Punjab Research Group

The 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogroms Remembered – Exhibition Launch Event

Posted in Events by Pippa on September 19, 2014

Wed 29 Oct 2014

Time: 7pm – 10pm

The genocidal pogroms against the Sikh people in India in November 1984 left thousands dead. In many of the outer areas of the capital, New Delhi, whole neighbourhoods were wiped out. Women were raped in large numbers. Senior politicians of the Congress (I) party led mobs, assisted by the police and administration. Thirty years on no memorials exist to the dead and the perpetrators continue to enjoy complete impunity. But the silence is slowly breaking. Not just about the damage caused to the justice system, memory and language in India, but also about the individual and collective trauma that exists within Sikh communities across the world.

Marking the 30th anniversary of the November 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms, the Wiener Library is proud to feature the work 1984: Jis tann lãgé soee jãné by photographer Gauri Gill. The images and texts from the artist’s 1984 notebooks reflect upon the pogroms and their ongoing impact in India. The images are from the resettlement colonies of Trilokpuri, Tilak Vihar and Garhi – various sites across Delhi – as well as protest rallies in the city. The accompanying texts by leading artists, poets, filmmakers and writers from Delhi remark upon the event, via the images, in thoughtful ways.

The exhibition also contains photographs of the pogrom as it occurred in November 1984 itself, and are drawn from the work of Indian photographers, Ashok Vahie, Ram Rahman and Sondeep Shankar.

Contributors to this project include contemporary Indian artist Arpana Caur; Senior Advocate and Human Rights activist, Harvinder Singh Phoolka, academic Dr Navsharan Singh; eminent historian Dr Uma Chakravarti; prizewinning Canadian author Jaspreet Singh and Parvinder Singh of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

The event, held in partnership with the National Union of Journalists, will take the form of a panel discussion chaired by Wiener Library trustee Philip Spencer featuring Lord Indarjit Singh CBE, human rights barrister Schona Jolly and Parvinder Singh of the NUJ.

Professor Spencer is Director of the Helen Bamber Centre for the Study of Rights, Conflict and Mass Violence at Kingston University. His most recent book, Genocide since 1945 (Routledge, 2012) traces the history of genocide since the Holocaust looking at a number of cases across continents and decades.

Lord Indarjit Singh CBE is Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations UK, Vice Chair and Founder of the InterFaith Network UK. He is also Head and Co-Ordinator of the Sikh Chaplaincy Services. He is a member of the House of Lords, editor of the Sikh Messenger, presenter of ‘Thought for the Day’ on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 2’s ‘Pause for Thought’.

Schona Jolly is a writer, journalist and a barrister specialising in human rights and equality law. She is from London, but has lived and worked in a number of countries, including India. She is particularly interested in South Asian affairs and writes for a number of international publications on India. She is an executive committee member of the Bar Human Rights Committee.

Attendance at this event is free but booking is essential as space is limited. Please see The Wiener Library website for further details: http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=154

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. 

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