Punjab Research Group

Father, Son and Holy War by Anand Patwardhan at the Phoenix Cinema

Posted in Film, News/Information by hassanjavid on March 29, 2012

Father, Son and Holy War  Pitra, Putra aur Dharmayuddha, (1995, Hindi with English subtitles)

Director Anand Patwardhan

On Sunday 22 April  2012 at 2pm (Free, but booking is required)


Phoenix Cinema
52 High Road
East Finchley
N2 9PJ
020 8444 6789

The Phoenix is proud to announce the next date in our ‘From the Archives’ series, as part of our Centenary celebrations. On Sunday 22nd April 2012, The Phoenix will hold a free screening at 2pm of Anand Patwardhan’s multi-award-winning documentary Father, Son and Holy War.
In this film from 1995, Patwardhan argues that in a politically polarised world, universal ideals are rare. In India, and as in many regions, the vacuum is filled by religious bigotry in which minorities become scapegoats for every perceived ill. He explores the possibility that the psychology of violence against “the other” may lie in male insecurity, itself an inevitable product of the very construction of “manhood.”

The screening will be followed by a discussion with panellists including Dr Kalpana Wilson LSE Gender Institute and Professor Emeritus Gautam Appa LSE.

Raziuddin Aquil and Kaushik Roy, eds, Warfare, Religion, and Society in Indian History (New Delhi: Manohar, 2012)

Posted in New Publications by Pippa on March 7, 2012

Raziuddin Aquil and Kaushik Roy, eds, Warfare, Religion, and Society in Indian History (New Delhi: Manohar, 2012); pp. 341. Price: Rs 995. ISBN 978-81-7304-958-3.

About the Book:

This volume includes essays on a wide range of themes, marked by various distinct approaches to the study of connections between religion and warfare in Indian history from earliest times to the present. Such a collection could possibly cause some consternations, even as the editors began with the basic premise that some of the critical questions be discussed as freely as possible, despite constraints of ideological barriers limiting the fields of inquiry.

Written by a mix of veterans as well as early career scholars, the essays will provoke some debate on what all could possibly be undertaken as legitimate historical exercise and whether it is impossible to write a professional and non-partisan history of such politically sensitive issues as the entanglement of religion and warfare in Indian history and society.

List of Contributors

1. Breaking the Thigh and the Warrior Code

Torkel Brekke

2. Dispatching Kafirs to Hell?: The Languages of Warfare, Politics and Religion in the Delhi Sultanate

Raziuddin Aquil

3. India’s Military Revolution: The View from the Early-Sixteenth-Century Deccan

Richard M. Eaton

4. Rethinking Early Mughal Warfare: Babur’s Pitched Battles, 1499-1529

Pratyay Nath

5. Territories, Wars, Nation: Chronicling Ahom-Mughal Confrontation

Arupjyoti Saikia

6. Responses to Religion and Politics: Riti-kal Poetry, c. 1550-1850

Sandhya Sharma

7. Indian Subaltern Autobiographies: Two Asian Officers in the Eighteenth-Century Bengal Army

Michael H. Fisher

8. Strategies under Stress: Army Management and Environment in Late Pre-Colonial Bahawalpur

Richard B. Barnett

9. Science and Secularization of Warfare: Transition in Siege Warfare in South Asia from Medieval to Modern Times

Kaushik Roy

10. ‘The Nation Within’: British India at War, 1939-1947

C.A. Bayly

Book review by Gurbachan Jandu

Posted in Book reviews by Pippa on March 5, 2012
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Book review: “Lahore -Topohilia of Space and Place” by Anna Suvorova

Posted in Book reviews by Pippa on March 1, 2012

25 February 2012

It is a mystery as to how a layered city such as Lahore has attracted little scholarship in the past few decades. This is why Anna Suvorova’s book “Lahore -Topohilia of Space and Place” is a major book of our times. Suvorova is a distinguished scholar and currently heads the Department of Asian Literatures at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences. Her earlier works on Urdu, Sufism and numerous translations of Urdu prose works are well known. This book, while a work of formidable scholarship is distinctive for its personal dimension. Like countless others, Suvorova is an ardent admirer of Lahore and tells us why Lahore has survived historical vicissitudes and also why its memory is so lovingly remembered, invoked and reproduced.

Suvorova begins the book following the style of an oracle and explains why she chose to explore the topophilia, literally ‘love for a place’. This apparently simple term, as we finish the first very chapter, becomes a kaleidoscope to view the boundless affection that many across the globe experience vis a vis Lahore. Suvorova is one of such Lahore-philes, if one can be excused for inventing such a term. Her fascination for Lahore, as it emerges in her book, is evident throughout the narrative as she takes the reader into the labyrinth of history, cultural memory, urban geography, and sociology of the city.

Read full review: http://razarumi.com/2012/02/25/book-review-lahore-topohilia-of-space-and-place/

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CFP: Sikhi(sm), Literature and Film

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on March 1, 2012


Sikh Studies Conference. Department of Religion, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, Fall 2012, October 19-21st

Sponsored by the Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies

Sikhi(sm), Literature and Film

Hofstra University and the Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies are excited to announce a conference on the literary and visual cultures within, or pertaining to, Sikh traditions both in Panjabi and Diasporic contexts. The conference is designed to be explorative and is therefore open to any and all submissions within these two fields. This conference aims to chart new territory by exploring the aesthetic and expressive traditions within Sikh(ism).

Literary Cultures

Proposals are welcomed within the area of literature broadly defined, including: romance (kissaa), ballad (of war/strife, vaar), lyric (revelation), hagiography and biography (Janamsaakhiis), didactic and devotional (revelation, commentarial), revival and reform (political, nationalist, moral/didactic tracts), fiction and short story, poetry and new poetry, prose, drama and play.

Visual Cultures

Proposals are welcomed within the area of film or visual culture broadly defined including: Cinema/Film (Bollywood, Hollywood, Lollywood and Independent productions, Internet websites, YouTube, Vimeo, Music video-Rap, Bhangra), TV (terrestrial and satellite stations), Comic (Amar Chitra Katha, Sikhtoons), Fine Arts (miniature paintings, court paintings, modern art, photography, contemporary art), Commerical Art (calendar art, lithographs), Fashion and Advertising (e.g. Sonny Caberwal ,Vikram Chatwal, Waris Ahluwalia), Museum Exhibitions (V&A, Rubin Museum, Smithsonian etc), Architecture (monumental, temple and residential).


Paper proposals             May 1st,  2012                                    300 words

Final Papers                        September 1st,  2012                         5-8,000 words

Please send proposals to: balbinder.bhogal@hofstra.edu


Talking of turbulence by Nonika Singh

Posted in News/Information by Pippa on March 1, 2012

The Tribune 10 April 2011

Human rights issues in India might be perceived as “ivory tower intellectualism.” However, that didn’t deter India-born Oxford Brooks University reader Pritam Singh from exploring the same in his latest book, Economy, Culture and Human Rights: Turbulence in Punjab, India and Beyond.

The trigger for the book, he recalls, lay in a personal experience. Sympathetic to the Naxal cause, he remembered the days when he was picked up by the police and tortured. The book, however, only takes off from that personal suffering and soon spawns into a deeper analysis of the significance of human rights in today’s economic order.

First and foremost, he describes two kinds of approach to human rights, the intrinsic worth and the instrumentalist. While the first one focuses on human rights as an end it itself the other approach he asserts uses human rights as a means, as an instrument towards another end. The ends could vary from secession to national causes to military conflict or suppression of an armed struggle. Predictably, he favours the first approach but adds that sadly, there are a few humans right groups, which have no other axe to grind and have only one mission: to ensure human rights for people.

Read full interview: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110410/spectrum/book9.htm

If you would like to buy a copy of the book please find details on attached flyer:Pritam Flyer non-Indian, pb

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Between Subaltern and Sahib: Equivocal Encounters across the British World, 5-6 July 2012 University of Leeds

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on March 1, 2012
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Call for Proposals: M4HUMAN Programme. Gerda Henkel Foundation

Posted in Funding opportunities by Pippa on March 1, 2012

In cooperation with the European Commission the Gerda Henkel Foundation launches the second round of its M4HUMAN (Mobility for experienced researchers in historical humanities and Islamic studies) programme. The funding initiative gives outstanding researchers the opportunity to spend a longer period of time at a foreign research institution of their choice.

The call for proposals is open to researchers from all over the world. Main areas of research are the disciplines promoted by the Gerda Henkel Foundation – History, Prehistory and Early History, Archaeology, Art History, Historic Islamic Studies, Legal History, History of Science as well as the special programme “Islam, the Modern Nation State and Transnational Movements”.

The deadline for applications is June 15, 2012.

Further information on the nature and scope of support as well as the application procedure is available online at:



Dalit Pachan, Mukti Atey Shaktikaran (Dalit Identity, Emancipation and Empowerment) by Ronki Ram

Posted in New Publications by Pippa on March 1, 2012

Ronki Ram’s second book on Dalit Pachan, Mukti Atey Shaktikaran (Dalit Identity, Emancipation and Empowerment) in Punjabi is released on February 1, 2012 at the International Punjabi Development Conference (February 1-3, 2012), organized by Punjabi University, Patiala (India). This book is a detailed account of Dalit identity as it emerged in the border state of Punjab in North-West India where concentration of Dalit population is highest in the country. The central thesis of the book revolves around the critical processes of the emergence of Dalit identity and the ways it facilitates Dalit emancipation and empowerment since the beginning of the Dalit movement (Ad Dharm) in the state in the second half of 1920s. The book also provides an in-depth account of the role of the philosophy and teachings of Guru Ravidass, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Shaheed Bhagat Singh in the rise of Dalit consciousness in Punjab. How the complex process of Dalit identity has been represented in the grass-roots Dalit poetry is another interesting aspect of this book, which lays special emphasis on the importance of doing research in Punjabi for the better understanding of Dalit question in Punjab. The book is based on ethnographic study done during the last two decades in the villages of East Punjab.

The book is published by the Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala (India).

Horrors of Partition, by A.G. Noorani

Posted in Book reviews, New Publications, Partition by Pippa on March 1, 2012

Frontline Vol 29 – Issue 4

Book review of The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed by Ishtiaq Ahmed; Partition Observed edited by Lionel Carter and Partition and Locality by Illyas Chattha.

In addition to the loss of human lives and property, the near-fatal blows on cultures mark Partition’s distinctively hideous features.

THE partition of the subcontinent of India deserves to rank as one of the 10 great tragedies in recorded human history. That is saying a lot. It is not only the loss of human lives and property but the near-fatal blows on cultures that mark its distinctively hideous features. Urdu and the composite Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb (culture) suffered grievously. People were uprooted, leaving an impoverished culture behind them. Of all the provinces, Punjab suffered the most. The massacre that preceded and followed its partition, along with that of India, was predictable and was predicted.

“Pakistan would mean a massacre,” the Premier of Punjab Sir Sikandar Hyat Khan predicted to the distinguished civilian Penderel Moon as early as in October 1938 ( Divide and Quit, page 20). That was well before the Muslim League adopted the Pakistan resolution on March 23, 1940, in Lahore, radically altering Sir Sikandar’s draft just 24 hours before it was passed. He repudiated it because it dropped the organic link between the two parts of India, which he had provided. He told the Punjab Legislative Assembly, on March 11, 1941, “We do not ask for freedom that there may be Muslim Raj here and Hindu Raj elsewhere. If that is what Pakistan means I will have nothing to do with it.”

Read full review:


Opening up a treasure trove of Punjabi literature

Posted in News/Information, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on March 1, 2012

The Times of India, 22 February 2012

Diplomat-writer Navdeep Suri opened a treasure chest of Punjabi literature with the launch of the ‘A Life Incomplete’, an English translation of his grandfather Nanak Singh’s iconic novel, ‘Adh Khidiya Phool’ based on the Punjabi nationalist writer’s 10-month stay in Lahore jail in the 1920s.

Written as a draft by Nanak Singh in jail, it was redrafted 18 years later as a novel.

The book, second of Suri’s English translation of his grandfather’s books, was published by Harper Collins-India. A joint secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs, Suri had earlier translated Nanak Singh’s novel “Pavitra Paapi” as “Saintly Sinner” in 2003.

“Pavitra Paapi” was also made into a movie starring Parikshit Sahni in 1970.

“A Life Incomplete” was released by Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur Tuesday evening at Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan. Unveiling the book, Kaur said, “Nanak Singh was a leading light of Punjabi literature. He wrote 59 books, including 38 novels and was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi award in 1962.”

Kaur said: “Several of Nanak Singh’s books were prescribed on high school and university syllabus, and I am told many of his novels are in their 20th and 30th reprint.” She said Nanak Singh’s books conveyed several messages pertinent to the times — “religious tolerance and empowerment of women.”

“The translation will carry the novel to new sections of Indian lovers of Punjabi literature and to the Indian diaspora around the world,” Kaur said.

Read full article:


2 job vacancies at the University of Birmingham

Posted in Vacancies by Pippa on March 1, 2012

The Department of History at the University of Birmingham seeks to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for two years and a Research Assistant for one year, to work with Dr. Jelle van Lottum on his new project ‘Migration, human capital and labour productivity: the international maritime labour market in Europe, C. 1650-1815’, which was recently funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This project will investigate the link between economic development and
labour migration in Europe before the Industrial Revolution, with a specific focus on the contribution of skilled labour migrants to economic performance.
Closing date: 16th March 2012 
For more information see:
Research Fellow

Research Assistant

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