Punjab Research Group

British Sikh Report 2013 – A Review

Posted in Book reviews, Journal of Punjab Studies, News/Information by gsjandu on October 27, 2013


In the summer of 2013, the first ever British Sikh Report was published using both the 2011 national census in England and Wales and an organic survey that attracted over 600 respondents – one of the most significant of its kind. Here a PRG website contributor offers their review as the annualised exercise begins for the next version in 2014. Please click on the link below for the review article.

bsr2013 reviewarticle

This post’s author can be contacted on: gorby.jandu@gmail.com

Autar Dhesi – Some Writings in England

Posted in Articles, Diaspora, News/Information by gsjandu on August 29, 2013


A Southall man who came to Britain in 1958 with a BSc in Natural Science from Punjab University, was awarded his Ph.D. in national economic planning from the University of Birmingham, on Friday.
He is Mr. Autar Singh Dhesi of 176 Regina Road, Southall.
Mr. Dhesi won a post-graduate diploma in Development Administration at Leeds in 1966. Two years later, he was awarded an M.Sc. in International Economics at Surrey University. In 1971 he qualified for a M.Soc.Sc. degree at Birmingham University, where he won a Research Council Scholarship in Social Sciences. In between he taught at Coventry University.
Mr. Dhesi was secretary of Southall Indian Worker’s Association for many years, and joint secretary of the National India Defence Fund Committee. He was a founder member of the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination.
In 1963, he was the first Indian from Southall to be invited to the Queen’s Garden party.

(Published in Middlesex County Times (London), July 19, 1974)

Below are some of the author’s writings kindly received at the PRG from the Punjab University.

Student Graffiti by A. Dhesi

a.dhesi prg (pdf)

British Religion in Number

Posted in Digital resources by Pippa on May 8, 2010

British Religion in Numbers, http://www.brin.ac.uk, has been officially launched. Please feel free to invite people to visit the site and explore the source catalogue, tables, charts, maps and text we have uploaded to date.

The site is (and always will be) a work in progress and we are still uploading data and commentaries, so please visit recurrently to see what we have added.

We also wanted to publicise the ‘blog’ feature (http://www.brin.ac.uk/news) and to encourage people to comment on the posts already made. Since we added this feature in January, we have posted 73 articles on new surveys and resources, research notes, and comments on news stories.
See further: http://www.brin.ac.uk/about/

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Issues of Identity among the Valmikis and Ravidasis in Britain: egalitarian hermeneutics from the Guru Granth Sahib

Posted in Articles by Pippa on July 5, 2009

by Opinderjit Kaur Takhar, Department of Religious Studies, University of Wolverhampton, England.


This paper aims to discuss issues around the often taboo topic of caste in Sikhism. The Guru Granth Sahibji repeatedly reminds its readers of the egalitarian nature of the Sikh faith. A faith which almost promises to eradicate notions of pollution attached to the lower castes. This paper endeavours to unearth the hermeneutics of the Guru Granth Sahibji in order to assess why lower caste members of the Panth felt that their Mazhabi labelling has prevented their equal assimilation into the Sikh Panth. Two such groups in Britain today are the Valmikis and the Ravidasis. The Valmikis, especially praxis at the Coventry Sabha, pose very interesting dialogue as to who a Sikh is. The Sabha is unique in the fact that it houses a copy of the Guru Granth Sahibji alongside that of Valmiki’s Ramayan. This paper attempts to address the root causes of the Valmikis’ and Ravidasis’ emphasis on a distinct identity from Sikhs. Was this move towards religious autonomy politically or socially motivated?

Read full paper: opinderjit kaur takhar

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The Jameel Scholarships – The Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK

Posted in PhD Studentship by Pippa on July 3, 2009

The Islam-UK Centre at Cardiff University is pleased to invite applications for the newly-established Cardiff University Jameel Scholarships.

Founded in 2005, the Islam-UK Centre works towards the promotion of better understanding of Islam and the life of Muslims in Britain, through high quality teaching and research. Its activities address issues which are central to the situation of Muslims in contemporary Britain. The Centre provides unique training and research opportunities for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

With the help of a very generous gift to the University, The Jameel Scholarships have been established to enable the very best students to come to Cardiff – those who have the intellect and determination to apply their knowledge for the benefit of Muslim communities in the UK, and to promote better understanding of Islam in wider society.

Full scholarship details and specific eligibility conditions can be found online at: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/relig/research/researchcentres/csi/scholarships/index.html

Closing date for Scholarship applications: 24 July 2009.

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