Author: Harwinder Singh Mander

Why we should not polarise Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale

I wrote a lengthy article last summer for the Sikh Education Council publication I edit, Sikh Sunehan, expanding on an academic paper I first presented at the London Sikholars conference a few years ago titled, ‘The Assassination of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’. My work drew some raised eyebrows at the time and in the few lectures on the topic I have given since, for it is contentious to apply a charge of assassination rather than the dignity (or ignominy) of martyrdom. In my defence, the Sant’s martyrdom is no less valid when seen as one aspect of his assassination...

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Something is missing from Gurdas Maan’s ‘Punjab’

Punjabi social media went in to overdrive yesterday following the release of a new music video by legendary Punjabi singer and lyricist Gurdas Maan. ‘Punjab’ as the track is titled is the first release from Maan’s upcoming album, also titled ‘Punjab’, and surprised many with its stark depiction of a present-day dystopian Punjab and bluntly implied political commentary. There have been a few voices of dissent, but on the whole it has received rave reviews. So what’s my problem? The song and extended music video to ‘Punjab’ (embedded further below) follows Gurdas Maan in the guise of a time-lord...

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We are not Indian – we are Punjabi

Sixty-seven years ago this week, the Indian State formally enacted the Constitution on the basis of which the country came into being and continues to exist today. After almost three years of deliberations and redrafts, the so-called biggest democracy in the World built upon the ‘freedom’ won from the British in 1947, and on 26 January 1950, Indians celebrated Republic Day for the first time as the Constitution came into force. But not everybody agreed that the Constitution reflected the desires of its citizens; two notable Sardars representing Punjab, and speaking on behalf of the Sikh community dissented, and...

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The Indira salvo

The assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 31 October 1984 by Bhai Beant Singh and Bhai Satwant Singh was overshadowed by the rushed instigation of Operation Shaanti that followed – the planned Genocide of Sikhs by the State. Every November in the 32 years that have followed, Sikhs across the globe have understandably remembered those who were systematically targeted and massacred in the days that followed, meaning that the assassination and its reasoning has been diminished. Is it time for us to give more prominence to the salvo that ended Indira? Although less controversial in Sikh circles...

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‘Tyari’ – Singh Mahoon

‘Tyari’ is the debut album from UK artist Singh Mahoon and follows on from an EP he released earlier this year titled ‘Miri Piri‘. Hailing from west London, Singh Mahoon is a twenty-something Sikh who has built up a steadily growing following through social media and live performances where he is at ease rapping, singing or playing instruments. ‘Tyari’ marks his move into the studio to create a significant body of work that makes up this debut album; does it pass muster? I need to start this review with a disclaimer: some of our readers may be familiar with...

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