Punjab Research Group

Sangat: Dialog Punjab

Posted in Events, News/Information, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on March 27, 2015

Sangat: Dialog Punjab

Poetry is engrained in every aspect of the lives, stories, music, politics, philosophy, faith and culture of Punjabis. A number of us are gathering together to explore Punjabi poetry through time (and through this, a history of Punjab), meeting once a month at SOAS.

Starting with Baba Farid (12th century) through to Najm Hosain Syed and Amarjit Chandan writing today, we will focus in each session, on one or two poets; reading their poetry, listening to it being sung, and discussing it along with the historical/political/ philosophical context. We hope to have leading Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan joining us for most of the sessions, sharing his knowledge, along with other guest writers/scholars/singers.

We welcome those of all ages and levels, those with knowledge, passion and interest that can be shared and developed, but also those who are new to Punjabi poetry/literature, who may not read Gurmukhi/Shahmukhi or be proficient in Punjabi, but want to listen and explore – we especially encourage you to join us.

For further information please contact ssai@soas.ac.uk.

Forthcoming Events

Session 2: Baba Nanak

7 April 2015, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4429, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Session 3: Ravidas and Kabir

5 May 2015, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4429, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Session 4: Guru Gobind Singh

9 June 2015, Brunei Gallery, B104, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Session 5: Sultan Bahu and Bulleh Shah

7 July 2015, Brunei Gallery, B102, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Session 6: Waris Shah & Damoodar (Heer)

4 August 2015, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4429, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

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Sangat: Dialog Punjab

Posted in Events, News/Information, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on February 19, 2015

Sangat: Dialog Punjab

Poetry is engrained in every aspect of the lives, stories, music, politics, philosophy, faith and culture of Punjabis. A number of us are gathering together to explore Punjabi poetry through time (and through this, a history of Punjab), meeting once a month at SOAS.

Starting with Baba Farid (12th century) through to Najm Hosain Syed and Amarjit Chandan writing today, we will focus in each session, on one or two poets; reading their poetry, listening to it being sung, and discussing it along with the historical/political/ philosophical context. We hope to have leading Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan joining us for most of the sessions, sharing his knowledge, along with other guest writers/scholars/singers.

We welcome those of all ages and levels, those with knowledge, passion and interest that can be shared and developed, but also those who are new to Punjabi poetry/literature, who may not read Gurmukhi/Shahmukhi or be proficient in Punjabi, but want to listen and explore – we especially encourage you to join us.

The first session is on Monday 9th March 2015, 6-8 pm at SOAS Russell Square (Room T102) and after that, on the first Monday of every month.

Session 1 (Monday March 9th):                  Baba Farid and Shah Hussain

Session 2 (Monday April 6th):                   Guru Nanak

Session 3 (Monday May 4th):                     Sant Ravidas and Kabir

Session 4 (Monday June 1st):                   Guru Gobind Singh

Session 5 (Monday July 6th):                   Sultan Bahu and Bulleh Shah

Session 6 (Monday August 3rd):         Waris Shah and Damoodar (Heer)

Future sessions (open to suggestions): Women’s folk songs, Peero, Amrita Pritam, Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Paash and Lal Singh Dil, Sant Ram Udasi, Gurdas Ram Alam, Najm Hosain Syed, Amarjit Chandan

For more information, email sangat.punjab@gmail.com

Sangat-Dialog.Punjab 2015

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/

 

Baba Nanak Remembered by Shafqat Tanvir Mirza

Posted in Articles by Pippa on April 28, 2009

People’s history of the Punjab: Humanism and equality Dr Manzur Ejaz

Posted in Articles by Pippa on April 15, 2009

April 10th, 2009

Islamic extremism is not new in the subcontinent: At one time even the Emperor Akbar, the most liberal among Mughal rulers, was forced to ban alcohol under the pressure of the religious establishment. However, at that time the difference was that an alternative ideology was also evolving, but this is not the case in the political discourse of today. The Pakistani state has successfully created a disconnection from the tradition of an alternative ideology by promoting the religious version of the ruling Muslim elites – most Muslim rulers were conservative Sunnis – and Mullahs.

The alternative ideology in the Punjab started with the Chishtia’s challenge to the establishment through the rebellious poetry of Baba Farid-ud-din Masood Ganj-e-Shakar (1175-1266). Baba Guru Nanak, following this tradition, critiqued the political economy as well as the system of ideas prevailing in both Hindu society and ritualistic Muslim religion. Nanak negated the political system more directly than anyone else had done in the Punjab before him.

Read full article: http://www.wichaar.com/news/319/ARTICLE/13559/2009-04-10.html

How Ajmal Kasab took to radical Islam by Jugnu Mohsin

Posted in Articles, News/Information by Pippa on January 13, 2009

Faridkot of Ajmal ‘Qasai’ (Kasab) fame is a mere ten miles from my ancestral village in tehsil Depalpur, Punjab. Before the 21-year-old went on his killing spree in Mumbai, Faridkot was known only because it is one of many thus named towns and villages celebrating and honouring the great Chishti sufi, Sheikh-al-Islam, Fariduddin Masud Ganj-e-Shakar (1173-1266) known in Pakistan, northern India and as far as Afghanistan and Central Asia, as Baba Farid.

 

The saint’s followers or murids spread throughout the Punjab and beyond across north India. Everywhere, they named their settlements Faridkot. Now one such Faridkot is on Google Earth as the home of the sole surviving terrorist of India‘s 9/11, as many Indians see it. How this came to pass is a story of countless impoverished Pakistanis who have taken to jihad and radical Islam as a way of claiming an identity and a livelihood in a state that has failed to provide both in sixty years of independence.

This Punjab, where I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, appeared to me peaceful, bucolic, unconcerned with caste or creed and at one with its ancient spirit. But then I was a child of privilege. My father, tracing his lineage to the 16th century Qadiri sufi Daud Bandagi Kirmani, whose Akbar Shahi tomb still dominates the pinnacle of our village, Shergarh, farmed land in the area owned by his family for generations. Immersed in his culture and history, my father took my siblings and me on tours of this ancient part of the Punjab.

 

For full article: http://in.rediff.com/news/2009/jan/05mumterror-how-ajmal-kasab-took-to-radical-islam.htm

 

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