Punjab Research Group

Drugs in Punjab

Posted in News/Information by Pippa on August 19, 2014

There has recently been a number of reports about the drugs problem affecting Punjab, India and I wanted to share some useful articles and documentaries. It has become a huge problem, politically, economically and of course socially. If you have any comments or links to other useful articles or references please share them via the comments option.

Glut – The Untold Story of Punjab – 2011 documentary film examining the drug problem in Punjab.

http://vimeo.com/19815617

 

Recent debate on NDTV: Watch: Punjab’s Drug Problem – No Political Will?

http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/left-right-centre/watch-punjab-s-drug-problem-no-political-will/330397

 

Four out of 10 men addicted to drugs in Punjab by Shishir Gupta

http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/chandigarh/four-out-of-10-men-addicted-to-drugs-in-punjab/article1-1251901.aspx

 

Drug epidemic grips India’s Punjab state by Simon Denyer

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/drug-epidemic-grips-indias-punjab-state/2012/12/31/092719a2-48f6-11e2-b6f0-e851e741d196_story.html

 

‘Drug hurricane’ lashing India’s Punjab by Toral Varla

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/04/hurricane-lashing-india-punjab-201442982348612953.html

 

Punjab teeters on edge of crisis as 70% fall into drug addiction by Rahul Bedi

http://www.sikhnet.com/news/punjab-teeters-edge-crisis-70-fall-drug-addiction

 

What happened to the land of plenty – Punjab? By Ushinor Majumdar

http://www.sanskritimagazine.com/india/happened-land-plenty-punjab/

 

Drug abuse threatens Punjab’s population

http://www.dw.de/drug-abuse-threatens-punjabs-population/a-16683761

 

Punjab in grip of a drug epidemic

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/india/punjab-in-grip-of-a-drug-epidemic-1.1082442

 

Sinking into deep despair of a drug epidemic by Ben Doherty

http://www.smh.com.au/world/sinking-into-deep-despair-of-a-drug-epidemic-20130310-2fu2o.html

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A Qissa for a Globalised by Kavita Bhanot

Posted in Articles, Film by Pippa on August 19, 2014

QissaA Qissa for a Globalised World August 17, 2014

[Following is a guest post by Kavita Bhanot. She is a London based writer. Her short stories and non-fiction have been published widely in anthologies, magazines and journals, two of her stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and she is the editor of the short story collection Too Asian, Not Asian Enough (Tindal Street Press, 2011.) ]

There has, of late, been a revival of Punjabi cinema directed towards and watched by Punjabi audiences. A recent addition to Punjabi language cinema, albeit less ‘commercial’ and more ‘artistic’ is the Punjabi language film Qissa: Tale of a Lonely Ghost which has been doing the rounds at international film festivals and was screened last week at the London Indian Film Festival.

The film is about the violent consequences of son obsession in a Sikh refugee family in post-partition East Punjab.Visually striking, Qissa stands out for its cinematography; the framing, the use of shadows and light, the unusual angles. It was often absorbing, most of all in the scenes between actresses Tillotama Shome and Rasika Dugal, playing the couple Kanwar Singh and Neeli who find themselves in a predicament after marriage when they both discover that Kawar is actually a woman. Their interactions quiver with layered tension and chemistry.

Ultimately, however, the film doesn’t quite come together, it seems to lack internal coherence. I found myself watching it with a sense of unease, it didn’t carry me through, and when, in the post film discussion, the director spoke about the qissa tradition, connecting his film to this ‘genre,’ my discomfort increased.

Encompassed in the title, in the main heading (Qissa) and the subheading (The Tale of the Lonely Ghost), are two very different conceptions of storytelling, the film seems to hover between both of these, but falls ultimately, in the framework of the latter.

The Qissa is a storytelling tradition that is woven into the lives, culture of Punjabis. Qissas have been retold, reinterpreted in each era, often through music – the Sufi versions of these stories that are most well-known. Rooted in time and place – it is through particularity, detail, a connection with everyday life that qissas speak to the people of the region. Waris Shah weaves into Heer, perhaps the most popular qissa, painstaking, almost sociological detail about the customs, practices, beliefs, social, economic and political structures of the time. Qissas often portray, through love stories, the defiance and rebellion of ordinary people, exploring the radical potential of love and sexuality, as lovers and their accomplices defy the conventions, religion, ‘morality’ of an oppressive society. Qissas, in this way, critique social, political institutions, challenging power at all levels. While the lovers in Sufi qissas simultaneously symbolise the relationship between devotee and pir or guru, it is through the details, the emotion and earthiness of lived life that they become metaphors, that they become universal. Sufis understood that this was the way to connect with people.

Read full article: http://www.chapatimystery.com/archives/potpurri/a_qissa_for_a_globalised_world.html

Punjabi Research and Criticism by Dr Nasir Rana

Posted in Articles, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on August 19, 2014

 

This paper was written by Dr. Nasir Rana who teaches Punjabi at the Government M.A.O. College, Lahore.

PUNJABI RESEARCH AND CRITICISM: A Brief Study

Just like other languages of the world, Punjabi literature also started with poetry. Punjabi poetry is very old and some of its earliest poets were Charpat Nath (840 A.D.-940 A.D.), Gorakh Nath (940-1031), Pooran Bhagat (970-1070) and Shah Shams Sabzvari (1165-1276). However, Baba Farid (1175 A.D.-1265 A.D.) is regarded as the first regular poet of Punjabi, born at Kothaywal near Multan. He travelled widely in search of knowledge and after getting spiritual training from Khaja Bakhtiar Kaki in Delhi, he finally settled in Pak Patan. His poetry has been preserved in the form of Shaloks. Afterwards, Ameer Khusru (1253-1325), Shah Miranji (1400-1496), Burhanuddin Janam (1586) and Guru Nanak (1469-1534) spread the message of the Oneness of God in Punjab through their poetry. Later on, Ibrahim Farid Sani (1450-1575), Damudar Das (sixteenth century), Shah Husayn (1539-1599) and Nosha Ganj Bakhsh (1452-1554) made their contributions to Punjabi poetry and literature. Shah Husayn introduced the genre of Kafi in Punjabi, while Sultan Bahu (1632-1692) laid the foundation of another genre called Se-harfi. From Baba Farid to Guru Nanak and all the other poets expressed mystical views in their poetry. In the subsequent period, Bullhay Shah, Ali Haidar, Khaja Fareed and Ameer Baloch continued the same tradition.

Punjabi literature was formally started with the inspiring poetry of Baba Farid. Later, Guru Nanak composed his poetry on similar lines and used it as a vehicle for the spiritual improvement of the people. However, the Punjabi religious literature began when (during the reigns of Jehangir and Shah Jahan); Maulvi Abdullah Abdi wrote his twelve religious pamphlets known as Bara Anvaa. These twelve religious pamphlets are: Tohfa, Nas-o-faraez, Muamlat, Uloom, Marfat-e-Ilahi, Khabirul-Aashiqeen Kalan, Khabirul-Aashiqeen Khurd, Siraji (meeras), Hisarul-Iman, Sekal Avval, Sekal Dom and Tohfa-e-Jadeed.

Besides mystical themes, romantic and amorous affairs were also discussed by some other poets. Damudar Das is the first Punjabi Romantic poet who for the first time wrote the romantic story of Heer Ranjha during the reign of Akbar. Afterwards, the same story was written by Ahmad Kavi, Charagh Awan, Pilu, Hafiz Shah Jahan Muaqbal, Waris Shah, Hamid Shah Abbasi, Fazal Shah, Bhagwan Sing, Imam Bakhsh, Maula Bakhsh Kushta and several other poets. The story of Mirza Saheban was for the first time written by Pilu. Later, Hafiz Barkhurdar Ranjha and Muhammad Yar Aleel also wrote on the same subject. Barkhurdar also wrote the stories of Sassi Punnu and Yusuf Zulaikha. Fazal Shah acquired fame by writing the story of Sohni Mahinwal while the story of Sassi Punnu written by Hashim became famous everywhere. Maulvi Lutf Ali Bahawalpuri, Mian Muhammad Bakhsh and Makhdoom Muhammad Bakhsh wrote the story of Saiful-Mulook. Imam Bakhsh wrote Badi-ul-Jamal and Shah Behram, etc. In the same way, Munshi Khahish Ali wrote Sohna Zeni and several other stories and thus made genuine contribution to enrich Punjabi poetic literature, further.

To read the full article please visit: http://www.apnaorg.com/research-papers/nasir-rana-1/

 

cfp: 4th Sikh Studies Conference, University of California

Posted in Conferences, Events by Pippa on August 19, 2014

 

The Department of Religious Studies at the University of California Riverside and the Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini endowed Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies are inviting papers for an international Sikh Studies conference on the theme of “Living and Making Sikhi in the Diaspora: The Millennial Generation Comes of Age” on May 8-9, 2015

 

The conference will be a two day event of panel discussions, and will be held at the newly-built Interdisciplinary Building (Symposium INTS 1113) of the Riverside Campus of the University of California. The abstracts of the papers are due by December 15, 2014 and complete papers by April 15, 2015. Attendance at the seminar will be open to graduate students, faculty and the public.

Please find the call for proposals in the attached pdf: Call 4th Sikh Studies Conference 2015

 

Organizers

Chair of the Organizing Committee: Professor Pashaura Singh

Members: Professor Verne A. Dusenbery and Charles M. Townsend

Event Coordinator: Ryan A. Mariano

 

 

cfp: Technology and Religion in Historical and Contemporary South Asia: Spaces, Practices and Authorities

Posted in Conferences, Events, News/Information by Pippa on August 19, 2014

 

We are hereby inviting you to a planned panel on “Technology and Religion in Historical and Contemporary South Asia: Spaces, Practices and Authorities” at the XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions on August 23 to 29, 2015, in Erfurt, Germany. Please find attached the tentative abstract for the panel.

For more information about the conference, please follow this link: http://www.iahr2015.org/iahr/index.html. Please note that all panel and paper proposals will be evaluated by the Academic Program Committee of IAHR and unfortunately the chair persons of this panel cannot assist you with funding for travel expenses.

 

Provided that the panel is accepted for the IAHR conference, the papers presented will be considered for publication in a volume on Technology and Religion in South Asia edited by Kristina Myrvold and Knut A. Jacobsen. The deadline for submitting abstracts (max. 150 words) is September 1.

 

Further details: Panel proposal IAHR 2015

Dr. Kristina Myrvold and Prof. Knut A. Jacobsen

 

cfp: Oxford Sikh Society

Posted in Conferences, News/Information, sikhs by Pippa on August 19, 2014

We are excited to announce the launch of the next event in our series of ‘Discovering Sikhism’ open days.

Our new programme will be held at St Antony’s College, Oxford in November 2014, and will focus on exploring the history of the Sikhs under the British Raj. As ever, we are looking to provide critical historical insights and stimulating intellectual discussions on Sikh/Punjab Studies, with the aim of making academic research more accessible and engaging for a wide-ranging audience.

This year, we would like to open up our programme entirely, and invite you all to either present research papers or any kind of artistic work (be it film, poetry, song, drama, art or expressive dance!) that relates to the historical and cultural themes we intend to explore.

Please see attached a document to this email outlining further details about our ideas and goals for the 2014 open day, with a call at the end for relevant proposals to be submitted to us at oxford.sikhsoc@gmail.com. It would be fantastic to have your support!

We look forward to hearing from you with submission ideas in due course, and please do feel free to forward this email on to anyone whose work you think might be valuable to include within our programme. Should you have any questions about the event or Oxford’s Sikh Society in general, do not hesitate to drop us a line.

Full details: CfP Discovering Sikhism 2014

Priya Atwal, Vice President (2014-15), Oxford University Sikh Society

 

British Empire and WW1

Posted in Articles, Events, News/Information by Pippa on August 5, 2014

ceramic-poppies-fill-the-tower-of-london-moat-to-commemorate

The art installation, called ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, features 888,246 ceramic poppies – one for every British and Commonwealth soldier who died during the conflict.

The poppies have been laid throughout the summer by creator Paul Cummins and a team of volunteers. Further pictures: http://www.demotix.com/news/5441679/ceramic-poppies-fill-tower-london-moat-commemorate-wwi#media-5441668

The Hindu published ‘A European war, fought by India by Shashank Joshi.

If World War I resonates in such a weak, confused, and even negative way with Europeans, it is little wonder that young Africans or Indians see even smaller stakes in this year’s centenary ceremonies. This is why it is crucial to understand the war’s global scope and the role played by the British Empire and Commonwealth.

Read full article: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/a-european-war-fought-by-india/article6281135.ece?homepage=true

The News on Sunday ‘From the war front’ by Mahmood Awan

An account of the Punjabi soldiers who became the cannon fodder of the colonising power in World War I, and the mournful songs and literature this episode in history generated in its wake.

Read full article: http://tns.thenews.com.pk/punjabi-soldiers-on-the-war-front/#.U-CbG0gpOHl

‘Empire, Faith & War: The Sikhs and World War One’

The exhibition will be held at the Brunei Gallery at the School of Oriental & African Studies’ (SOAS), Russell Square, from 9 July to 28 September, and is the launch event of a three year project to reveal the untold story of how one of the world’s smallest communities played a disproportionately large role in the ‘war to end all wars’.

What Indian soldiers in the First World War wrote home about by David Omissi

To commemorate the centenary of India’s service in the First World War, the British historian David Omissi collected the letters of Indian soldiers away from home in Indian Voices of the Great War, published this year by Penguin. These eloquent letters offer a poignant glimpse into the lives of these Indian soldiers, whom history forgot.

Read full article: http://www.caravanmagazine.in/vantage/what-indian-soldiers-first-world-war-wrote-home-about

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