Stories about sikh

The past, present and future of European Muslims – Part II

This article is the second in a two part series which explores the history, current status and future of Muslims in Europe. Read Part I here. ~ Beginnings of a European Islam It will be safe to assume that a European form of Islam is emerging now, and has its roots in European history. The idea is to develop new interpretations of Islamic theology which will be in line with the European intellectual tradition and culture. According to some European Muslim scholars this branch of Islam will be a new religio-cultural off shoot, and will help to thwart extremist ideologies from the Middle East. ...

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The Dogra Dynasty: The godfathers of the Kashmir dispute

Kashmiris ruling Kashmiris. Undoubtedly, a novel concept, not only to modern day Pakistanis and Indians, but to historians as well. It is ironic and equally unfortunate that for the past 400 years or so, Kashmiris have been subjected to the reign of non-indigenous ruler, be it the Mughals in the late 1500s or the Dogras pre-partition. Most rulers saw Kashmir as nothing more than a comfortable summer retreat and so, ignored the plight of the local populace which was, by most accounts, quite poor. However, the demeanour of the Dogra dynasty towards the Kashmiris was essentially that of an owner’s ...

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Why is a bomb on display at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib?

The opening of the Kartarpur corridor represented a truly unique moment for a region which has suffered great tragedies and unbridled hostilities at the hands of national and religious prejudices. The manner in which the opening ceremony was conducted and the warmth with which Sikh pilgrims from across the border were welcomed into Pakistan represented the very ideals we as a nation should aspire towards – religious, ethnic and international inclusivity. It is therefore unfortunate that this site of tremendous religious significance is being used to tout a message which simply does not belong there and sticks out like a sore ...

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For us Indians, the Kartarpur Corridor represents hope

The Kartarpur corridor shows that although the people of  the subcontinent may have been divided by man-made boundaries, they still share a great deal of history and culture. It also demonstrates that political hostility between the two neighbours should never become subservient to the goodwill shared by people on both sides of the border. In that sense, the corridor is a corridor of possibility and hope. This development is all the more remarkable given that it takes place at a time when the hostility between India and Pakistan is at an all-time high. Currently, even the concept of potential dialogue between the two ...

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Kashmir – a land marred by betrayals

The once heavenly abode of the Mughal kings, one of whom famously called it “paradise on Earth” – Kashmir today lies in tatters. It remains divided in bits and pieces. Its people seething in desolation and broken by the latest insult in a long list of insults. Dejected and disheartened by the apathy the world has shown while their political, cultural and religious identity has been assaulted and snatched. It has been 21 days since Article 370 was scrapped and an unprecedented communications blockade was put in place; practically insulating Kashmir from the rest of the world. Close to eight ...

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Partition 1947: Their worlds suddenly changed, never to be the same again

Partition. A simple word used to refer to the extremely traumatic events of August 1947. A word that seems devoid of any emotion whatsoever; concealing the atrocities committed and the thousands slaughtered in the name of religion. As boundaries were rashly drawn by the British and their colonial country was left ravaged by war, how aware were these higher orders that communities, families and friendships would be so ruthlessly ripped apart? Everyone from both sides of the border have their own tales of Partition. My own daadi and naani (paternal and maternal grandmother respectively) often narrate their accounts of pre-Partition India, Partition, and ...

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Rawalpindi: A chaotic labyrinth, caught between heritage and heresy

In the post-modern world, the topography of the city has undergone a drastic shift. Rapid urbanisation and growing job opportunities have resulted in many cities in the developing world being swamped by an increasing number of people coming in from the villages and suburbs. In order to accommodate this burgeoning populace, the intrinsic structure of the modern metropolis has had to evolve. Countries such as India and Pakistan have had to grapple with the dual ambitions of wanting to urbanise their cities while also wanting to hold onto their rich architectural heritage. The complex history of a multi-ethnic country ...

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Why Pakistan made a blunder by blindly surrendering to India’s Khalistan movement

Sikh civil society groups have condemned Pakistan’s decision to ban activities of Sikhs peacefully campaigning for ‘Referendum 2020’ in which Sikhs plan to defy New Delhi and exercise their democratic right to vote on the issue of self-determination. Next year, Sikhs intend to vote either “yes or no” on the question of whether Khalistan should be formed as an independent state that would separate from the Indian state of Punjab. Similar votes have happened throughout the world with a wide array of results. We condemn the Pakistan Govt & ISI for appeasing India it’s time they chose a side enough ...

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5 stories that prove the trauma of Partition did not end in 1947

As I think of the Partition that happened 71 years ago, it feels like a memory. Though I do not possess any personal narrative of it, yet it feels like I do have one – so personal that it invokes emotions. This owes to the Partition of 1947 being a national memory in both India and Pakistan to this day. A memory that, as Pakistani historian Ayesha Jalal notes, “continues to influence how the peoples and states of postcolonial South Asia envisage their past, present and future”. Despite this eminence, it feels like there is a dearth of narratives; stories that ...

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I was not just a Pakistani visiting India; I was travelling back in history

Several years ago, I chanced to visit India for a conference. Our immediate destination after crossing the Wagah-Attari border was the Jallianwala Bagh, followed by the Golden Temple – the two famous destinations that appear when you Google “sites to visit in Punjab”. For those living in Lahore today, touring these sites, which are located at a mere 50-kilometre distance, is next to impossible given the visa restrictions. Crossing the border I was excited of course, but at the same time, I was lost in my thoughts. In their teen years, my grandparents had made the decision of ...

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