Punjab Research Group

Special Issue of South Asian Diaspora: Imagining Punjab and the Punjabi Diaspora

Posted in Academic Journals, Articles, Migration, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on July 30, 2014

South Asian Diaspora Volume 6, Issue 2, 2014

http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rsad20/6/2#.U9jNzKgpOHl

 

Introduction

Imagining Punjab and the Punjabi diaspora: after more than a century of Punjabi migration

Anjali Gera Roy

Articles:

  • ‘The heart, stomach and backbone of Pakistan’: Lahore in novels by Bapsi Sidhwa and Mohsin Hamid Claire Chambers
  • Culture shock on Southall Broadway: re-thinking ‘second-generation’ return through ‘geographies of Punjabiness’ Kaveri Qureshi
  • Punjabiyat and the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Virinder S. Kalra
  • Tracing Sufi influence in the works of contemporary Siraiki Poet, Riffat Abbas Nukhbah Taj Langah
  • Exiled in its own land: Diasporification of Punjabi in Punjab Abbas Zaidi
  • (Dis)honourable paradigms: a critical reading of Provoked, Shame and Daughters of Shame Shweta Kushal & Evangeline Manickam
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cfp: International Conference at Department of Political Science, GC University, Lahore, Pakistan. November 12–14, 2014

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on July 30, 2014

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON LOCAL REPRESENTATION OF POWER IN SOUTH ASIA

The Department of Political Science, GC University, Lahore, is organizing a Three-Day International Conference on Local Representation of Power in South Asia to be held on November 12–14, 2014. Scholarly traditions often associate improved governance outcomes with the devolution of fiscal, political, and administrative responsibilities to lower tiers of government (Laerhoven, 2008; Ostrom, 2001). Theoretical and empirical studies hypothesize that decentralization of power is expected to be directly proportionate to increased public sector efficiency and local development through strengthened local governance. It is supposedly done through citizens’ direct participation in governance, public delivery, dispute resolution, revenue generation, and spending functions by bringing legitimate power of the state ‘closer to the people’. It is therefore, important to explore who gets to represent whom at local level in ‘developing’ countries of world’s most populous region – South Asia – with comparatively less stratified governmental structures.

Devolution of power – primarily that of administration and finance – to local level helps orderly provision of goods and services at grass root level. Most of public issues that local governments aim to address are manageable within their particular jurisdiction; and benefits from their actions and delivery of services or safety is limited to a specific area and confined to the populous of that area. However, many public issues at local level do not fall so easily into geographic jurisdictional limits. They are either impossible to tackle or are severely limited or degraded by the presence of geographic jurisdictions. Hence defining this ‘localness’ of issues and that of geographic area is of crucial importance and varies from country to country (Perlman & Jimenez, 2010).

Local self government units fulfill their existence with providing participation, autonomy and efficiency as three main principles of local democracy (Rozen, 2013). Research now focuses local governance and representation of power in terms of “diverse and varied set of institutions and processes” (Stoker, 2004). South Asia exhibits a variegated spectrum of forms of local representation of power ranging from colonial legacies and traditional/indigenous power structures to borrowed and innovative systems of local self governments with varying degree of success, public delivery, and local acceptance. These structures are shaped and in turn shape social structures.

The conference seeks to explore various forms of local representation of power in South Asia, their degree of success in providing public services and safety, their role in arbitration and adjudication, and the issues like electoral process, administrative capacity, financial autonomy, and accountability of local governments.

For submission, kindly send a short CV and an abstract of 250­–400 words, clearly indicating objectives, methodology, results, and conclusions to Mr. M. Usman A. Siddiqi (Email: write2siddiqi@live.com) on any of the following themes:

Theory of Local Representation of Power

Concepts and Theories of Power and Local Government

Theories of Devolution, Decentralization, and Delegation

Devolution and Governance

Federalism and Intergovernmental Relation

Governing Spaces and Populations

Urban versus Rural Governed Spaces

Citizenship and Urban and Rural Politics

Leadership and Political Will

Gap between Theory and Practice

Traditional Power Structures and Local Governments

Indigenous/Traditional Local Power Structures

Informal Power Structures and Local Politics

Who Gets to Represent Whom in Local Governments

Conflict and Conflict Resolution at Local Level

Criminality and Local Politics

Local Governance and Social Capital

Comparing Local Governments in South Asia

Local Government Systems in Countries of South Asia

Realities, Successful Models and Best Practices

Local Representation of Power: Democratic versus Authoritarian Regimes

Intervention of Central and State Governments in Local Bodies

Single versus Multi Member Ward Systems

Participative Democracy, Representation, Elections, Politics and Local Governments

Democratic Process and Politics at Local Level

Local government electoral system

Issues in Local Bodies Elections

Party Basis versus Non Party Basis Elections at Local Level

Legal and Constitutional Matters related to Local Bodies Elections

Maximizing People Participation in Local Affairs

Provision of Services: Management and Performance

Localness of Issues and Geographic Area (Jurisdiction of Local Governments)

Local versus Regional Problems

Areas of Public Delivery at Local Level

Administrative and Management Capacity of Local Governments

Governance Challenges at Local Level

Health, Education, Solid Waste Management, Energy Development etc.

Security, Conflict Resolution, Arbitration and Adjudication

Finance and Accountability

Revenue Generation and Spending Functions of Local Governments

Issues related to Financial Autonomy

Development and Implementation of Accountability Mechanisms at Local Level

Political Accountability

Administrative Accountability

Capacity Building, Development, and Reforms

Deepening Democracy: Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance

Building Constructive Relationships among Central, State, and Local Governments for Creating and Maintaining High Standard of Services

Promoting Social and Economic Development at the Local Level

The Challenges of the Future: Change, Transformation, and Sustainability

Best Practice and Lessons: Proposing New Structures and Better Governance

Framework for Administrative and Regulatory Reforms

cfp: Relocating the Cultural linkages in South Asia: A Historical Perspective, 17-19 October 2014, Punjabi University, Patiala

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on July 30, 2014

The Department of History, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab (India) will hold its 2nd South Asian History Conference on 17-19 October 2014 at the University campus. This three day conference aims to bring together historians, academicians, research scholars working on the countries of South Asia viz. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, Sri Lanka,Afghanistan and Myanmar to cover the gap in South Asian historical studies.
South Asia includes some of the most ancient countries that have made a unique contribution to world culture. These countries have strong regional affinities in as much as they share a common cultural heritage which is not totally indigenous but a product of continuous synthesis between elements, both external and internal. Peoples of South Asia belong to different races, practise different religions, speak different languages and yet share a common civilizational heritage which Arnold Toynbee calls as ‘ Indic’, No country of South Asia can comprehend its own culture adequately without taking into congnisance the cultural traditions of the region as a whole.

The aim of the conference is to historically examine the multi-centricity of the South Asian culture and demonstrate the commonness, inner dynamics and nature and extent of interaction amongst the countries of South Asia during different phases of history. It is hoped that the deliberations of scholars at the conference will rediscover the cultural linkages to foster co-operation, harmony, peace and mutuality in contemporary South Asia.
Suggested Themes: Themes might include but need not be limited to the following:
● Language and Literature ● Art and Architecture ● Philosophy, Religious beliefs and Practices ● Socio-Cultural institutions ● Socio- Religious reform movements ● Caste, Race, Gender and cultural traditions ● Science, Technology and culture ● Climate, Ecology, Environment and culture ● Cultural Adaptation and synthesis ● Search for unity in diversity

This being the centenary year of World War I , one section will be devoted to the significance of this event in world history with special reference to South Asia.

Call for Papers
The soft copy of the abstract with a maximum of 500 words, double spaced (in Times New Roman font size 12) written in English should be sent for acceptance at sahcpta@gmail.com on or before 10 August 2014. After scrutiny of the abstracts the authors will be notified regarding the acceptance of papers on 25 August 2014. The deadline for final paper submission is 25 September 2014. The authors should limit their papers within 15-20 pages

Registration
All participations are required to register. The scholars are required to register before or on 1 October 2014. The registration fees (which includes accommodation and food for three days) for Indian scholars is rupees 1000/-, for scholars of other countries is 50 USD. The registration fees for Indian research students is rupees 750/-, for research students of other countries is 30 USD.

Mode of Payment
The details regarding mode of payment will be conveyed shortly.

Accommodation
The organisers will provide accommodation to the paper presenters only.

Publication
The proceedings of the conference will be duly published in the form of a book from a leading publisher.

Other Information
Further details about the programme and sessions of the conference will be duly intimated.

Contact Information Send in your queries at hist.conf2013@gmail.com or contact us at: +91-175-3046192 +91-175-3046193
1. Dr. Jaspal Kaur Dhanju Professor and Head Department of History Mob: +91-9915583843
2. Dr. Kulbir Singh Dhillon Professor and Formerly Head, Dean Students Welfare Department of History Mob: +91-9417385002

ROAD TO MANDALAY – SIKHS IN BURMA by Swarn Singh Kahlon

Posted in Articles, Diaspora, Migration by Pippa on July 30, 2014

Based on Travels of Swarn Singh Kahlon, December, 2011

Article appeared in The Sikh Review, Kolkata, February, 2014 issue.

 

THE ROMANCE OF BURMA

There are two romantic poems about Burma;

ONE by Rudyard Kipling (1889-90),

where he tries to relive on return to London his travels in Burma:

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea,

There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;

For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the Temple-bells they say:

“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!”

 

AND THE SECOND

By the exiled Mughal King, Bahadur Shah Zafar who immortalised his death in Burma (1862) through the epitaph he wrote on the wall with a burnt stick:

Kitna hai badnaseeb Zafar, dafan ke liye

do gaz zamin na mili ku e yaar mein”

 

This was also the period when Sikhs started to migrate to Burma; a country now renamed ‘Myanmar’. The Sikh migration to Burma was an important component of global Sikh migration and remained a popular destination for about six decades.

Many Sikhs have their relatives and friends who still talk about the Burma days even if they have returned permanently since long back. A visit was very tempting especially as my wife’s mother was born and grew up in that country. Whenever my mother-in-law and her sisters had some confidences to share they would shift to speaking Burmese even after their return three decades ago.

Read full article: Road to Mandalay

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