Friends, here is a peek into history, into the life of perhaps pre and post partition and Independence Panjab’s tallest leader’s life – Master Tara Singh. The following review is published in The Book Review, Volume XLII, Number 3, March 2018.

Book: Master Tara Singh in Indian History : Colonialism, Nationalism and the Politics of Sikh Identity

By J S Grewal
Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2017, pp.776, Rs 2595.00

Please read here …

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THIS IS NOT A REVIEW.

Among the hullabaloo when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited India last month, one story missed attention. Finally when Panjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh met Canadian PM Trudeau and Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan they also discussed World War I history. Sajjan pointed out to the military historian CM that the Canadian regiment in which he served, the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, had once fought alongside Singh’s former British Indian Army regiment against the Germans during the First World War trench-type battlefield of Ypres, Belgium.

The movie Sajjan Singh Rangroot is based on this war. Please read more here …

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13
Mar

DailyO: On the Mumbai Farmer and Tribal Strike

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Yesterday, about 50,000 farmers and tribals marched into Mumbai seeking farm debt waiver. I reflected on it on Facebook and DailyO and Punjab Today chose to pick the piece as independent articles.

Please read DailyO piece here …

Please read Punjab Today piece here …

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13
Mar

The Hindu BusinessLine: Hide and Sikh Politics

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

The week the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visited I watched the blown up controversy between two friendly nations with increasing dismay. The word that caused the controversy was Khalistan. Honestly, I felt cheated of my own decision in the mid 1990s to not opt for a PhD abroad and choosing to stay in India and deal with issues here. I felt now, a quarter century later, the very people I believed in had betrayed me by going silent.

This is a piece written with a weary heart. I am very thankful to Aditi Sengupta for carrying it without cuts, it gives me hope. After all one friend be one’s reason to stay, find home.

Please read here …

Later Punjab Today also carried it with original headline. Please read here … 

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The article in Punjab Today condemning Shekhar Gupta’s lies has evinced greater interest in the Diaspora. Recently Punjabi Radio USA interviewed me and we discussed how media mis-represents Panjab. In fact, even more than that how Panjab has been steadily mis-represented. Thank you Harvinder, Gurjaspal, and Arvinder. Chardi Kala.

Please listen here … 

 

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Canadian Prime Minister had barely finished a successful meeting with Panjab Chief Minister when another controversy erupted: a past offender Jaspal Atwal showed up at Trudeau’s dinner previous, his pictures with Sophie Trudeau and Amarjit Sohi splashed in newspapers. He had a dinner invite to the Canadian High Commission. Canada rescinded the invite.

This is why it is so hard to arrive any simplistic, black and white understanding of Panjab, Sikhs, Khalistan. As I said in the earlier interview – Panjab remains a landmine. By themselves the pictures are not conclusive, but the questions are:

a) How did Atwal land a dinner invite with Trudeau?

b) How did the Indian government allow Atwal entry?

Could this controversy have been avoided? YES. YES. YES. Especially at such a sensitive time, by all parties: Atwal himself by not coming, not going around getting photographed, MP Sarai by not recommending Atwal, Canadian High Commission by doing due diligence, Canadian PMO by not inviting Atwal. Now, of course, they have rescinded the invitation. Again, too little, too late. I do believe that after conviction, imprisonment, and release people should be allowed to merge with society with dignity. After all, we must not be prisoners of our past. But that is the razor’s edge of liberal politics: has Atwal adequately distanced himself from Khalistan? Has Atwal committed himself to peace? I do not know.

However, through all this I noticed one man, former Liberal and Premier of British Columbia Ujjal Dosanjh, play a role on social media: he was blaming Khalistan, Trudeau and over-liberal politics. I have a few questions for him.

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Punjab Today impact: the recent Punjab Today article calling out the Indian media’s half-baked truths which were set to jeopardise the meetings between Punjab CM and Canadian Prime Minister elicited interest of the Ferndale, Washington based KRPI Radio 1550 AM.

Harjit Singh Gill talks to Amandeep Sandhu. It is 32.57 minutes. It is in Punjabi. Please listen here …

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Thank you Punjab To for picking my morning post on how sadly the Shekhar Gupta run The Print and even other Indian media channels seek to discredit duly elected members of the Canadian Parliament upon their visit to India.

Sadly, much of media reports complex situations – especially when it comes to Panjab, Sikhs, Khalistan – in a black and white manner. With an overdrive of Indian nationalism. It hasn’t helped anyone and even after a quarter century of guns going silent Panjab remains trapped in this question of Khalistan. My fear is an old one – the half-baked truths lead to rhetoric, jingoism, suspicion, antagonism which keep Panjab entangled and hamper our search for ways to heal.

Please read here …

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25
Jan

MediaVigil – Pathos of Padmaavat!

   Posted by: aman   in Other, Translation

Last summer I was in Munich and went to see the The Pinakothek der Moderne, the modern art museum. It was here I found a whole room dedicated to Nazi Art. The accompanying write up talked about how the Nazi’s had tried to build their own culture of art at variance with the trends in the world at that time. They banned Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, and encouraged their own set of artists.

It reminded me of how the ISIS destroyed the ancient archaeological sites at Palmyra, Aleppo in Syria. How it destroyed Mosul, Nimrud, Nineveh in Iraq. How the Taliban destroyed the Bahamian Buddhas. How the rebels torched the library at Timbuktu. It reminded me of how the right wing everywhere destroys legacies but does not build new ones. It is the same with Nazi artists, they perished from memory.

Yesterday, on the eve of the Hindi movie Padmaavat release, I made a post on FaceBook. Please see …

Dear friend, excellent writer, sensitive Abhishek Srivastava translated it into Hindi. Please see …

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1
Jan

Punjab Today: What is the Problem with AAP?

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Friends, I wrote this post a few days back and dear Kanwar Manjit who runs Punjab Today picked it up. Perhaps I am very late to say this about AAP but I came to the understanding only recently. You all know I am slow.

Please read here …

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