Author: Harwinder Singh Mander

The State imagination of Partition

On this seventieth anniversary of the Partition of Punjab, the States involved are falling over themselves to exploit the occasion to appease simple-minds, generate revenue, and most importantly to advance their respective narratives. In Pakistan and India, the birth of their nations seven decades ago is being celebrated as you can expect with great pomp and nationalist fervour, further cementing their flags, identities and homogeneity into the minds of their citizens (and the rest of the World). Neither say much about the violent labour that brought them into the World; both say nothing of their criminal conception arising from...

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From Partition to Southall – Narvir Singh (Narvision)

With 2017 commemorating seventy years since the Partition of Punjab and the creation of the Indian and Pakistani states, British institutions have been exploiting the anniversary to reap remuneration from the brown pound. It is in this context that the British Film Institute (BFI) has been celebrating the diversity of Indian filmmaking and films throughout the whole year in a series titled India on film. They have however also given over space for a number of free-to-visit exhibitions that would delight the casual South Asian cinematic film goer as well as provide a voice to those of us left...

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Jasmin Sehra x Chit Chaat Chai

Jasmin Kaur Sehra is an artist in the UK who has been painting a portfolio of recognisable work for a number of years. She is presently collaborating with the Wandsworth-based street food restaurant Chit Chaat Chai to exhibit her most recent work from a series titled ‘Bolly-Hood’. The opportunity to munch on chaat, and take in art, on a warm summers evening was too good to turn down, so here is my review of this exhibit. I’ve come across Jasmin Kaur Sehra in the past, most notably when she collaborated with the American graffiti artist Nisha Sembhi on a...

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It’s a male problem

Over the last year, I’ve come across a number of incidents where a Sikh female is bullied online because of the type of clothes she chooses to wear. This is not a problem unique to the Sikh community, far from it, but it is an important one to raise in the context of Sikh culture so that an ongoing conversation can be instigated. This problem is one that stems from deeper issues concerning the way in which females are perceived by males, how that subsequently impacts male-female interaction, and most importantly the role that females play in a 21st century society. Whether one supports or disagrees with the viewpoint I express here, what I want the Sikh community to understand is that we cannot brush these happenings aside, or continue to treat them as a topic of the week on Twitter; we, more than any other community, have at our fingertips the resources, acumen and motivation needed to find long-term solutions to this, and we owe it to ourselves to explore what they are. ‘Click’; selfie shot; image edited; filter added; status drafted; hashtag(s) inserted; … “no, there’s too much glare on my forehead, God my forehead is big 🙁” [starts again]. Vanity didn’t arrive with social media and the smart phone, but it certainly intensified it. It’s little wonder that bullying is on the rise when we put...

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Crowdfunding ‘Echoes of Mutiny’

Deep Hundal is the imaginative soul behind ‘Echoes of Mutiny’, a graphic novel project crowdsourcing funds through the Kickstarter website. The truly unique and exquisite imagery of the sample artwork captured my attention, but it’s the sub-heading – “Steam-Punk and British Colonialism meet an unflinching and epic Sikh resistance” – that hooked me to this project. So just what can financial contributors and future readers expect from the project? ‘Echoes of Mutiny’ is an interpretation of ‘Ghadar di Goonj’ – a work of poetic literature depicting Sikh resistance fighters during the rule of the British Empire. In this iterative...

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