Faith, Gender, and Activism in the Punjab Conflict

The Wheat Fields Still Whisper

Authors: Kaur, Mallika

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  • Brings together personal narrative, oral history, and scholarly rigor to offer a new perspective on an understudied conflict
  • Draws on a wide range of primary sources, including videos, legal forensics, and other materials from at-risk, near-extinct archives
  • Appeals to scholars, students, and activists interested in South Asian studies, oral history, memory studies, gender and conflict, transitional justice, Sikh culture and history, and the history of postcolonial India
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-24674-7
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About this book

Punjab was the arena of one of the first major armed conflicts of post-colonial India. During its deadliest decade, as many as 250,000 people were killed. This book makes an urgent intervention in the history of the conflict, which to date has been characterized by a fixation on sensational violence—or ignored altogether. Mallika Kaur unearths the stories of three people who found themselves at the center of Punjab’s human rights movement: Baljit Kaur, who armed herself with a video camera to record essential evidence of the conflict; Justice Ajit Singh Bains, who became a beloved “people’s judge”; and Inderjit Singh Jaijee, who returned to Punjab to document abuses even as other elites were fleeing. Together, they are credited with saving countless lives. Braiding oral histories, personal snapshots, and primary documents recovered from at-risk archives, Kaur shows that when entire conflicts are marginalized, we miss essential stories: stories of faith, feminist action, and the power of citizen-activists.

About the authors

Mallika Kaur is a lawyer and writer who focuses on human rights, with a specialization in gender and minority issues. She received her Master in Public Policy from Harvard University, USA, and her Juris Doctorate from the UC Berkeley School of Law, USA, where she currently teaches.

Reviews

“I read Mallika Kaur's beautifully written book at a gallop. Police raids, villagers' resistance, women's defiance, torturers, survivors, electoral violence, strategic silences. It's all here. But what is remarkable is how Mallika Kaur allows us to listen in on these lively, risky conversations as Sikh women and men unravel the Indian official story and together weave a more reliable, complex political narrative.” (Cynthia Enloe, Clark University, New York, USA)

“Deftly braiding oral history with recorded history, Mallika Kaur brings to the reader memories and tales of the long Punjab struggle with a painful, bracing immediacy. We listen as three ordinary – and not so ordinary – people describe how they chose engagement, not indifference; dignity and humanity over collusion with state violence and corruption. A vivid reminder that beyond the statistics in human rights reports and the details of unending legal cases, lie courage, humor, caring, and simple commitment to truth.” (Angela P. Harris, UC Davis School of Law, California, USA)

“There are many people who talk, but not many who listen. And fewer still who listen with patience, respect, and faith that each person is the best authority on their own experiences. So it's no wonder that many people who never told their stories or shared their records, opened their hearts and souls to Mallika.” (Paramjit Kaur Khalra, human rights advocate, Amritsar, Punjab)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Table of contents (10 chapters)
  • Proem

    Pages 1-19

    Kaur, Mallika

  • Earth, Water, Pyre

    Pages 21-56

    Kaur, Mallika

  • Monu’s Mummy

    Pages 57-92

    Kaur, Mallika

  • Jamuns

    Pages 93-122

    Kaur, Mallika

  • Next, Kill All the Lawyers

    Pages 123-150

    Kaur, Mallika

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-24674-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase and usable on all devices
  • Bulk discounts available
Softcover $34.99
price for USA

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Faith, Gender, and Activism in the Punjab Conflict
Book Subtitle
The Wheat Fields Still Whisper
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-24674-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-24674-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-24673-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXI, 304
Number of Illustrations
7 b/w illustrations, 16 illustrations in colour
Topics