I missed the fact that this piece was actually published. I notice how it is a fluid piece because the realities of protest were unraveling very quickly in those days. Yet, I notice, this is the only piece which will have the names of the two who died or suffered grievously the violent aspects of the protests against the sacrilege of the Sikh holy book.
Friends, In Daljit Ami’s and my opinion, the response of the Punjab Government towards the organizers of the November 10 Sarbat Khalsa is wrong and should be condemned.
‘If raising a voice against nepotism, corruption and political interference in religious matters is treason then it is a proud treason. Every conscientious, curious person who is a believer in justice must raise his/her voice against such repression. Count us (the writer and translator) among them.’
Friends, if you heard about the Sarbat Khalsa near Amritsar November 10 you may want to read my report on the proeedings and critical remarks. If you have not heard of it because regular media managed to blank it out, you must now get acquainted with how Punjab is inching towards risky times. It needs your attention. Also read for the resolutions passed at the plenary meet. In spite of one and a half days now, I have not found them anywhere on the web in English.
‘I do not know what to derive from the resolutions as they put me squarely back into the dilemma: am I first a Sikh, and then an Indian, or vice versa, or only one of the two?’
Friends, the Sarbat Khalsa has been convened near Amritsar on November 10. It is being variously sanctioned by Sikh organisations and opposed by others, including political forces which have a say in matters of the community including the SGPC, Akal Takht, and so on.
In this scenario Daljit Ami writes about a core issue that impacts the community’s response. Translated by me.
Here is Daljit Ami’s recent column on the Sikh protest in Punjab and how it is shaped, where it is headed. Translated by me.
We need more and more voices to articulate the two independent protests in Punjab: farmer-worker Unions and the intra-community Sikh struggle against the hegemony of the SGPC. Both are against the same Akali government.
It means a lot in this country that the non-violent character of a protest stays intact as the Punjab farmer-worker ‘rail roko’ enters Day 7 when talks with the government failed last evening. Overall the protest is more than a month long. This is a ground up movement and all political parties stand discredited. How far will the government push the protestors?
My ground report from Day 4 detailing the issues.
Here is the translation of Daljit Ami’s column on the Dera Sachha Sauda Head being given general pardon by the high priests of the Sikh faith. It talks about the current reality of Punjab and traces how vote-bank politics has dictated the decision.
Friends, a very positive review of the Punjabi translation of Roll of Honour.
It talks about how the book captures the thoughts and feelings of a whole generation that witnessed the turbulent 1980s in Punjab and the generation stepping out of adolescence into youth in that period.
‘Daljit Ami has gifted a unique book to Punjabi literature.’ Thank you Binder Pal Fateh.
I spent last winter, spring and summer at Akademie Schloss Solitude. Marte Kräher Fellow Art Coordinator talks to me about how I used my time at the Residency. It was a period of grand exposure to the world and huge learning for me.
‘The English word – witness – is too flat, too tied in to eye-witness. The word which defines my work and approach to writing is the German word, which I learnt after coming here, Zeitzeuge, witness of time. The starting point for my stories are my own experiences.’
The beauty of my time at Akademie Schloss Solitude was in meeting Fellows from different parts of the world and engaging with their art and their personal and political biographies. I have always been curious about Cuba and it was truly educative to meet the painter Yorjander Capetillo Hernández.
Here is Yorjander’s profile, in my words, please read …