Punjab Research Group

Obituary: Roger Ballard passes away

Posted in News/Information by rsmaan on October 3, 2020
Roger Ballard

For those interested in South Asian, diaspora, human rights, anti-racism and Punjab studies, it is a sad news (learnt only a few hours ago) to share that Roger Ballard, an anthropologist, died two days ago. He had been suffering from Parkinson’s for the last few years. Roger gave a keynote address at the first international conference on Punjabi Identity I had convened on behalf of the Association of Punjab Studies (UK) in 1994 at Coventry University. The development of his address into a paper was published as the opening article in the book Punjabi Identity in a Global Context (OUP, 1999, Second Reprint 2015) I co-edited with Shinder Thandi. That paper ‘Panth, Kismet, Dharm te Qaum: Continuity and Change in Four Dimensions of Punjabi Religion’ remains a seminal paper in the field of religious/Punjab Studies. Roger also spoke at the launch of the book at the British parliament (House of Commons). He was an active participant in the development of the Punjab Research Group in its initial years in the 1980s and 1990s. His book Desh Pardesh: The South Asian Presence in Britain remains a seminal work in the field. He was a very friendly and caring person too. When I was editing the Punjabi Identity book, he wrote to me along with sending the final version of his article: don’t work too hard, do take some rest during the Christmas break. I pay tribute to his many dimensional contributions and will share, if I get, more information about funeral/memorial meeting. We would certainly think of honoring and remembering him at the Punjab Research Group.

Prof. Pritam Singh (Wolfson College, University of Oxford)
Director Punjab Research Group

Facebook Live Webinar: The caste nexus and women’s liberation (in Punjabi) – by Prof. Dr. Meena Dhanda (Wolverhampton University, UK)

Posted in News/Information by rsmaan on June 26, 2020

https://www.wlv.ac.uk/staff/news/2020/june-2020/facebook-live-webinar-the-caste-nexus-and-womens-liberation-in-punjabi.php

Facebook Live Webinar: The caste nexus and women’s liberation (in Punjabi)

Professor Meena Dhanda will engage in a live discussion with a women activists’ group Wajood (Being) on the link between caste and gender.
Saturday 27 June 2020 (1:30pm BST; 6pm IST)

Caste atrocities have intensified and domestic violence is on the increase during the global crisis caused by the pandemic. It was reported a couple of months ago that the Punjab government has found a 21% increase in calls by women to the domestic violence helpline. Is there any link between the caste nexus and the position of women in Punjabi society?

Dr Meena Dhanda (Professor of Philosophy and Cultural Politics) will explain the complex relation between caste and gender in a Facebook Live Webinar.

The discussion followed by an audience Q&A will be mainly conducted in Meena’s mother tongue Punjabi. The title of the programme in transliterated Punjabi is: Jaat Vyavastha Atay Aurat Mukti. The organisers are a group of energetic social activists. Their group uniquely named Wajood (Being/Existence) is convened by a post-graduate from Oxford University, Nikita Azaad.

Set up during the pandemic, this group has commenced a set of open dialogues on identity, sexuality, relationships and much else.

Tune in to: https://www.facebook.com/punjabandgender/?hc_location=ufi

For further information contact Professor Meena Dhanda by email:M.Dhanda@wlv.ac.uk.

Talk flyer

The Colonial and Post Colonial Economic Policies in the Making of Two Punjabs by Prof. Pritam Singh

Posted in News/Information by rsmaan on June 19, 2020

An appeal from award-winning author, Aanchal Malhotra, for Punjabis to get in touch if you’re interested in this project

Posted in Diaspora, News/Information by rsmaan on June 18, 2020

Anchal_EN

An appeal from award-winning author, Aanchal Malhotra, for Punjabis to get in touch if you’re interested in this project:

The Punjabis. I have recently been commissioned to work on a history of Punjabi people. The Punjabis are a complex community, no longer bound by geography, but by an unspoken ethos, and are now spread vastly across the subcontinent and in the diaspora of the world. They are a populace constantly evolving, expanding and enduring; a versatile, adaptable, varied community, whose ethos of Punjabiyat extends beyond a fixed geography.

The Punjabis is a study of the peoples that can trace their origins to the land of the five rivers. As an oral historian, I am interested in the personal and familial stories connected to Punjabi history, identity, ethnicity, race, geography, language, religion, community, diaspora, family life and relationships, culture, literature, folklore, mythology, and food.

Aanchal’s email address is aanchal@aanchalmalhotra.com

Here’s a page from Aanchal’s website, where you can see the kinds of things she writes about – https://www.aanchalmalhotra.com/writing/

Remnants of Partition is an oral history archive and the first study of material culture carried across the border during the Partition. It was shortlisted for the British Academy’s 2019 Nayef Al Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, and several other awards in India. Even though the book has been published for a few years now, I am still continuing the research to record stories of objects – however small or large – people carried with them across the border to both sides in 1947.

Anchal book _EN

cfp: ‘Punjab: Past, Present, Future’ Punjab Research Group Conference, October 26, 2019 (Wolfson College, Oxford)

Posted in Conferences, News/Information by rsmaan on August 14, 2019

ANNOUNCEMENT

‘Punjab: Past, Present, Future’
Punjab Research Group Conference
October 26 (Saturday), 2019

The Punjab Research Group has been hosting conferences at least twice a year since 1984 and was established as an inclusive and all-embracing forum to provide a platform for discussion and debate on issues pertaining to East and West Punjab as well as the Punjabi diaspora. During the past 35 years, the PRG has provided space for academics to interact with each other regardless of territorial or disciplinary boundaries. This is especially important given the often-strained relationship between India and Pakistan, which has prevented discussion and dialogue between scholars of East and West Punjab.

Our second conference for 2019 will be held as a one-day event on 26th October (Saturday) at Wolfson College, University of Oxford. We welcome submissions from scholars, academics, young researchers, journalists, artists, and activists for an inter-disciplinary discussion focusing on the theme of ‘Punjab: Past, Present and Future’.

Speakers are invited to give paper-presentations/performances that can cover a broad range of content, including, but not limited to: history, philosophy, politics, gender, religion, environmental studies, economics, diaspora issues, linguistics, literature, poetry, arts, and culture.

We particularly welcome proposals exploring the genesis of Punjab, intersections between the ‘3 Punjabs’, going beyond the 1947 borders: to deepen our perspective on the ‘connected histories’, and to envision interrelated futures, of the region.

Please submit an abstract (200 words) and a brief CV to Raj (RS Mann) at punjabresearchgroup@gmail.com by 30th August 2019. Submissions from grad/postgraduate students are encouraged. Best Presenter Award will be presented to a doctoral student whose presentation is judged to be the best from amongst all the full time doctoral student presentations. The Award includes cash and a certificate.

If you would like to register as a guest for this event, please book a ticket using our online form at (https://tinyurl.com/y3wejlgg). The registration fee is £30 per person which includes refreshments (tea/coffee/snacks) and a sandwich lunch. The registration fee is to be paid at the door only on the day of the event. Booking through eventbrite page is necessary as there are limited seats available.

We look forward to seeing you in Oxford soon!

PRG conference, Saturday, 29 October, Wolfson College, Oxford

Posted in News/Information, PRG Meetings by Pippa on October 26, 2016

Attached is the programme for the upcoming PRG conference on Saturday, 29 October, at Wolfson College, Oxford.

You are very welcome to forward this on to any friends who you think might also be interested in attending as a guest. If you would like to book a place for the day, please complete the guest registration form online as soon as possible at :

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/punjab-past-present-future-punjab-research-group-conference-2016-tickets-27455044778

Full Programme:programme-outline-prg-22-october-2016

Abstracts: prg-conference-abstracts_-22-october-2016

We would also encourage you to use the above link to spread the word about the conference on social media and elsewhere.

Looking forward to meeting you on the 29th!

Best wishes,
Radha
on behalf of the PRG

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International Conference on “1947 : RETHINKING” 13th – 14th March, 2015

Posted in Conferences, Partition by Pippa on February 15, 2015

1947: Rethinking

Organised by Department of History, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra

For participation and further details please contact:-

Director of the Conference:

Prof. Amarjit Singh, Chairman, Department of History, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra-136119 (Haryana) (M) – 098121-84925

Landline No (s) – 01744-238410, 238196, 238679, Extn. 2558 & 2559 (Office)

 

Organizing Secretaries:

Dr. Nandini Bashistha, Assistant Professor, Dept. of History, K.U.Kurukshetra (M) – 09729074479

Mr. Dharamveer Saini, Assistant Professor, Department of History, K.U.Kurukshetra (M) – 097288-61900

 

Email:

chairperson.history@kuk.ac.in

amarjitsingh_45@yahoo.co.in

Please attached for full details:Concept Note-1, Information regarding International Conference-1

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

London

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2nd International Conference of History, GCU, Lahore 17-18 November 2014

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on November 1, 2014

Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership at DMU

Posted in PhD Studentship by Pippa on September 19, 2014

A great opportunity for UK/EU students. Have a look at the website for further details but if you are interested in developing a PhD project related to Punjab, Partition, women’s history in Pakistan or more broadly in another area of South Asian history please contact Dr Pippa Virdee (pvirdee@dmu.ac.uk) to discuss this further.

Offering you cross-institutional supervision, training, mentoring and career support to ensure that you produce world-leading research and maximise your career potential.

The Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is a collaboration between De Montfort University and the universities of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Leicester, Birmingham and Birmingham City. This newly launched programme will provide you with combined research expertise for the personal and professional development, creating the next generation of arts and humanities doctoral researchers.

Through the partnership we aim to deliver excellence in all aspects of research supervision and training. We will assist you in acquiring the best supervision for your field of research, you will have access to a wide range of facilities and support networks across our campuses.

Visit DMU: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/research/midlands3cities-dtp/m3c.aspx

Visit http://www.midlands3cities.ac.uk to find out about this unique programme.

Drugs in Punjab

Posted in News/Information by Pippa on August 19, 2014

There has recently been a number of reports about the drugs problem affecting Punjab, India and I wanted to share some useful articles and documentaries. It has become a huge problem, politically, economically and of course socially. If you have any comments or links to other useful articles or references please share them via the comments option.

Glut – The Untold Story of Punjab – 2011 documentary film examining the drug problem in Punjab.

http://vimeo.com/19815617

 

Recent debate on NDTV: Watch: Punjab’s Drug Problem – No Political Will?

http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/left-right-centre/watch-punjab-s-drug-problem-no-political-will/330397

 

Four out of 10 men addicted to drugs in Punjab by Shishir Gupta

http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/chandigarh/four-out-of-10-men-addicted-to-drugs-in-punjab/article1-1251901.aspx

 

Drug epidemic grips India’s Punjab state by Simon Denyer

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/drug-epidemic-grips-indias-punjab-state/2012/12/31/092719a2-48f6-11e2-b6f0-e851e741d196_story.html

 

‘Drug hurricane’ lashing India’s Punjab by Toral Varla

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/04/hurricane-lashing-india-punjab-201442982348612953.html

 

Punjab teeters on edge of crisis as 70% fall into drug addiction by Rahul Bedi

http://www.sikhnet.com/news/punjab-teeters-edge-crisis-70-fall-drug-addiction

 

What happened to the land of plenty – Punjab? By Ushinor Majumdar

http://www.sanskritimagazine.com/india/happened-land-plenty-punjab/

 

Drug abuse threatens Punjab’s population

http://www.dw.de/drug-abuse-threatens-punjabs-population/a-16683761

 

Punjab in grip of a drug epidemic

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/india/punjab-in-grip-of-a-drug-epidemic-1.1082442

 

Sinking into deep despair of a drug epidemic by Ben Doherty

http://www.smh.com.au/world/sinking-into-deep-despair-of-a-drug-epidemic-20130310-2fu2o.html

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A Qissa for a Globalised by Kavita Bhanot

Posted in Articles, Film by Pippa on August 19, 2014

QissaA Qissa for a Globalised World August 17, 2014

[Following is a guest post by Kavita Bhanot. She is a London based writer. Her short stories and non-fiction have been published widely in anthologies, magazines and journals, two of her stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and she is the editor of the short story collection Too Asian, Not Asian Enough (Tindal Street Press, 2011.) ]

There has, of late, been a revival of Punjabi cinema directed towards and watched by Punjabi audiences. A recent addition to Punjabi language cinema, albeit less ‘commercial’ and more ‘artistic’ is the Punjabi language film Qissa: Tale of a Lonely Ghost which has been doing the rounds at international film festivals and was screened last week at the London Indian Film Festival.

The film is about the violent consequences of son obsession in a Sikh refugee family in post-partition East Punjab.Visually striking, Qissa stands out for its cinematography; the framing, the use of shadows and light, the unusual angles. It was often absorbing, most of all in the scenes between actresses Tillotama Shome and Rasika Dugal, playing the couple Kanwar Singh and Neeli who find themselves in a predicament after marriage when they both discover that Kawar is actually a woman. Their interactions quiver with layered tension and chemistry.

Ultimately, however, the film doesn’t quite come together, it seems to lack internal coherence. I found myself watching it with a sense of unease, it didn’t carry me through, and when, in the post film discussion, the director spoke about the qissa tradition, connecting his film to this ‘genre,’ my discomfort increased.

Encompassed in the title, in the main heading (Qissa) and the subheading (The Tale of the Lonely Ghost), are two very different conceptions of storytelling, the film seems to hover between both of these, but falls ultimately, in the framework of the latter.

The Qissa is a storytelling tradition that is woven into the lives, culture of Punjabis. Qissas have been retold, reinterpreted in each era, often through music – the Sufi versions of these stories that are most well-known. Rooted in time and place – it is through particularity, detail, a connection with everyday life that qissas speak to the people of the region. Waris Shah weaves into Heer, perhaps the most popular qissa, painstaking, almost sociological detail about the customs, practices, beliefs, social, economic and political structures of the time. Qissas often portray, through love stories, the defiance and rebellion of ordinary people, exploring the radical potential of love and sexuality, as lovers and their accomplices defy the conventions, religion, ‘morality’ of an oppressive society. Qissas, in this way, critique social, political institutions, challenging power at all levels. While the lovers in Sufi qissas simultaneously symbolise the relationship between devotee and pir or guru, it is through the details, the emotion and earthiness of lived life that they become metaphors, that they become universal. Sufis understood that this was the way to connect with people.

Read full article: http://www.chapatimystery.com/archives/potpurri/a_qissa_for_a_globalised_world.html

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