The Partition of India and the Sikhs: New Perspectives

Sikh Formations Webinar – Fall 2022

Sept. 10th, 2022

August 15, 2022, marks the 75th anniversary of the partition of India. A three-quarter of a
century later, the causes and consequences of the division of India are still very poorly understood. Subaltern studies, postcolonial theory and feminist studies have provided new ways to locate the human experience of the partition, yet we are no closer to a more meaningful appreciation of what led up to 1947 and its aftermath. This workshop will re-evaluate the partition of India, in particular, the Punjab, by examining the experience of the Sikh community. The demand for Pakistan and the dilemmas it posed for the Sikh community offers a unique insight into the nation- and state-building efforts of the Congress and the Muslim League in Punjab before 1947, the marginalisation of religious, regional and caste minorities and the retrospectively constructed official nationalism of India and Pakistan. The workshop will also reflect on how the Sikh case has pioneered the use of new methodologies in the study of partition and gender-based violence, post-1947 refugee and diaspora studies.


Dr. Gurharpal Singh  (Emeritus – University of London, SOAS)


Introductions: 10:00 AM to 10:10 AM EST

Session 1

Time: 10:10 AM to 11:10 AM EST

Speaker 1

Dr. Amar Sohal speaks on the topic “Parity and Indian Political Thought”

Speaker 2

Dr. Illyas Chattha speaks on the topic “Property and Violence in Partition of 1947”

Session 2

Time: 11:10 AM to 12:10 PM EST

Speaker 1

Dr. Ian Talbot speaks on the topic “Crossing the Rubicon: The March 1947 Rawalpindi Massacres”

Speaker 2

Dr. Gurharpal Singh speaks on the topic “Partition violence, the Sikhs and Mountbatten: A Reassessment”

Session 3 – Pre-Recorded Panel

Time: 12:10 PM to 1:10 PM EST

Speaker 1

Dr. Yaqoob Khan Bangash speaks on the topic “TBD”

Speaker 2

Kavita Puri speaks on the topic “TBD”

Round Table Wrap-up

Time: 1:10 PM to 2: PM EST

Speakers: All previous discussants

Catch our livestream on YouTube!