Posts Tagged ‘Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines’

The Punjabi Tribune graciously covered the Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi discussion on the book Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines.

Here is the clipping.

 

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Dear Friends,

poet, writer, and critic writer Manash Firaq writes on a Facebook post:

Amandeep Sandhu writes on his lack of belonging to the land of his foremothers in, ‘Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines’: “Unlike people born in Panjab who have a direct connection with, and hence a memory of the land, I have no liminal or tangible marker of belonging to Panjab. While my family did hail from Panjab, I was neither born here, nor do I live here. I have no address, bank statement, Aadhaar card, passport or land ownership to prove my connection with Panjab.”

This is a fascinating point of entry, for a writer who wants to write about his not-so-imaginary homeland. Sandhu does not prioritize his identity as a reason behind his embarking on this project. Identity is an umbilical cord that is not merely physical, or even psychic. Identity is sought, self-contested, found and lost, in time. It is never to be taken for granted. Identity is a condition of being in the world. Like Dr. Anirudh Kala said, from writing on his schizophrenic mother in ‘Sepia Leaves’, Sandhu turned his attention to his schizophrenic ‘motherland’. But the schizophrenia in the passage quoted above is not of intimate memory. It is the schizophrenia of systems – “bank statement, Aadhaar card, passport or land ownership” – that territorialise belonging.

Sandhu, in a radical move, disinvests himself from those schizophrenic markers of belonging that the state thrusts upon us. Those markers too are fault lines through which you claim your relationship to a land and the land claims you. To be outside that claim is risky, and a danger, if you are still claiming a relationship. How to claim a relationship from the “outside”? We have been living this predicament since the 20th century, of how an identity that is part insider and part outsider, undergoes a partial sense of apology. It is also inflicted upon them by so-called “culturally rooted” people, who force them, in the words of Zygmunt Bauman, “to prove the legality of their presence”. It’s a fiercely political question of our times.

Sandhu makes an even bolder confession that may disinherit him from any claim to Panjab: lack of memory. Memory, we thought, is fundamental to belonging. Sandhu claims –and proves through his book – that it isn’t. This is another radical move by a writer who is writing about the land he historically belongs to. If not memory, then what is it? By writing the book, Sandhu has given us the answer: labour. Sandhu reconnects with his roots, not through memory, but labour. And labour is as much about love, as memory. This idea is very liberating for any understanding between writing and belonging and the relationship between belonging and history. Refugees and migrants, who belong to places through labour, have equal claims to belong to a place as natives, who simply sentimentalize identity. It is not that labour does not have memory. But labour does – adds – something more to memory. Labour “makes” memory. This is how we must henceforth understand our relationship with land and place, and claim it. It is time we stopped prioritizing the colonially constructed, nativist theories of belonging.

Sandhu also, again quite politically, refuses to situate identity within a security network. Identity, we thought, was also about securing for oneself, every marker of citizenship. Sandhu tells us, identity that is free of security networks is also identity. Identity, in this liberating sense, is outside the very idea of security.
Identity is not LIC (Life Insurance Corporation). It is not insurance for security. Identity is free. It is as insecure as being in the world. And something else – it is being in the world as other. It is to “risk” one’s identity: the oldest, ethical argument to be in the world. Sandhu writes a book on Panjab as other.

[At the Conference Hall, Bhai Vir Singh Sadan, New Delhi, 16/11/2019.]

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For now I am basking in the kind reading by Manash. I will discuss more with him soon.

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18
Nov

The Wire review: Explores Punjab’s Convoluted Past

   Posted by: aman    in Punjab

Dear Friends,

I am pleased with the first detailed review of the book Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines. This is by Guneet Kaur Gulati, for The Wire, commissioned by Mahtab Alam.

I am especially pleased that early enough the reviewer uses a word my chief editor Karthika and I had decided to use for the book – panoramic.

Please read more here…

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Dear Friends,

it was my honour to have a conversation with Deputy Editor, The Wire, Ajoy Ashirwad on Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines. Thank you Mahtab Alam for facilitating the interview.

Here is a comment by someone from the audience: ‘Someone should translate it into Punjabi and distribute it in every village of Punjab.I also request the author to gift one copy to Akalis and one to Amrinder…’

Please see here …

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12
Nov

Indian Express Interview on Panjab

   Posted by: aman    in Punjab

Dear Friends,

I am so glad Parul from Indian Express did the first interview with me, the author of Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines.

‘I came to Punjab a quarter-century after militancy had ended, a half-century after the new state was formed, almost three quarters of a century after independence and the Partition, a century after the Gurdwara Reform Movement, birth of SGPC and Akali Dal, a century and a half after the Singh Sabha was created (and Arya Samaj and the Ahmediya movement), and a century and three quarters after the British annexed Punjab. My question was only one: has peace returned? I realised no. Peace has not returned. Peace has never returned. The current Punjab I witnessed is frothing over with disquiet.’

Please read more here ….

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8
Nov

The Statesman Review: Filling in the Void

   Posted by: aman    in Punjab

Dear Friends,

the first mainstream media review of Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines has come out today in The Statesman, Delhi edition.

It is a bit literal but positive. I have waited all day for a web link. Yet, first is first, and since it is out, here is the review.

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Dear Friends,

The Quint has decided to carry this extract from my book Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines, from Chapter 12 – ‘Patit – Apostate

Please read here …

Please buy, bless, and spread the word.

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Dear Friends,

my book Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines is now out in bookstores. Those of you who have pre-ordered copies will start getting them now. Thank you!

I feel humbled that two people who I have admired and respected over years had this to say about the book which is part-reportage, part-memoir and part-contextual history of Panjab.

From the back cover:

More than just a history of the Panjab, this accessible and layered account is also a journey of self-discovery, a return to the author’s roots which questions, simultaneously, the politics and geography of rootedness, a homecoming that questions the idea of home. It’s a book filled with love, despair, disappointment and hope.
~ Urvashi Butalia, Author and Publisher, Zubaan

Panjab post-militancy is in crisis. Amandeep Sandhu has spent time travelling through the state, observing and talking to people. He interweaves this reportage with the understanding he possesses both as an insider and outsider to Panjab. The result is a clear-headed insight into the reasons for its decline. There is nothing I have read that better explains the interconnected decay of the institutions of the state and the Sikh religion.
~ Hartosh Singh Bal, Political Editor, Caravan

Indian readers can pre-order copies here: Amazon.in 

Readers abroad can buy copies here: Amazon.com

Please Bless! Buy and discuss. The intent of the book is present Panjab as post conflict zone and open conversations so we can all begin to heal.

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27
Oct

Business Standard: Top Picks

   Posted by: aman    in Punjab

Dear Friends,

yesterday, October 26, 2019, Business Standard came up with its top picks books. Panjab: Journeys Through fault Lines was mentioned.

Please see mention here:

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27
Oct

HT Mention: The Most Interesting Books of the Week

   Posted by: aman    in Punjab

Dear friends,

yesterday, October 26, 2019 Hindustan Times came out with its most interesting books for the week and Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines was among them.

Please see mention here …

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