Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’


Punjab Today: DGP Gupta’s Statement Reeks of Bias

   Posted by: aman    in Punjab

Dear Friends,

Thanks to Punjab Today here is a fuller piece on Panjab Police chief DGP Gupta’s statement published yesterday.

‘Gupta’s bias remains and shows how the Sikh aspirations remain an expendable quantity in the national discourse and are abused in the fight for the DGP’s chair in Panjab.’

Read more here …

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The national discourse does not get a simple fact: when two Punjabis meet, they hug as a way of greeting each other. It does not get it that former cricket stalwarts Imran Khan and Navjot Sidhu seek to re-write history.

Please read more here …

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For 71 years now, in spite of how New Delhi and Islamabad define the relationship between India and Pakistan, the Sikhs have been making the prayer to unite with their Gurdwaras. The desire to go to Kartarpur Sahib has been a sigh of the people of the Indus Valley Civilization, a plea for peace in a sub-continent divided by the one of the most militarized borders, a soulful cry not only of the Sikhs but also of around 12 crore people of different sects, affiliations, who believe in the name of Nanak.

Please read more …

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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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Speaking at the Taipei Biennale 2016 Symposium

   Posted by: aman    in Punjab

Friends, on November 26, at 10 AM, I will speak at the Taipei Biennale on the topic: ‘The Writer as a Memory Maker’.

I will talk about the bloody birth of our nation in the wake of the greatest migration in human history which left 1 million dead and 14 million displaced. Yet, how as a nation we seem to be condemned to never learn from history. How our gestures of public history – museums – are shaped. How our discourses are built on excluding narratives of caste, gender, tribals, and minorities. How chasing the dystopia of material development, through corporate capitalism, we are ignoring the core strengths of our diverse nation. What then is our future? All these with special focus on Punjab. I will also discuss the draft novel I wrote in Germany – The Memory Maker – which is currently, justly, gestating.

I will share the video when available. Please read …

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Schloss-Ghost: Homing Pigeons

   Posted by: aman    in Other

Friends, it is a pleasure that Akademie Schloss Solitude invited me to write for another edition. This time a digital Atlas. The questions were:

Q: Would you say that your (artistic) practice is political?

A: Yes, it is. For me, the unspoken personal is political. I write to give voice to subjects our society likes to brush under the carpet – give voice to the marginalized. My intention is to find ways to restore human dignity through language.

Q: If so, how would you describe its political dimension?

A: I believe writing is a space where it is possible to honestly dissect the self and the violence of the society around us. My books are coming-of-age testimonial fiction.

Then they carried an excerpt from my current writing. Please read here …

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Partition and Memory: A Memorial of Whispers

   Posted by: aman    in Other, Punjab

Friends, here is my piece on the partition of India and Pakistan in which I look at what happened to the Sikh psyche since then and suggest a radical retelling of our stories because though the trauma still haunts us …
‘… All we have for one generation are wisps of memory and for the next, family stories buried in silences. It is the third generation now which is trying to engage with Partition. Our generation has heard these stories in whispers and created many online projects where we are turning family histories into oral histories. Yet, pick up any newspaper, recollect the history of riots and genocides in independent India, and we will realise that we are still caught up in the same mess of communalism that created Partition.’
The piece appears in the recent issue of Muse India excellently curated by Charanjeet Kaur. Thank you! Thank you Asiimwe Deborah GKashugi, Ajay Bhardwaj, Prof Alok Bhalla for allowing me to use your quotes. Please read …

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My Review of Kamila Shamsie’s A God In Every Stone

   Posted by: aman    in Other

The mark of a good artist is the value they show us in their work, their own work. This is why novels must be written and films can follow. Kamila Shamsie excels with ‘A God In Every Stone’. The novel assumes significance given thetroubled times in modern Pakistan which grapples with identity issues. Kamila reclaims a history of the land in the context of Gandhara art, the connections with Persia and Greece, and colonialism. To me this novel is in the league of Nadeem Aslam and Michael Ondaatje’s works. Just hope when a movie is made no character is reduced to a smaller role like Kip, the Sikh soldier, was in The English Patient.

‘Kamila’s research is impeccable, her knowledge of history and geography is excellent, for almost effortlessly she sweeps the reader into an ancient time, laying out ideas and concepts and moral questions with great finesse.’

Please read

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My Review of Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel in TBR

   Posted by: aman    in Other

Novel: The Shadow of the Crescent Moon

‘In conflicted lands, everything in a border town is at risk. Everything takes a beating: people, families, friendships, histories, geographies, and most of all identities and trust. Such towns are poisoned webs and one never knows where one will lose one’s mind, respect, or life or all. Fatima brings her angst of being stateless to draw out a richly human story of those who we normally call nonstate actors from shadow lands that sit on national consciences.’

Please read.

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