Punjab Research Group

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


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)

New Paper on Social Democracy in India by Ronki Ram

Posted in Articles, Conferences, News/Information by gsjandu on November 17, 2014

Jagtar Singh Dhesi Annual Lecture 2014

As part of this annual lecture, a revised 2013 paper, CASTE, NEO-LIBERAL ECONOMIC REFORMS AND THE DECLINE OF SOCIAL DEMOCRACY IN INDIA has been sent in for circulation. The paper reports on the at times inchoate and at other times ancient relationship between wealth generation, distribution and the hierarchical societal dichotomy of India’s democracy. Ram reflects contemporaneously on the asymmetrical relationship between the copycat “buzzword” of “economic liberalisation” in the circles of academic social sciences and the more predictable failure of this corpus to ignite change in not just political sociology but also I would suggest local and national governance ideology. As Ram concludes, “It seems that market and caste have joined hands to pose a most serious challenge to the nascent institution of social democracy in India.” (pp. 25)


Below is an excerpt outlining the paper.

“This paper is divided into four parts. The first critically examines the institution of social democracy in India while distinguishing it from that of social democracy in Europe. In the second, complex but intricate relationships among caste, poverty and neo-liberal market economy are delineated at some length. This part is based on a premise that neo-liberal market economy in India does not only deepens poverty but also strengthen the asymmetrical structures of caste, which in turn entrench the already existing social exclusion in the society. Part third deals with the phenomenon of social democracy as articulated by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and the ways it facilitated downtrodden to improve their living conditions. How the institution of free market economy scuttles the essence of nascent institution of social democracy in India and the new challenges it throws on the socially excluded sections of the society are also discussed at length. The fourth part draws on heavily on the implications of the neo-liberal economic reforms for the emancipatory project of social democracy in India and the birth of new contradictions that it gave rise to the disadvantage of Dalits.” (pp.4)

The full text can be found here, pol1-13 Ronki Ram.


First publication source, Punjab Journal of Politics, Amritsar Vol. XXXVII, Nos. 1-2, 2013


G.S Jandu


Tagged with: , , , ,

cfp: Relocating the Cultural linkages in South Asia: A Historical Perspective, 17-19 October 2014, Punjabi University, Patiala

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on July 30, 2014

The Department of History, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab (India) will hold its 2nd South Asian History Conference on 17-19 October 2014 at the University campus. This three day conference aims to bring together historians, academicians, research scholars working on the countries of South Asia viz. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, Sri Lanka,Afghanistan and Myanmar to cover the gap in South Asian historical studies.
South Asia includes some of the most ancient countries that have made a unique contribution to world culture. These countries have strong regional affinities in as much as they share a common cultural heritage which is not totally indigenous but a product of continuous synthesis between elements, both external and internal. Peoples of South Asia belong to different races, practise different religions, speak different languages and yet share a common civilizational heritage which Arnold Toynbee calls as ‘ Indic’, No country of South Asia can comprehend its own culture adequately without taking into congnisance the cultural traditions of the region as a whole.

The aim of the conference is to historically examine the multi-centricity of the South Asian culture and demonstrate the commonness, inner dynamics and nature and extent of interaction amongst the countries of South Asia during different phases of history. It is hoped that the deliberations of scholars at the conference will rediscover the cultural linkages to foster co-operation, harmony, peace and mutuality in contemporary South Asia.
Suggested Themes: Themes might include but need not be limited to the following:
● Language and Literature ● Art and Architecture ● Philosophy, Religious beliefs and Practices ● Socio-Cultural institutions ● Socio- Religious reform movements ● Caste, Race, Gender and cultural traditions ● Science, Technology and culture ● Climate, Ecology, Environment and culture ● Cultural Adaptation and synthesis ● Search for unity in diversity

This being the centenary year of World War I , one section will be devoted to the significance of this event in world history with special reference to South Asia.

Call for Papers
The soft copy of the abstract with a maximum of 500 words, double spaced (in Times New Roman font size 12) written in English should be sent for acceptance at sahcpta@gmail.com on or before 10 August 2014. After scrutiny of the abstracts the authors will be notified regarding the acceptance of papers on 25 August 2014. The deadline for final paper submission is 25 September 2014. The authors should limit their papers within 15-20 pages

All participations are required to register. The scholars are required to register before or on 1 October 2014. The registration fees (which includes accommodation and food for three days) for Indian scholars is rupees 1000/-, for scholars of other countries is 50 USD. The registration fees for Indian research students is rupees 750/-, for research students of other countries is 30 USD.

Mode of Payment
The details regarding mode of payment will be conveyed shortly.

The organisers will provide accommodation to the paper presenters only.

The proceedings of the conference will be duly published in the form of a book from a leading publisher.

Other Information
Further details about the programme and sessions of the conference will be duly intimated.

Contact Information Send in your queries at hist.conf2013@gmail.com or contact us at: +91-175-3046192 +91-175-3046193
1. Dr. Jaspal Kaur Dhanju Professor and Head Department of History Mob: +91-9915583843
2. Dr. Kulbir Singh Dhillon Professor and Formerly Head, Dean Students Welfare Department of History Mob: +91-9417385002

Caste in Britain: New Reports from The Equality and Human Rights Commission

Posted in New Publications, News/Information by gsjandu on March 14, 2014

Please see a link below to new publications with regards to the April 2013 enactment of the Statutory Prohibition of Caste Discrimination into British Equality Law.


The report has kindly been sent to us by Meena Dhanda who has worked on the report and can be contacted on M.Dhanda@wlv.ac.uk.

For information on postings you can contact:


Tagged with: ,

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

CFP: 1st South Asian History Conference, Punjabi University, Patiala

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on September 18, 2013

1st South Asian History Conference


Mapping the Economic and Social Dynamics of Modern South Asia: The Colonial Context

The Department of History, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab (India) will hold its 1st South Asian History Conference on 25- 27 October 2013 at the University campus. This three day conference aims to bring together historians, academicians, research scholars working on the countries of South Asia viz. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, Sri Lanka,Afghanistan and Myanmar to cover the gap in South Asian historical studies.

Many socio-economic historical aspects of modern South Asia are still relatively under-researched. Therefore, the theme of the conference is to analyse changes in the economy and society of South Asia in the colonial context and to renew the debate whether colonialism underdeveloped South Asia or modernised its traditional society. The conference will not only open up new aspects of scholarly inquiry but will also help us to understand contemporary South Asia better.

Suggested Themes

Themes might include, but need not be limited to the following:

  • Agrarian class structure & Economy
  • Peasant Consciousness, Behavior and Movements
  • Labour Movements
  • Industry, Trade and Commerce
  • Caste, Class Community and Gender
  • Women’s role and place in society
  • Concept of Domesticity and Midwifery
  • Colonial Perception of Tribes
  • Crime and Criminality
  • Formation of Identities and Communalism as a Social Phenomena
  • Nature of Social Change- The Role of Government Legislations, Missionary Activities and Social Reform Movements
  • Cantonment Areas as a Social Space
  • Marginalization and Social Mobility

Full details: submission of paper punjabi university

Contact Information

Send in your queries at hist.conf2013@gmail.com or contact us at: +91-175-3046192 or +91-175-3046193

1. Dr. Kulbir Singh Dhillon, Professor and Head, Department of History and Dean Students Welfare


2. Dr. Jaspal Kaur Dhanju, Professor and Formerly Head, Department of History


3. Dr. Mohd. Idris, Asst. Professor, Department of History


How caste matters and doesn’t matter by Surinder S. Jodhka

Posted in Articles, News/Information by Pippa on February 10, 2012
How caste matters and doesn’t matter
Although caste is indeed one of the operative parameters of Punjab politics, there seems to be very little competition among the caste communities of Punjab.
Punjab appears to be an odd case in this national framework of caste politics. Although caste is indeed one of the operative parameters of Punjab politics, there seems to be very little competition among the caste communities of Punjab. The Jats, who constitute only around one-fourth of the state electorate, have remained virtually unchallenged. The last non-Jat who could become chief minister of the state was Giani Zail Singh, and that was way back in the 1970s. The two major political parties, the Congress and the Akalis, are both Jat-led and Jat-dominated. Even the Khalistan movement was largely a Jat-dominated phenomenon.
Read full article: http://www.livemint.com/2012/01/24233008/How-caste-matters-and-doesn8.html
Tagged with: , , ,

Punjabi Subaltern Summit – 2012

Posted in Chandigarh, Conferences, Events by Pippa on December 30, 2011

Sunday, January 15, 2012, 11:00 AM to 05:00 PM

ICSSR Seminar Hall, Panjab University, Chandigarh


The Punjabi Subaltern Summit is a one-of-its-kind conclave where politicians, thinkers, change agents, writers, artists, academicians and media professionals will try to find a common ground on the pressing problems that plague our state. An attempt to break free from the parochial structures that have suppressed the social narrative on lesser-known issues like caste, religion, representation and federalism. By harnessing the spirit and dialect of new media, it strives to infuse the intellectual mainstream with a sense of purpose and direction, bringing back the long-lost ebullience into its ethos. This non-partisan forum is a bold attempt reclaim the mantle of Punjabiyat.

One of its immediate aims is to influence the pre-poll debate in Punjab. We plan to organize this event every year in a bigger and better format, expecting that it will become a fixture or an annual pilgrimage for the regional intelligentsia.

For detailed information on the agenda and issues to be discussed, please visit: http://www.subaltern.in.

Waiting for Spring by Nirupama Dutt

Posted in Articles by Pippa on May 8, 2010

The emergence of a Dalit identity in East Punjab is a recent development, spurred in part by the failure of Sikhism to abandon caste discrimination as it initially averred to do.

For us trees do not bear fruits
For us flowers do not bloom
For us there is no Spring
For us there is no Revolution …
– Lal Singh Dil –

These are lines from the last poem of Lal Singh Dil, hailed as the foremost revolutionary poet of Punjab. He passed away in 2007. The despondent note of the poem is both surprising and telling, for a poet who had once declared that the song and dance in his heart would not die, no matter how dire the circumstance. It took Dil a lifetime to discover this sad yet provocative truth, against the backdrop of the complexities of caste in Punjab. Yet centuries before Dil’s birth, the same frustration with caste was intricately linked to the emergence of the Sikh religion.
Read full article: Waiting for Spring. Punjabi Dalit Poets. Nirupama Dutt. Apr 10

Tagged with: , ,

Dalit Chetna : Sarot te Saruup by Ronki Ram

Posted in New Publications by Pippa on May 8, 2010

Ronki Ram’s Dalit Chetna : Sarot te Saruup (Dalit Consciousness: Sources and Form) in Punjabi is out. This book is a detailed account of how Dalit consciousness emerged in Punjab, what turns it has taken over the last nine decades since the beginning of glorious Ad Dharm movement led by Babu Mangu Ram Mugowal and the rise of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar movement in Punjab spearheaded by Seth Kishan Dass of Bootan Mandi. The Book also provides an exhaustive account of some of the pioneer Dalit poets, prose writers and Dalit autobiographies as well as activists. Dalit Deras and the question of emerging Dalit identity figures prominantly in this field study based book in Punjabi.

The book is published by Lokgeet Parkashan, S.C.O. 26-27, Sector 34 A, Chandigarh-160022 (India) Ph. +911725077427, 5077428 e-mail and is very reasonably priced Rs. 200. Total Pages: 264.

Tagged with: , , ,

Seminar on Religion and Social Identity in Punjab

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on February 17, 2010

International Seminar on Religion and Social Identity In Punjab

Organised by Department of Sociology, Panjab University, Chandigarh in collaboration with the University of Manchester, UK

FEBRUARY 18-19, 2010

Venue: ICSSR, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India

See attached programme: Punjab University Programme

PRG Meeting – 31 October 2009

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on September 14, 2009

The next Punjab Research Group meeting will take place on 31st October 2009 at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Speakers include:

Kathryn Lum, (European University Institute, Florence) ‘A community at a crossroads: a case study of the Ravidassia Sangat in Barcelona’

Navtej Purewal, (University of Manchester) ‘Articulations of Caste through Religion: Codes of Hegemony and Invisibility in West Punjab’

In the past few months, the issue of caste in Punjab has been making the headlines for a number of reasons. Therefore, it seems that this would be a good opportunity to discuss the issue of caste in contemporary/historical Punjab(s). If you are currently working in this area and would like to share your research findings with the PRG then please contact me. Please could you also circulate this note to anyone else you think might be interested in presenting a paper.

If you would like to attend please email me: pvirdee@dmu.ac.uk

Tagged with: , ,
%d bloggers like this: