Posts Tagged ‘Daljit Ami’

Friends, here is the Hindustan Times report on the panel discussion at Chandigarh Literature Festival on ‘Censorship and Freedom of Expression in Punjabi Literature.’ Thank you Raavi Sandhu for the report.

Please read here …

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Sacred/Scared: A Panel Discussion

   Posted by: aman    in Punjab


Friends, the Chandigarh Literature Festival hosted a panel discussion on ‘Censorship: Freedom of Expression in Punjabi Literature.’  I hosted the discussion and Prof Surjit Singh, Punjabi Department, Punjabi University and Daljit Ami, documentary film maker, cultural critic, translator, from BBC Punjabi and Jawaharlal Nehru University participated.

My view was that we can not look at censorship in literature in isolation. The fact is that for about a 150 years now the Punjab and especially Sikh society has become censorious. Censorship took an extreme turn in the 1980s during the Khalistan Movement. We defined censorship of four kinds: Sacred (matters of religion), State, Social and Self.

Dear friend Jasdeep Singh was so kind to record it on Facebook Live and relay it from the venue English Department Auditorium, Punjab University, Chandigarh.

Please find the recording here…


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You are young, you can walk!’ Satnam said as I entered the gate of his home in Ranjit Nagar, Patiala. ‘I walk, all the time.’ His eyes smiled.

I met Satnam more than a decade back through Ranjana Padhi who guided me to understand the non-state space of protests and activism. After that I have met Satnam often, talked late into the night with him, stayed with him, enjoyed his hospitality. His house was indeed open.

Three years back he took me to a Bhartiya Kisan Union rally where I heard these words from the stage and crumbled: ‘When India was hungry we gave it food, now we die of thirst and the state does not care for us.’ That line set me to retrace my journey to Punjab, a state I left more that two decades back.

Satnam, author of Jangalnama, walked away last night. As I travel Punjab, I have been telling myself, ‘He is here, in Patiala. I will meet him next time.’ Now it is just too late.

Red Salute Comrade.

Please read Daljit Ami’s tribute, obituary, and response here, in translation by me.


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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.

Please read …

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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.

Please Read …

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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.

Please read …

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Malerkotla – the threshing floor by Daljit Ami

   Posted by: aman    in Translation

Friends, here is my translation of Daljit Ami’s latest column on the situation of temporary cooks in Punjab who support the government’s mid-day meal program in government schools.

Please read …

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Open Letter to Prakash Singh Badal – Daljit Ami

   Posted by: aman    in Translation

Friends, if you want to understand Punjab, read this letter. Observe how the powers that be use multiple methods to silence people: they appropriate the meaning of language, turn public infrastructure towards their own private gains, favor the coterie, create their fiefdom, use coercion and compensation to divide people such that voices can’t rise in opposition … Yet, the people of Punjab will speak, they will ask questions.

An open letter to Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh by Daljit Ami. Translated by me.

‘Does your qualification, of being India’s most experienced chief minister, now stand dwarfed in front of your son’s business acumen?’

It is a bit long, bear with us. India Punjab is now a small state, its problems have very long histories.

Please read here ...

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Preeti Singh read and reviewed Roll of Honour. Then she interviewed Daljit Ami, the translator, and me for her article on the book and the process of translation. I wish more such pieces are written on the efforts of translations between languages worldwide, all books.

Read on

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For a long time now Prof. Rajesh Sharma of Punjabi University has remained supportive of my efforts to write about Punjab. When Roll of Honour was translated into Punjabi Gwah de Fana hon to Pehlan he invited the translator Daljit Ami and me to a joint reading at the university. Since the VC Jaspal Singh had already heard me speak at the university in February this year, he kindly consented to grace the occasion. The Guru Granth Sahib studies department lend us their beautiful horseshoe shaped well lit and airy hall.

The reading was a jugalbandi between Daljit and me. Each of us read out same sections of the book to give students a flavour of how the text feels in the two languages. We also commented on our work and on how we worked together. Prof Jaspal Singh was moved enough to present his experience of the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi of which he had been a victim.

Here is Rajesh Sharma’s account of the presentation in which he appreciates the novelty of our approach and raises further questions on the phenomenon of translations. I am humbled. Please read


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