Punjab Research Group

British Empire and WW1

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


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

Between Subaltern and Sahib: Equivocal Encounters across the British World, 5-6 July 2012 University of Leeds

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on March 1, 2012
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The Prisoner’s Song by Michael Singh

Posted in Film by Pippa on November 8, 2009

prisoners song“Best Film” at the Spinning Wheel Film Festival, Toronto 2009

The Prisoner’s Song, a 20-min documentary directed by Los Angeles filmmaker Michael Singh, was selected Best Film at seventh Spinning Wheel Film Festival that concluded in Toronto on September 27. The Film Festival & Art Expo screened 27 films out of a total of 145 that were considered for inclusion in this year’s festival over the course of three days. Notably, Michael Singh received his first break at the inaugural Spinning Wheel in Toronto in 2003.

The Prisoner’s Song

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Revealed: the woman who terrified the British Empire

Posted in Articles, Book reviews by Pippa on June 9, 2009

A new biography explains how Jind Kaur, last queen of the Punjab, died in Victorian London By Jerome Taylor

The Independent, Monday, 25 May 2009

 On 1 August 1863, shortly after 6:15 in the evening, a frail and partially-blind queen who had spent much of her life raging against the British Empire, died in her bed on the top floor of a Kensington townhouse.

It was a peculiar and remarkably quiet end for a woman once the scourge of the British Raj in India. Only 15 years earlier, Jind Kaur, the Maharani of the Punjab, had encouraged the Sikh Empire to wage two disastrous wars against the British which led to the annexation of the Punjab and Jind being torn from her son when he was just nine-years-old.

Adopted by a dour colonial surgeon, that son, Duleep Singh, swiftly shed his Punjabi customs, converted to Christianity and moved to England to live the life of a respectable country squire, shooting grouse on his estate and hosting decadent parties for Britain’s Victorian elite. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/revealed-the-woman-who-terrified-the-british-empire-1690412.html

Get the book: Sovereign, Squire and Rebel: Maharajah Duleep Singh and the Heirs of a Lost Kingdom by Peter Bance (2009) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sovereign-Squire-Rebel-Maharajah-Kingdom/dp/0956127002/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244583908&sr=8-1

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