland PhD degrees in various disciplines. It is hoped that the scheme will offer five scholarships annum.

Cambridge press release: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/news/dp/2009072205

Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha,  Hounslow: http://www.sgss.org/events/2009/2009AmritsarUoC.htm
Cambridge. 21 07 09







PHOTO by Amarjit Chandan

Dilemma for Sikhs who escaped tribal areas

Posted in Articles by Pippa on July 22, 2009

July 19, 2009 Isambard Wilkinson, Foreign Correspondent

HASANABDAL, PAKISTAN // The Sikh community of north-western Pakistan faces an uncertain future after fleeing fighting between security forces and the Taliban.

Sikhs from across the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the tribal areas have taken refuge over the past three months within the high walls of Hasanabdal’s Gurdwara Panja Sahib, one of the most sacred temples in Sikhism.

Reeva Kor, a mother of three children and one of 3,000 Sikhs who has made the shrine a temporary home, comes from Buner, the district into which militants encroached from neighbouring Swat valley after flouting a peace agreement they had struck with the government.


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Book review: Violence, Martyrdom and Partition: A Daughter’s Testimony

Posted in Book reviews by Pippa on July 22, 2009

By Nonica Datta

The survivor who offered salvation

A painstakingly honest tale of one woman’s struggle leaves Joanna Lewis humbled

In the twilight of the Raj, for some, love was in the air and knew no boundaries. In a poor rural community in colonial Punjab, a well-off Muslim man fell in love with a beautiful Hindu widow who had a daughter and some very nice tracts of land. They all moved in together and lived unhappily ever after. The local Hindu peasants watched in growing revulsion (in an ever-worsening atmosphere of mutual suspicion, hostility and the abduction of Hindu women) when he also got engaged to the daughter.

Read full review in the THE: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=407194

Terror and South Punjab

Posted in Articles by Pippa on July 22, 2009

A few pieces have appeared in the Daily Times recently on South Punjab and links with terrorism. Read further below:

Editorial: Terror’s free run in South Punjab

Mian Channu in Khanewal offered on Monday another glimpse into the outreach of terrorism in South Punjab. The house of a local teacher of the Quran blew up, destroying all the houses in the vicinity and killing 12, including five children, and wounding 61. When the police reached the spot the local people attacked them out of anger for having neglected them, but not without displaying all the symptoms of a besieged population acting under intimidation.


COMMENT: Talibanisation of Punjab —Shaukat Qadir

Southern Punjab, also known as the Seraiki belt, based on the local language, a distinct variation from the Punjabi spoken elsewhere, has always considered itself exploited by Northern Punjab; and with some justification

A few weeks ago, an individual called Zubair, alias Nek Muhammed, was arrested in Lahore and accused of being one of those involved in the attack on the Sri Lankan team. In the immediate aftermath of the incident, eyewitnesses had stated that some of the attackers spoke Pashto, apparently they also had local assistance. Since this boy belongs to the Punjab Taliban, affiliated with the banned Lashkar-e Jhangvi which is known to have links with Al Qaeda. This incident is of no particular significance, except to again highlight the fact that Southern Punjab has a significant portion of people under the influence of the Taliban.


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Documentary: Hew McLeod: A Kiwi Sikh Historian

Posted in Film, News/Information by Pippa on July 15, 2009

The documentary, Hew McLeod: A Kiwi Sikh Historian, tells the story of a New Zealander who has spent a lifetime researching the Sikhs.

The documentary, which is being produced by Asia Downunder, is illustrated with archive footage, photographs and the religious art of the Sikhs and includes interviews with family, academics and New Zealand Sikhs.

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Punjab needs the will to bounce back…

Posted in Articles by Pippa on July 15, 2009

Lajpat Rai in USA 1914 -1919: Life and Work of a Political Exile

Posted in Articles by Pippa on July 14, 2009

by Harish K. Puri 

The five year long stay of Lajpat Rai in America (including a six month sojourn in Japan) was a period of an unanticipated exile contrived by conditions created by the World War. When he sailed from London for New York in November 1914, it was proposed to be a six month trip to collect material for a book on America. But he was not allowed to return to India until the end of 1919. The nature of his life and work in USA was shaped as much by the constraints and challenges in the American situation as by his priorities and the state of his mind. A contextual approach to the study of his work for the national cause of India in USA may be more appropriate for the present exploration.

Read full article: Puri lala lajpat rai

About the author: Harish K. Puri retired  as Professor of Political Science and Chairman Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Chair, Guru Nanak Dev University. His research publications include seven books and over 120 research papers and popular articles. Noticeable among the books are Ghadar Movement, Ideology, Organization and Strategy; Terrorism in Punjab – Understanding Grass root Reality (co-authored); Social and Political Movements (edited) and many more.

On the road: Centuries of Roma history

Posted in Articles by Pippa on July 14, 2009

Beginning a series on the modern-day plight of Roma Gypsies in Europe, by BBC Russian for the World Service, Delia Radu traces the ethnic group’s nomadic history back to northern India.

“Who are these people?” asks the man behind the counter in the photo store in Southall, an area also known as London’s Little India.

He is handing over my order: a hefty pile of colour photographs, of which a picture of two Roma women and their children (above) is the first.

“They look just like the Banjara in Rajasthan – that’s where I come from,” he says.

He points to a beautiful print on the wall, showing a glamorous group of female Banjara dancers.

The similarity is striking.

Historians agree that the Roma’s origins lie in north-west India and that their journey towards Europe started betweenthe 3rd and 7th Centuries AD – a massive migration prompted by timeless reasons: conflicts, instability and the seeking of a better life in big cities such as Tehran, Baghdad and, later on, Constantinople.Some of these Indian immigrant workers were farmers, herdsmen, traders, mercenaries or book-keepers. Others were entertainers and musicians. 

Full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8136812.stm

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University of Cambridge – World And/Or Imperial History Since 1500

Posted in Vacancies by Pippa on July 14, 2009

University Lectureship, Faculty of History

The Faculty of History is seeking to make an appointment the above field with effect from 1 October 2010 at the latest:

Further particulars and application forms may be obtained from the Faculty of History website at www.hist.cam.ac.uk, or from the Secretary of the Appointments Committee, Faculty of History, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9EF (telephone number 01223 335350, or e-mail: jen26@cam.ac.uk), to whom a letter of application should be sent, together with details of current and future research plans, a curriculum vitae, publications list and PD18 form (http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/hr/forms/pd18/) with details of three referees, so as to reach her no later than 1 September 2009.

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Sir Christopher Bayly (cab1002@cam.ac.uk).

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The Open University – studentships

Posted in PhD Studentship by Pippa on July 14, 2009

To celebrate The Open University’s 40th anniversary we are offering a number of research studentships to further enhance our excellent research agenda.

These new studentships will provide an opportunity for the best candidates to work alongside leading academics and research staff on projects that will inspire you and shape our research portfolio.

The studentships will cover all fees for three years plus an annual stipend. Our studentships are available for outstanding national or international students in subjects as diverse as astrobiology and technology-enabled learning.

The studentships are tenable from 1 October 2009 and suitable candidates should have or expect to graduate with a minimum 2:1 honours degree.

Projects are available across all faculties and in our research centres.

For full details of available studentships see  http://www.open.ac.uk/cam/studentships/

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