Punjab Research Group

Patwant Singh – 28 March 1925 – 8 August 2009

Posted in Articles by Pippa on August 27, 2009

From The Times August 25, 2009

Patwant Singh: writer and Sikh campaigner

Patwant Singh was a campaigner, a writer and a philanthropist whose publications embraced history, religion, politics and world affairs. His later work focused on the position of Sikhs, and Sikhism, in Indian society and challenged orthodoxies about the nature of western relations with Asia.

The 1984 attack on the Golden Temple at Amritsar, an event that indirectly led to the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the Indian Prime Minister, proved a turning point which enraged Singh and led to him being regarded as one of the most admired, and committed, commentators on Sikh affairs. Read full article:  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article6808311.ece

Sikh writer Bhai Patwant Singh receives Prime Ministers support  Written by Roopinder Singh, Tribune India

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh expressed grief over the demise of  the noted writer, philanthropist and activist Bhai Patwant Singh on Sunday.

In his condolence message, the PM said: “Shri Patwant Singh had made a mark in the literary arena with his creative sensitivities. His vast knowledge on wide ranging issues along with his vision made a difference to innumerable human lives.” ANI has reported Full article: http://www.emgonline.co.uk/news.php?news=6815


A fearless, devout Sikh: Patwant Singh was a man of substance and had many achievements to his credit By Khushwant Singh

A friend rang me up in the afternoon to tell me that Patwant Singh had died that morning and his cremation was fixed for later that evening. I switched on my TV set to hear what different channels had to say about him. Perhaps they could include tributes from the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister of Punjab, Sikh leaders and literary personalities. I went from one channel to another. Not one had anything to say about him. I switched off the TV in disgust.

Read full: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090829/saturday/above.htm

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Interview with Sathnam Sanghera

Posted in Articles by Pippa on August 27, 2009

The Guardian, Wednesday 19 August 2009

A successful journalist, who gave up the party lifestyle to write a candid memoir when he belatedly discovered his father and sister had schizophrenia, tells Mary O’Hara why mental illness should not be a closed book.
For someone whose first book was lauded as “a real one-off” by author and memoirist Blake Morrison, Sathnam Sanghera is remarkably understated about his recent successes. “It’s constantly bemusing and surprising,” he says of the public and critical reaction to his memoir, The Boy with the Topknot. “It’s a bit presumptuous to think at the age of 28 that anyone would give a shit about your life. Why would anyone care?”
As it happens, people do care about what Sanghera has to say. He has picked up a panoply of awards, including Mind Book of the Year 2009, and, judging from the hundreds of emails he has received “from a whole range of people”, interest in what he has to say is pretty broad.

Read full interview: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/aug/19/interview-sathnam-sanghera-mental-illness

Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture – call for papers

Posted in Academic Journals by Pippa on August 27, 2009

Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture is a new peer-reviewed journal published by Intellect (http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Journal,id=173/).
Crossings provides a space for debate on the important nexus of migration and culture from diverse global and local perspectives, with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary methodologies. The journal is concerned with questions of displacement, mobility, diaspora, cultural memory, and the negotiation of cultural identity and cultural representation in global and local contexts of migration from the mid twentieth century to the present day.
Contributions are sought from academics working in Migration Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Geography, Media Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Film Studies, Oral History and Ethnography, Modern Languages and Literatures, as well as from cultural practitioners such as filmmakers, photographers, musicians, curators, writers and scriptwriters who work on or around the topic of migration. In addition to refereed articles, Crossings also welcomes review articles of films, music, photography, exhibitions or books on migration-related topics, as well as interviews with cultural practitioners who focus on migration-related topics and oral histories of migrant cultural experiences.
All submissions should be sent electronically to the Principal Editor, Professor Parvati Nair (p.nair@qmul.ac.uk)

Ocean of Pearls’ a Fresh Look at the Sikh Experience By LISA TSERING

Posted in Film by Pippa on August 27, 2009

indiawest.com August 20, 2009 06:18:00 PM   

SAN FRANCISCO — “Ocean of Pearls” is a story of one Sikh’s struggle in America, but it’s so much more. The film is a coming-of-age story, a medical drama, a statement about racism and an unsentimental look at the vast divide between generations.

One thing it’s not? Predictable.

The independent feature film, an assured debut by physician-turned-director Sarab S. Neelam, opens Aug. 21 in San Francisco, and will soon roll out its release to other cities.

Amrit Singh (Omid Abtahi) is a talented young Canadian doctor who receives a once-in-a-lifetime chance to run a multi-million-dollar transplant facility in Detroit. He jumps at the chance, leaving his family, and his girlfriend (Navi Rawat of “Numb3rs”), behind.

Read full review: http://www.indiawest.com/readmore.aspx?id=1404&sid=5

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Digital library on Sikhs launched

Posted in Digital resources by Pippa on August 27, 2009

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
Pages of rare manuscripts, books, magazines , newspapers and photographs on the Sikhs and Punjab will be available at http://www.PanjabDigiLib. org on the Internet at Panjab Digital Library launched by the Nanakshahi Trust and the Research Institue ( SikhRi) today.

Since 2003 PDL has been selecting , collecting, preserving digitising texts regardless of script , language, religion , nationality etc.

“ Preservation of heritage, research and education have been victim of apathy in Punjabi. PDL is humble offering to people’ said Harinder singh , executive director SikhRI. Information in rare manuscripts and literature of the region can be accessed with the click of mouse.

A document on being digitised will be accessible long after the original ceases to exis . PDL developed Central digital archive in six years which allows electronic access to browsing data in seconds.

The digital library do away with barriers of conventional library.

PDL has been preserving over 25 lakh folios from 3,400 manuscripts, 2,200 book , 1,990 issues of periodicals ,3153 photographs 248,000 legal documents ‘ , said Gurvinder Asingh PDL’s US coordinator ,

Information on institutions like the SGPC, the DSGMC, Government Museum and Art Gallery , Chandigarh , Chief Khalsa Diwan Punjab Languages Department, Kurukshetra University , critical works of Prof Pritam Singh , Dr Man Singh Nirankari, Dr Kirpal Singh , Dr madanjit Kaur, and Prof Gurtej Singh are accessible at PDL.

It is non- profit , non- governmental set- up, devoted to preserving Punjab archives, said Gurnihal Singh Pirzada a director.

At least 50,000 pages were being added every week to the websit , said Davinder Pal Singh co- founder.

http://www.panjabdigilib.org/webuser/searches/mainpage.jsp If you have used the digital library, do leave some comments about it functions and usability.

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Nordic Post-doc Introductory Stipends

Posted in News/Information, Research by Pippa on August 27, 2009

Finished your Ph.D. within the social sciences in an Asian related topic?
Looking for an opportunity to continue your research?
Searching for a special place to concentrate on this?

NIAS is now open for applications from young scholars who need time and freedom to concentrate on developing their post-doc project. With excellent library facilities, a modern publishing unit, and research staff dealing with different aspects of modern Asia, you can hardly find a more suitable or inspiring working place.

The offer includes a three-month stay at NIAS on a salary that follows existing Danish university standards. We do not provide housing, but will assist in directing your way to accommodations.

Certain conditions apply:

  • Recipients of a NIAS introductory stipend have to commit themselves, while at NIAS, to write an application for long term research funding (minimum 2 years)
  • Project funding must include a 25% institutional overhead for NIAS
  • Successful applicants will be offered a research position at NIAS. If they wish to continue an affiliation with their home institute, an arrangement will be negotiated so the candidate can divide his/her time between the relevant institutions.

Interested? Here is how to proceed:

E-mail us a short draft (max. 3 pp) of your research proposal.
Attach an updated CV and a copy of your Ph.D. diploma.
Add two references that we can contact.
Suggest your preferred period of stay.

Three stipend positions are vacant from October 2009 to June 2010. The deadline for applications is September 1st 2009.

Applications will be evaluated by the NIAS research staff in collaboration with representatives from the Nordic NIAS Council.

For more information please contact:
Project Coordinator Katrine Herold at katrine.herold@nias.ku.dk
and SUPRA Student Assistant Erik Svanström at erik.svanstrom@nias.ku.dk

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Migra-Nord Mobility Programme

Posted in News/Information, Research by Pippa on August 27, 2009

Migra-Nord network offers grants for short (1-2 weeks) scholar visits for Nordic researchers to Nordic universities and research institutions on the basis of application. The intended visit should fit into theme of media, migration and/or ethnic relations. The programme is focused on research and research training. The applicants should be doctoral students or have a PhD. The visit should advance research and collaboration among Nordic scholars. 

The applicant needs to contact the institution where she/he would like to visit. Together with the institute the applicant drafts a working plan for the visit. It can include seminars, presentations, working on a joint article, research proposal, tutoring of doctoral dissertation, and the like.

The grant can cover travel expenses in economy class, meals and accommodation (in longer stays, the applicant should look for a university guesthouse or similar). Please note that according to Nordforsk guidelines daily allowance cannot be paid and receipts are needed for all payments. Costs will be reimbursed after the visit on the basis of receipts and budget.

Interested applicants should first approach Karina Horsti (karina.horsti@helsinki.fi) with a preliminary idea and budget. Final applications will be evaluated by the board of the network on the basis of following requirements:

  • budget is acceptable
  • quality of the project plan
  • outcomes of the visit
  • benefit for research training, career or Nordic collaboration

The Long Walk Home By Manreet Sodhi Someshwar – book review

Posted in Book reviews, Partition by Pippa on August 27, 2009

The Sunday Tribune,  August 23, 2009

Tumultuous history of Punjab by Aradhika Sharma

Some things don’t change Anant, you are the son, Neymat tells her brother as the three siblings (Anant, Neymat and Noor) gather to mourn the death of their father, the protagonist of the story. The Long Walk Home is the journey of Baksh, the man who had lived through the holocaust of Partition. It’s an ambitious panorama that she undertakes to paint but her technique of telling the story of the life of one man and about the life of two nations through his experiences pulls the story through.

Someshwar, as a matter of fact, has taken quite a risk because she not only seeks to portray the troubled pre-Partition and Partition times but also tries to straddle two-time frames, thus integrating history into the modern-day scenario. This could have resulted in rather confusing reading, but Someshwar, with consummate skill, manages to give the book a linearity that makes it seemingly easy. She uses what she calls “the device of layering the intimate with the epic to make history accessible”.

Read full book review: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090823/spectrum/book2.htm

Distortion of history by Kuldip Nayar

Posted in Articles by Pippa on August 27, 2009

The Daily Star  Friday, August 28, 2009

I have returned from the Wagha-Amritsar border disheartened, not because there is no lessening of martial posture of soldiers at the sunset parade, but because of a new monstrosity that has come up there. The Pakistan authorities have put up 10 reliefs, projecting figures in carving on boards to show how Hindus and Sikhs had killed and looted Muslims during partition. The reliefs have been displayed in such a way that they are visible only from the Indian side. They cannot be seen from the Pakistan side because the back of the reliefs are just blank boards.

The scenes carved out are offensive in expression and deprave in purport. They have been installed in the last two months, probably because the voice of peace with India is gaining strength in Pakistan and because nearly 50 people came to the border, the zero point, for the first time last year to light the candles since independence six decades ago.

Read full article: http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=102410

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Book Signing event at Waterstone’s Coventry (Smithfield Way) – Saturday 15 August (12-3pm)

Posted in Events by Pippa on August 11, 2009

Poster_Waterstones_Cov Meet the authors of the acclaimed book ‘In the Master’s Presence: The Sikhs of Hazoor Sahib’

Waterstone’s Coventry (Smithfield Way) plays host to the first event of the Midlands book signing tour of ‘In the Master’s Presence’. Don’t miss your chance to meet the authors, expert swordsman Nidar Singh Nihang and historian Parmjit Singh. Anyone buying on the day will get £10 off the retail price. The signing begins at midday.

Further details: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/displayDetailEvent.do?searchType=1&author=Nidar%20Singh|Nihang

Related links:

“British Sikhs revive deadly art banned by the Raj” (Reuters TV report on Nidar Singh Nihang’s efforts to preserve Shastar Vidya, aired Thursday 23 July, 2009) http://uk.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=108461&videoChannel=-9992

“Fighting with Razor Sharp Blades” (More4 News TV report on Nidar Singh Nihang’s efforts to preserve Shastar Vidya, aired 8.20pm, Tuesday 2 June, 2009) http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/uk/fighting%20with%20razor%20sharp%20blades/3189257

“Ancient but Deadly: The Return of Shastar Vidiya” (article in The Independent, 5 May 2009) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/ancient-but-deadly-the-return-of-shastar-vidiya-1679002.html

“Picking up the fight to save Shastar Vidya” (article in The Sunday Indian, 7 June 2009) http://www.thesundayindian.com/07062009/storyd.asp?sid=7199&pageno=1

“Weapon Masters – Chakram” (Documentary exploring the history and science of the Chakram, an ancient Indian throwing weapon shaped like a ring with razor sharp cutting edges, aired 10 September 2008 on Discovery Knowledge (UK) and on 8 August 2009 on the Military Channel (USA)) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDNw2slOK3Y

Britain’s Sikhs continue to plague Punjab By Rahul Bedi

Posted in Articles by Pippa on August 11, 2009

Around India young women are becoming victims of a crime that is robbing them of their virtues and their wealth.

Every year parents from Britain take their ‘looser sons’ to India and allow them to destroy the lives of innocent girls who crave for a life in Britain – or so they think

Many of these culprits are Sikhs, they have plagued the Punjab, with thousands of girls who have become bride and signed their lives to misery and pain, as they allow themselves to be robbed of the ‘virginity’ become objects that give these bachelors a ‘whore’ on command whilst they are on holiday, with never a thought to these women once they return to Britain.

Full article: http://www.emgonline.co.uk/news.php?news=6764

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Project Researcher in Migration Management at DIIS

Posted in Vacancies by Pippa on August 11, 2009

A 3-year position as project researcher in the field of migration management is now available at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). The vacancy is to be filled as soon as possible and preferably by 1 September 2009.

The candidate is expected to work in the Migration research unit at DIIS with a particular focus on strengthening and developing research on migration management. We are looking for a candidate with a strong profile in one or more of the following areas:

  • Migration as a foreign policy issue
  • Migration control
  • Asylum and refugee policy
  • Labour migration and legal migration policy
  • EU asylum and immigration policies

The ideal candidate is expected to have and maintain an updated understanding of major policy developments in the field of migration management both in Denmark and internationally. Candidates with a proven theoretical knowledge of the international regulatory frameworks and/or political economy surrounding migration will be preferred.

Further details: http://www.diis.dk/sw81898.asp

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