Punjab Research Group

In the name of Punjabiyyat

Posted in Articles, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on February 15, 2015

In the name of Punjabiyyat by Mahmood Awan, TNS

In terms of Punjabi nationality, the literature produced by Punjabis is a multi-linguistic phenomenon; be it in Punjabi, English or any other language. Some of these writers may not identify themselves as Punjabis and this sensibility may be only reflected in their writings.

When Gujranwala born, British Pakistani novelist Nadeem Aslam quotes couplets of a rather unknown rural Punjabi Poet Abid Tamimi in his novel Maps for lost lovers (2004), he is subconsciously establishing his native connectivity. He furthers this theme in his latest novel The Blind Man’s Garden (2013) by creating a whole fictional town named Heer (inspired by Waris Shah’s legend) and proudly claims that  all his future novels will be set in this Punjabi town.

When Los Angeles born, Pakistani American Daniyal Mueenuddin’s book of short stories In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (2009) opens with a Punjabi proverb in Punjabi text, he is presumably asserting his Punjabi identity. More so, when one of his short story protagonists on watching a chestnut seller boy in the freezing cold of Paris pulls his American girlfriend closer and whispers: “He is one of mine, from Pakistan, from Punjab.”

Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004) was our first global offering. Recipient of the prestigious Lenin Peace Prize, he was co-founder of the Progressive Writers’ Movement in the undivided India. He was born in Peshawar to a Sikh mother from Sialkot and a Hindu father from Amritsar. He studied philosophy at Cambridge University where he had gone on the behest of Allama Iqbal and received his PhD from University College London in 1929. He was close friends with George Orwell, TS Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, Herbert Read and EM Forster. His best-known novel Untouchable (1935) was issued as a Penguin Modern Classic in 1986.

Anand saw himself as a Punjabi citizen of the world. Khushwant Singh once remarked on Anand’s English as ‘Punjabi English’. In his 1982 interview with Amarjit Chandan, he termed his sense of Punjabiyat as inheritance of Punjabi culture. In response to a question regarding why he opted to write in an acquired language and in which language he thinks, Anand said: “Punjabi is my mother tongue. I frequently use Punjabi vibrations. Vibrations of the characters of my landscape, my region could only express themselves in the versatile movements of the Punjabi speech. I could not perform an operation on my mother’s mouth to make her speak like an English woman, as do other writers. I think in Punjabi mostly and transliterate or transcreate in English. At that time [pre-partition] there were no publishers and the books written about India, certainly by me, were banned and there was no way by which even one could express oneself in Punjabi to the people who were around us in the Indian national movement. Even Puran Singh started writing in English first. He was the writer of the Punjab in English language before me if you like.”…

Any writer is free to write in any foreign language for global reach, acceptability and other related gains. However, it’s also true that in that global space they generally remain ‘categorised’ and ‘compartmentalised’ while their original place always remains vacant in the literary countryside of their mother tongues. It will also be pertinent to mention that no linguistic movement should encourage racists, bigots and chauvinists as there is nothing more sacred than humanity. We strongly believe that within one mother tongue are all mother tongues and each one of them is universal. Our main concern is not those other languages but the contagious ‘self-hate’ virus inherited by most of the ‘well educated’ Punjabis and its bankrupt elite that has consistently demeaned the linguistic uprising and their own cultural identity.

Read full article: http://tns.thenews.com.pk/in-the-name-of-punjabiyyat/#.VOBaHXYtKHl

Advertisements

Special Issue of South Asian Diaspora: Imagining Punjab and the Punjabi Diaspora

Posted in Academic Journals, Articles, Migration, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on July 30, 2014

South Asian Diaspora Volume 6, Issue 2, 2014

http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rsad20/6/2#.U9jNzKgpOHl

 

Introduction

Imagining Punjab and the Punjabi diaspora: after more than a century of Punjabi migration

Anjali Gera Roy

Articles:

  • ‘The heart, stomach and backbone of Pakistan’: Lahore in novels by Bapsi Sidhwa and Mohsin Hamid Claire Chambers
  • Culture shock on Southall Broadway: re-thinking ‘second-generation’ return through ‘geographies of Punjabiness’ Kaveri Qureshi
  • Punjabiyat and the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Virinder S. Kalra
  • Tracing Sufi influence in the works of contemporary Siraiki Poet, Riffat Abbas Nukhbah Taj Langah
  • Exiled in its own land: Diasporification of Punjabi in Punjab Abbas Zaidi
  • (Dis)honourable paradigms: a critical reading of Provoked, Shame and Daughters of Shame Shweta Kushal & Evangeline Manickam

Class, nation and religion: changing nature of Akali Dal politics in Punjab, India by Pritam Singh

Posted in Articles by Pippa on February 18, 2014

Pritam Singh∗ Faculty of Business, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford OX3 0SB, UK

Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 2014 Vol. 52, No. 1, 55–77

Abstract:

The Akali Dal is the best organised political party in Punjab and has ruled over Punjab for a longer period than any other political party since the creation of the Punjabi-speaking state in 1966. It articulates aspirations of Punjabi regional nationalism along with trying to protect the interests of the Sikhs as a religious minority in India and abroad. As a part of shaping Punjab’s economic future, it deals with the pressures of Indian and global capitalism. This paper is an attempt to track the multi-faceted pressures of class, religion and nationalism in the way Akali Dal negotiates its politics in Indian federalism.

To read the full article: Class, nation and religion- Changing nature of Akali Dal politics

MILANGE BABEY RATAN DE MELE TE (LET’S MEET AT BABA RATAN’S FAIR)

Posted in Events, Film by Pippa on October 26, 2012
Documentary screening: Sufism and the Dalits of East Punjab

Followed by discussion with the director Ajay Bhardwaj and Prof. Amin Mughal
Time: 7pm, Tuesday 13th November 2012
Venue: Khalili Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Hosted by: SOAS Pakistan Society
This film explores the idea of Punjabiyat, in ways seen and unseen, in the way it continues to inhabit the universe of the average Punjabi’s everyday life, language, culture, memories and consciousness. This is the universe that this film stumbles upon in the countryside of East Punjab, in India. Following the patters of lived life, it moves fluidly and eclectically across time, mapping organic cultural continuities at the local levels. It is a universe, which reaffirms the fact that cultures cannot be erased so very easily. It is where the love of Heer and Ranjah rather than the divisions of the priestly class are celebrated. This is a universe marked by a rich tradition of cultural co-existence and exchange, where the boundaries between the apparently monolithic religious identities of ‘Hindu’, ‘Muslim’ and ‘Sikh’ are blurred and subverted in the most imaginative ways.

“Bhardwaj’s film further attests to the great pull the soil exercises over the people who were once rooted in it but had been forced to leave, “ Ishitaq Ahmed, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University.

http://ajaybhardwaj.in/

Poster: SOAS poster 2
Tagged with: , , ,

Milange Babey Ratan De Mele Te – Lets Meet at Baba Ratan’s Fair

Posted in Events, Film by Pippa on October 26, 2012
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

Agenda

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.

The idea of Punjabiyat by Pritam Singh

Posted in Articles by Pippa on June 3, 2010

Despite fragmentation for centuries, the Punjabi identity today is engaged in a remarkably active attempt at consolidation.

For a community that has experienced such fragmentation through the centuries, the Punjabi identity today is engaged in a remarkably active attempt at consolidation.

The moment we use the word Punjabiyat, it suggests a reference simultaneously to something that is very tangible while still elusive. This dual character opens the term to many imaginations and possibilities. Is Punjabiyat a concrete socio-political reality, a project, a movement in process, something in the making, a mere idea floated by some ivory-tower intellectuals and literary figures, a wishful dream of some Indo-Pakistani pacifists, a seductive fantasy of some Punjabi nationalists, a secular utopia envisioned by leftist nationalists, a business plan of market-seeking capitalists, or a dangerous regionalism dreaded by the nation states of India and Pakistan?
Read full article: http://www.himalmag.com/read.php?id=4516

Tagged with: ,
%d bloggers like this: