Punjab Research Group

PRG conference, 25 March 2017, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.

Posted in News/Information, PRG Meetings by Pippa on March 21, 2017

We are delighted to share with you the programme for the upcoming PRG conference on Saturday, 25 March 2017, at the Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.

Please find attached the PRG PROGRAM Handbook 25 March 2017 and Programme Outline PRG 25 March 2017 containing the details of the papers to be presented and other relevant information. The booking fee for all conference guests and speakers is £10 per person. The fee can be paid at the time of registration using following modes:

1. International speakers: CASH only
2. UK speakers: Cash or cheque. The cheque should be payable to ‘Prof Eleanor Nesbitt Punjab Research Group Account’.

You are very welcome to forward this on to any friends who you think might also be interested in attending as a guest. If you would like to book a place for the day, please complete the guest registration form online as soon as possible at Registration

We would also encourage you to use the above link to spread the word about the conference on social media and elsewhere.

Looking forward to meeting you on the 25th!

Best wishes,
Raj
(on behalf of the PRG)

R Mann
Research Degree Student
Oxford Brookes University
Oxford, United Kingdom

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cfp: ‘Punjab: Past, Present, Future’ Punjab Research Group Conference, March 25, 2017

Posted in News/Information, PRG Meetings by Pippa on January 31, 2017

The Punjab Research Group has been hosting conferences at least twice a year since 1984, and was established as an inclusive and all-embracing forum to provide a platform for discussion and debate on issues pertaining to East and West Punjab as well as the Punjabi diaspora. During the past 33 years, the PRG has provided space for academics to interact with each other regardless of territorial or disciplinary boundaries. This is especially important given the often-strained relationship between India and Pakistan, which has prevented discussion and dialogue between scholars of East and West Punjab.

Our first conference for 2017 will be held as a one-day event on 25th March in Oxford. We welcome submissions from scholars, academics, young researchers, journalists, artists, and activists for an inter-disciplinary discussion focusing on the theme of ‘Punjab: Past, Present and Future’.

Speakers are invited to give paper-presentations/performances that can cover a broad range of content, including, but not limited to: history, philosophy, politics, gender, religion, environmental studies, economics, diaspora issues, linguistics, literature, poetry, arts, and culture.

We particularly welcome proposals exploring the genesis of Punjab, intersections between the ‘3 Punjabs’, going beyond the 1947 borders: to deepen our perspective on the ‘connected histories’, and to envision interrelated futures, of the region.

Please send 200-word abstracts and expressions of interest to R.S.Mann, Nadia Singh and Geeta Sinha at punjabresearchgroup@gmail.com by 17th February 2017.

Notification of Acceptance: 25th February 2017
If you would like to register as a guest for this event, please book a ticket using our

online form: http://www.punjabresearchgroup.eventbrite.com
We look forward to seeing you in Oxford soon!

‘Punjab: Past, Present, Future’ : Punjab Research Group Conference, 2016

Posted in News/Information, PRG Meetings by Pippa on October 29, 2016

Please the updated programme for the PRG conference taking place today.

Description

The Punjab Research Group has been hosting conferences at least twice a year since 1984, and was established as an inclusive and all- embracing forum for discussion and debate on issues pertaining to East and West Punjab as well as the Punjabi diaspora. During the past 32 years, the PRG has provided space for academics to interact with each other regardless of territorial or disciplinary boundaries. This is especially important given the strained relationship between India and Pakistan, which has prevented discussion and dialogue between scholars of East and West Punjab.

Our second conference for 2016 will be held as a one-day event on 29 October in Oxford. We are pleased to welcome academics, young researchers, journalists, artists and activists from across the globe for an inter-disciplinary discussion focusing on the theme of ‘Punjab: Past, Present and Future’.

PROGRAMME OUTLINE

09.00- 09.30:        Registration

09.30- 09.45:        Welcome Address: Prof. Pritam Singh, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.

09.45 -11.15:        Session I    Colonial Punjab: Multiple Facets

Chair:         Prof. Iftikhar Malik, Bath Spa University

09.45 – 10.05:       The Martial Race Theory & The Self-Identification of Sikh Soldiers in World War One

                              Amrit Kaur Lohia, Musician and MA History,

                              SOAS, University of London

10.05-10.25:         Mule-breeding in the colonial Punjab: A Frustrated Enterprise

                              Prof. William G. Clarence-Smith, SOAS, University of London

10.25-10.45:         Charhdee Kala: Akali Morchas, Indian Nationalism, and the Politics of Selfhood

                              Avinash Singh, Independent Researcher, USA

10.45-11.15:         Discussion

11.15-11.30:         Coffee Break

11.30-12.40:         Session II   Cultures: Material and Literary

Chair:                  Prof. Eleanor Nesbitt, Professor Emerita,

                           University of Warwick

11.30-11.50:         Sikh Interpretations of the Mughal Shalamar Garden in Lahore

                             Dr. Nadhra Shahbaz Naeem Khan, Assistant Professor, Lahore University of Management            Sciences

11.50 -12.10:        Political Consciousness of Punjabi Poetry of the post-1990s

                             Amandeep Kaur, PhD Candidate, Panjab University, Chandigarh

12.10 -12.40:        Discussion

12.40 -13.30:        Lunch Break

13.30-14.00:         Conference Announcements regarding Publications, Scholarships and Research Projects

14.00-15.10:         Session III          Postcolonial Punjab: Economic Trajectories

Chair:                     Dr. Navtej Purewal, Deputy Director, SOAS South Asia Institute

14:00-14:20:          Punjab: The Long Road to Social Protection

                               Nadia Singh, PhD Candidate, Oxford Brookes University

14:20-14:40          Merchant’s Capital in Punjab’s Agriculture: Reflections on Farmer-Arhtia Relations

                              Shreya Sinha, PhD Candidate, SOAS, University of London

14.40-15.10:         Discussion

15.10-15.30:         Coffee Break

15.30-16.40:         Session IV  Postcolonial Punjab: Political Trajectories

Chair:                     Dr. Meena Dhanda, Reader, University of Wolverhampton

15.30-15.50:         The Migrant, Migrant-in-Waiting and the Non-Migrant: Diverse Trajectories of Social        Mobility

                             Sugandha Nagpal, PhD Candidate, University of East Anglia

15.50-16.10:          Pakistan and the Christians: Creating a Sense of Belonging

                              Dr. Yaqoob Bangash, IT University of the Punjab, Lahore

16:10-16:40          Discussion

16.40-17.00:         Deliberation on/Announcement of Best Presenter Award

17.00-17.45:         Open Session including Poetry and Music

17.45-18.00          Note of Thanks

PRG conference, Saturday, 29 October, Wolfson College, Oxford

Posted in News/Information, PRG Meetings by Pippa on October 26, 2016

Attached is the programme for the upcoming PRG conference on Saturday, 29 October, at Wolfson College, Oxford.

You are very welcome to forward this on to any friends who you think might also be interested in attending as a guest. If you would like to book a place for the day, please complete the guest registration form online as soon as possible at :

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/punjab-past-present-future-punjab-research-group-conference-2016-tickets-27455044778

Full Programme:programme-outline-prg-22-october-2016

Abstracts: prg-conference-abstracts_-22-october-2016

We would also encourage you to use the above link to spread the word about the conference on social media and elsewhere.

Looking forward to meeting you on the 29th!

Best wishes,
Radha
on behalf of the PRG

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PRG meeting 27 June 2015, SOAS

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on June 26, 2015

The Politics of the Social and Beyond:

Hegemonies, Resistances, and Negotiations

B102, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, WC1H OXG

27 June 2015 at 10:00 AM

https://www.soas.ac.uk/visitors/location/maps/#RussellSquareCampusMap

Full Programme: PRG Programme June 2015

Samina Bashir (Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad)

The Communal Award in Colonial Punjab: Implications and Impacts for Sikhs

Michael Nijhawan (Department of Sociology, York University, Canada)

The Asylum Courts’ Radiating Effect on Religion

Nicola Mooney (University of the Fraser Valley, Canada)

Caste, Dominance, and the Question of Form

Kavita Bhanot (University of Manchester)

Unpacking Multiculturalism and Hybridity: ‘Self’ and ‘Other’ in ‘Third Generation’ British Asian Literature

Yaqoob Khan Bangash (Forman Christian College, Lahore)

Bahawalpur State and Pakistan, 1947-55: Accession and Integration

And book launch of A Princely Affair: The Accession and Integration of the Princely States of Pakistan, 1947-1955 (OUP, 2015)

Radhika Chopra (Department of Sociology, University of Delhi)

Seeing off the dead: Post mortem photographs in the Durbar Sahib

Silas Webb (Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, Syracuse University)

State Surveillance, Neighbourhood Formation and Diaspora Politics: The ‘Pedlar Fraternity’ in Glasgow, 1925-1949

Virinder S. Kalra (School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester)

Book Launch and reception, with musical performance and dialogue with Rajveer Singh, Hardeep Singh Siera and Amrit Kaur Lohia: Sacred and Secular Musics: A Postcolonial Approach (Bloomsbury Press, 2015)

cfp: SOAS South Asia Institute and Punjab Research Group

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on March 27, 2015

The Politics of the Social and Beyond: Hegemonies, Resistances, and Negotiations

Date: 27 June 2015 at 10:00 AM

Venue: B 104, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London

Call for Papers

A one-day workshop hosted by the SOAS South Asia Institute, University of London

“The Politics of the Social and Beyond: Hegemonies, Resistances, and Negotiations”.

The SOAS South Asia Institute (SSAI) is pleased to announce a call for papers for the next Punjab Research Group meeting in June. The SSAI welcomes this opportunity to host the bi-annual PRG meeting and is supporting a number of Punjab-related initiatives, including teaching and research as well as the hosting of a monthly poetry/study group Sangat: Dialog Punjab open to the public.

The realm of the social is often viewed primarily through relations and interactions which exist alongside or even in spite of wider political, historical and economic processes. This one-day workshop aims to bring together a number of papers which focus on the ways in which the social informs and is informed by these broader processes by focusing upon how domination, governance, resistance, and negotiation have taken place over time.

Paper presenters are invited to submit expressions of interest, titles, and abstracts of 200 words. While the theme is a broadly stated one on the politics of the social, this can be interpreted in a plethora of ways. The invitation to submit titles and abstracts is extended to all disciplines, and the intention is that the day will result in an inter-disciplinary dialogue.

This PRG meeting will be co-organised by Navtej Purewal (SOAS) and Pippa Virdee (De Montfort University).

Please send 200 word abstracts, titles, and expressions of interest by May 1st to ssai@soas.ac.uk.

Registration:

This workshop will charge a minimal fee towards lunch.

Further information: http://www.soas.ac.uk/south-asia-institute/events/

PRG meeting 25 October, Wolfson College, University of Oxford

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on October 14, 2014

This is a reminder that the next PRG meeting is coming up soon on 25 October. The meeting focuses on the events of 1984 and beyond and will take place at Wolfson College, University of Oxford. Pritam Singh, Iftikhar Malik and Kaveri Qureshi are kindly convening the meeting. Please see the attachment for the full programme and directions to the University. Speakers include:

  • Pritam Singh, Oxford Brookes University, India and the Sikhs since 1984: mapping the fault lines
  • Radhika Chopra, University of Delhi, A coincidence of commemoration
  • Nardina Kaur, Radical Philosophy, Deleuze and communalism: heuristic, therapeutic and preventive practice
  • Nuzhat Abbas & Alison Street, Parents Early Education Partnership, Working with Punjabi speaking families to support mother tongue through songs, rhymes and stories: challenges and opportunities
  • Amar Sohal, University of Oxford, Seeking a voice: the demand for Azad Punjab
  • Prabhsharandeep Singh, University of Oxford, Violence and Poetic Resistance: (Re)locating the Origin of 1984 Attacks
  • Iqtidar Karamat Cheema, Institute for Leadership and Community Development Evolution of Sikh nationalism and state-led repression in Indian Punjab

To make the appropriate arrangements for lunch and refreshments for the day could you please confirm your attendance as soon as possible. As usual there is a nominal charge of £15 (waged) and £10 (student/unwaged). If you would like to attend, please email kaveri.qureshi@anthro.ox.ac.uk.  

See full programme for details: PRG 25 October 2014

cfp: PRG meeting at Wolfson College, Oxford, 25 October 2014

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on September 10, 2014
Momentous events: 1984 and beyond

Punjab Research Group, Saturday 25th October 2014
A one-day workshop at Wolfson College, Oxford

It so happens that several historic anniversaries fall this year, which makes our October session of Punjab Research Group even more pertinent. It is thirty years since Operation Blue Star and the anti-Sikh pogroms. In addition, the outbreak of the First World War and the protracted tragedy of Komagata Maru off the coast of British Columbia, with scores of South Asians stranded aboard, remind us of the momentuous events in Punjab’s history and their on-going impact on the region in particular, and South Asia in general. The PRG’s forthcoming meeting is an opportune platform to discuss the context and aftermath of these events. We would particularly encourage papers discussing less-heard perspectives from women, religious minorities, non-dominant castes and classes, and welcome emerging scholars, independent writers and activists as well as academics. This one-day workshop is being hosted by Wolfson College, Oxford, a college with a strong South Asia research cluster. Please send 200 word abstracts and expressions of interest to Pritam Singh psingh@brookes.ac.uk, Iftikhar Malik i.malik@bathspa.ac.uk and Kaveri Qureshi kaveri.qureshi@anthro.ox.ac.uk by October 4th 2014. 

PRG Conference 27-28 June 2014, Coventry University – revised programme

Posted in Conferences, PRG Meetings by Pippa on June 11, 2014

As you know this year we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Punjab Research Group. To celebrate this milestone we have teamed up with Dr Churnjeet Mahn, University of Surrey, and are planning a two-day conference at Coventry University. The conference will be supported by the AHRC project, ‘A Punjabi Palimpsest: Cultural Memory and Amnesia at the Aam Khas Bagh’. A website connected to the project can be found here: http://www.thegtroad.com.

Attached are all the details for the conference, including the programme and abstracts. If you would like to attend please complete the registration form and send this to me by Thursday 19 June. Please note that the programme for Saturday has been revised and extended.

Abstracts

PRG 27-28 June 2014

Useful Information

blank registration form

cfp: PRG meeting June 27-28, Coventry University

Posted in Conferences, PRG Meetings by Pippa on February 17, 2014

This year marks the 30th anniversary since the Punjab Research Group was founded. The idea of PRG was first floated at a conference in March/April 1984 on “Communal Harmony in Punjab” following discussions among a small group of like-minded people. The PRG was established on the basis that it would be inclusive and all-embracing in issues pertaining to the three Punjabs (East, West and the Diaspora). During the past 30 years the PRG has provided space for academics to interact with each other regardless of territorial or disciplinary boundaries. This is especially important given the often strained relationship between India and Pakistan which has prevented academic discourse to take place between scholars in East and West Punjab. When the group started in 1984 its activities were radical and pioneering in furthering regional studies, an area only beginning to emerge. The PRG has continued to meet two to three times a year at various universities across the UK to allow for broad participation.

Ten years later the PRG launched the International Journal of Punjab Studies at a major conference on Punjab Studies in Coventry, 1994. Now know as the Journal of Punjab Studies, the journal provides important space for the Punjabi Diaspora and Punjab Studies and has been successfully running for the past 20 years.

To mark this milestone in the Group’s history we have teamed up with Dr Churnjeet Mahn, University of Surrey, and are planning a two-day conference. The public event will be funded by the AHRC project, ‘A Punjabi Palimpsest: Cultural Memory and Amnesia at the Aam Khas Bagh’. This project has looked at the conservation of Mughal-era buildings in Sikh-dominated Punjab, especially in terms of contested heritage and memory. A website connected to the project can be found here: http://thegtroad.com/

The theme for the conference will therefore focus on Memory; we invite people to present papers which are either reflective in their approach regarding Punjab Studies and/or draw on the themes and role of collective or social memory in Punjab. This can be broadly interpreted and we particularly welcome papers from young emerging scholars. A selection of the papers presented during this conference will be published in a special edition of the Journal of Punjab Studies and edited by Pippa Virdee and Churnjeet Mahn.

Date: 27-28 June 2014
Venue: Coventry University

Please send proposals and abstracts by 15 April to pvirdee@dmu.ac.uk.

PRG meeting University of Cambridge, 26 October

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on October 29, 2013

The meeting was very kindly hosted by Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge and Tahir Kamran.

Chris Moffat

Chris Moffat

Chris Moffat, Placing Bhagat Singh

This paper raises some questions around the political life of monuments and the spectral potentiality of the past in contemporary India and Pakistan. It is an attempt to square the resonant and often ideologically-promiscuous meaning of the revolutionary martyr Bhagat Singh (1907-1931) with the seemingly insatiable compulsion among individuals and groups to ‘ground’ his ghost in space and place, to offer tribute to this iconic figure through memorial site and toponym, statue and museum. Interrogating this desire, I will consider the breathless calls for bigger museums, more statues, newly-named buildings and worthy events, caught, however they may be, in the uncertain space between genuine sentiment and populist politicking. Such calls are matched in volume by critiques of those memorials that already exist, lamenting their shortcomings or corruption. It is the elusiveness of consensus and the impossibility of ‘full’ recognition that interests me here: Bhagat Singh appears to exceed these place-making efforts in the same way he exceeds the language of nationalism. There is a challenge, perhaps, in monumentalizing a political death that was not in any clear sense foundational, that submits to no easy lineage, that was embraced by the revolutionary himself as a means to incite, to propel action: the infinite demand of rebellion standing against the comfortable finitude of statues. This tension becomes clear in the scene of a crowd shouting Bhagat Singh Zindabad, ‘Long Live Bhagat Singh’, before a memorial– as if to conjure his return, to offer him life, denying his entombment in bronze. This is not mourning nor genuflection but a call that affirms ongoing responsibility. Moving from New Delhi to Chandigarh, Jalandhar to Khatkar Kalan, Hussainiwala to Lahore, I will also consider those who resist monumentalization; who seek to fight alongside the ghost in a battle they see as ongoing, not yet ‘past’. Monuments, here, make way for street theatre groups and new pedagogical initiatives, activating different relationships to space and place. Through these preliminary reflections I hope to open a discussion on the work of the spectre, the problem of memory, and the public life of history in contemporary Punjab.

 

Priya Atwal with Virinder Kalra

Priya Atwal with Virinder Kalra

Priya Atwal, Politics Behind the Purdah: Maharani Jind Kaur and Anglo-Sikh Relations

The Anglo-Sikh Wars of the 1840s were a huge turning point for British imperial power in Asia, as victory over the Sikh kingdom finally allowed the East India Company to control India’s perilous north-western frontier, threatened as it was by Russian and Afghan advances at the time. My paper will introduce the research ideas that I am about to start work on as a DPhil student. The focus of my research is to study Sikh and British colonial narratives on the wars and their origins. The aim of my paper is to demonstrate some of the tensions and conflicts that exist within these narratives, which I intend to highlight by re-examining in particular their portrayal of Maharani Jind Kaur and her political activities during the 1840s and beyond. Central to this analysis will therefore be an attempt to deconstruct the historical split in the Maharani’s image as “saint” or “sinner”, further asking how and why such representations became important political weapons in Anglo-Sikh colonial relations. In addition to this, the paper will make the case for a deeper exploration of how gender politics had a significant impact on shaping events during the 1840s. It will be argued that the manner in which Jindan flouted gender conventions within a male-dominated and militarised society had a strong part to play in destabilising both internal and external political relations for the Lahore kingdom. Such an analysis will attempt to provide fresh insights into the socio-political conditions that characterised and brought on the expansion of British imperial power into the Punjab and up to the northern frontiers of India.

 

Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul with Pippa Virdee

Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul with Pippa Virdee

Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul, The Making of New Delhi & Unmaking the Punjab’s Village Community and its Village Commons 1911-2011

Delhi became the southern-most district of the Punjab after the upheaval of 1857 and remained a very important link of the Punjab to the rest of British India till 1911 when it was catapulted on to the national stage by the pronouncement of the King George V and Queen Mary at their  Coronation Durbar of 12th December 1911 to shift the captital from Calcutta. Thus the city of Shahjahanabad became Old Delhi. The new  Imperial City of New Delhi was centred on Raisina hill enclosing, to begin with the common property resources of more than one hundred and thirty six village communities of the surrounding  countryside. Therefore a narrative of what we have almost lost in these last 100 years of New Delhi may be valuable in the context of ecological lessons from the past. In the debris of a century we can still resurrect narratives of survival strategies characteristic of an abiding culture of indigenous ecology – that of sedentary communities who cohered with nomadic cultures of distant deserts to the north west stretching as far back as Afghansitan and with shepherdic transhumance from the foothills of the Siwaliks and upper Himalayas.

 

Virinder Kalra and Waqas Butt, with Tahir Kamran

Virinder Kalra and Waqas Butt, with Tahir Kamran

Virinder Kalra and Waqas Butt ‘In one hand a pen in the other a gun’: Punjabi language radicalism in Punjab, Pakistan

The relationship between language and politics in South Asia has provided a rich vein for academic analysis as it is tied up with issues related to nationalism and political mobilization. However, much of this analysis has been based on the Indian reorganization of states along linguistic lines or the role of language in the Bangladeshi liberation movement. This article discusses the role of language in the mobilization of the Left in Pakistan, specifically the way in which Punjabi was utilized by the Mazdoor Kisan Party at the theoretical and practical levels, in its mobilizing in the early 1970s. The role that language played in the site of student politics is illustrated through a case study of Sahiwal College. Overall, the role that Punjabi played as a mobilizing tool for the Left in Pakistan demonstrates a practice where culture and politics are inseparable and in this sense the article contributes to the wider debates on language and politics in South Asia.

 

Kamalroop Singh and Harminder Singh Ragi

Kamalroop Singh and Harminder Singh Ragi

Kamalroop Singh and Harminder Singh Ragi, ‘Preserving the Northern Indian Musical Heritage Performed in 1970s Britain.’
In the 1970s great musicians from the Panjab visited the UK where they performed and shared their art over three years. The musicians were masters in their art, and they performed the khyal and dhrupad styles of music. Dhrupad literally means ‘fixed words’, and was developed for singing verses that were written in specific rhythms. The newer khyal genre has gained popularity at dhrupad’sexpense, as it places fewer constraints on the singers and allows displays of virtuosity. As a result the dhrupad art form is now becoming rare, especially since many maestros have now passed away. Luckily, some of their live performances were recorded on spool machines, which private collectors have donated to the Panjab Cultural Association.  We are currently cataloguing and digitising fifty of the recordings for posterity and we will be presenting the project to date. In our paper we explore how the Sikh music tradition has evolved from dhrupad, to khyal, along with the modern influence of ghazals and Hindi popular music.  Finally, we will examine and demonstrate how the introduction of new instruments has led to the original style of Kirtan to become endangered.

 

Professor Chris Bayly

Professor Chris Bayly

Participants

Participants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_5707 IMG_5710

PRG Meeting Coventry University – 29 June 2013

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on October 29, 2013

The meeting was very kindly hosted by Shinder Thandi and Coventry University.

Malik Hammad Ahmad Lang

Malik Hammad Ahmad Lang

Malik Hammad Ahmad Lang, Civil Resistance Movements of Pakistan: Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) 1981-84

The research project focuses on political civil resistance in Pakistan covering the period of 1977-88, the martial law regime of General Zia-ul-Haq. The worst martial law in the history of Pakistan changed the political, social, economical and cultural outlook of the country. To resist the dictatorship, democratic forces launched a movement to restore the democracy in the country in 1981 called MRD, which continued periodically until 1988. However, my presentation looks at its first phase covering 1981-84. Political scholarship, largely, blamed Punjab of not taking part effectively in the movement along with Sindh, and made it a reason of its failure. Countering the argument, this study tries to highlight some facts to overruled the blame.

 

 

Pippa Virdee

Pippa Virdee

Pippa Virdee, Emergence and Resistance: the dichotomy of women’s space in Pakistan.

This paper is based on work in progress that will explore the transformation of women in Pakistan. In colonial Punjab reformers often took up the cause of women and advocated change that encouraged girl’s education and bringing women out of ‘purdah’ (veil/seclusion). This had limited results until Jinnah embraced the need to encourage women within the Pakistan Movement, which led many elite women to come out in support of it. This period is therefore crucial in understanding the transformation of women in public spaces. Yet by the 1980s (some thirty years later), women form resistance movements against oppressive legislation introduced by Zia. The Women’s Action Forum led the way in opposing this and resisting the curtailment of freedoms. Through visual and oral accounts this paper will attempt to understand the transformation of women in public spaces and the dichotomies of this within their private lives.

 

 

 

 

 

Kavita Bhanot

Kavita Bhanot

Kavita Bhanot, Depicting a dera community in Birmingham: extract from novel in progress

I will be presenting a chapter from my novel-in-progress, a fictional depiction of a dera community that gathers around a guru in Birmingham in the 1980’s. The novel spans ten years and charts, through the lives of first and second generation Punjabi immigrants , the growth of this dera community and the opposition that it faces in its local, national and international context. I recently edited an anthology titled ‘Too Asian, Not Asian Enough,’ which brought together short stories by British Asian writers – stories which go beyond marketable formulaic narratives about inter-generation/culture clash.  While one approach is to avoid the predictable subjects or writing about ‘Asians’ at all, my personal intention in my writing is to bring particularity, knowledge, a sense of history and context, into my depiction of Punjabis in Britain. To interrogate the Orientalist gaze that tends to dominate English language South Asian literature, a gaze that “strip(s) specific traditions, rituals, religions and other forms of lived faith…of their context and detail – of history, politics, class and caste.”

 

Umber Abad with Virinder Kalra

Umber Abad with Virinder Kalra

Umber Abad, Singular Muslim Identity and trail towards Auqaf; a becoming post-Colonial modern

The politics of Colonial Urban Punjab engendered a unique singular conception of Islam in the first half of twentieth century. The singular Islam, initially strived to open itself for all streams of Muslims within one religious idea, compelled to exclude deviant forms in order to clear the path for the prevalence of its politics. The singular Islam considered deviant any form of Muslim community and the mystical insight that threatened the idea of finality of prophet-hood and the idea of unity of God. The singular Islam, as became the basis of singular Muslim identity and a central point in the politics of Muslim League, in its exclusionary form prevailed further within the political elite of postcolonial state. In order to land in the modern world, the political elite strived to develop a society where the idea of singular Islam attached with high-moral practices could be implemented. However, the political situation eased to control the excluded forms of Islam. The efforts for Islamization soon found ways to control Waqf Properties, largely attached with shrines through an institution, as during 1952-53 to make Auqaf Board in order to curb un-Islamic practices. However till 1958, largely due to the incapacity of the state institution the control could not produce any significant effect. Re-surfacing the appropriating position of singular Islam through interpreting the thoughts of Allama Iqbal, however, military rule found it justified and co-related with its urge of reforming archaic society to take over the excluded religious practices at shrines through Auqaf Administration.

 

Daniel Haines with Ali Usman Qasmi and Chris Moffat

Daniel Haines with Ali Usman Qasmi and Chris Moffat

Daniel Haines, Making places national: Local agency in the Punjab borderland, 1952-1955

The India-Pakistan border in Punjab today features highly visible fences and guards. Shortly after Partition, however, many parts of the border were not demarcated, and the authorities on each side had different ideas about where the boundary line lay. Examining two incidents of minor border conflict between 1952 and 1955, the paper sets out a view of a historical moment in which the lack of a clear boundary gave space to the localised agency of minor officials, lower-ranking military and police officers, and even civilian agriculturalists. Rather than being hemmed in by territorial limits that the state’s higher echelons imposed, everyday actors explored the ill-defined borderland between the two countries. On both sides of the border, these actors themselves made de facto boundaries. Drawing on the wealth of political geography literature that informs border studies, as well as historical studies of border politics in post-Partition South Asia, the paper’s case studies examine the relationship between local agency and ideas of national territory in partitioned Punjab. Both case studies illustrate how civilian and petty-official mobility in the borderland forced the provincial authorities on both sides to continually negotiate the spatial dimensions of their authority, based as much on practical coercive power as on the disputed meaning of the Radcliffe Boundary Award. The paper argues that such local actions politicised the parts of the borderland in which they took place. Through the symbolism of land in the mythology of territorial nation-states, and through the hydro-geographical connections between canal headworks on the border and Punjab’s vast irrigation network, these incidents were integral to the definition of borderland spaces as national places. The paper is based on archival work in the Punjab Archives, Lahore, and the National Archives, New Delhi.

 

Round table discussion chaired by Ian Talbot

Round table discussion chaired by Ian Talbot

Tahir Kamran, Ali Usman Qasmi, Ifitkhar Malik and Yunas Samad, Round table discussion on the 2013 Elections in Pakistan: A Punjab perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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