National seminar on 'Representation of Woman and Dalit: Perspective of
Sikhism' organized in PU
Punjab Newsline Network
Thursday, 19 January 2012
CHANDIGARH: One-day National Seminar on 'Representation of Woman and
Dalit: Perspective of Sikhism' opened with an overwhelming response at
P.U. Campus here on Thursday. The seminar was organized by the
Department of Guru Nanak Sikh Studies, Panjab University in
collaboration with the Punjabi Academy Delhi.
The Seminar began with spiritual invocation of Deh Shiva Var Mohe,
Shubh Karman te Kabahoon na Tarron. Prof. Jaspal Kaur Kaang,
Chairperson, Department of Guru Nanak Sikh Studies while welcoming the
participants said that today there is a need to hold on to the Sikh
traditions of Langar, Pangat and Sangat and stop being in the blind
race for material pursuits. She stated that Gurbani should not only be
read but should be practiced in real life. She further emphasized the
need for more such seminars and discussions to awaken the masses and
to bring them back to the values enshrined in Gurbani.
Prof. R. C. Sobti, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University complimented
Prof. Kaang for her competence, leadership and organizational skills.
While delivering his Inaugural Address, Prof. Sobti questioned the
technology driven development process at the cost of human values and
relations and expressed his anguish over the general concern with the
Self today's world. He further raised the issue of women's equality
and pointed to their lower representation in leadership positions. He
concluded by calling for the need to end the dichotomy between theory
and practice especially on the issues of women and dalits.
Prof. Jagbir Singh, Former Head, Department of Punjabi, Delhi
University, while delivering the keynote address touched upon our
historical treasures in the form of knowledge in the Rig Veda and the
re-emergence of those thoughts in Medieval Literature. He emphasized
that literature contains truth and therefore connects immediately in
comparison to history and philosophy. He asserted that colonialism
repressed our traditional knowledge by dismissing it as illogical
which has now resurfaced as alternate body of knowledge.
Prof. Gurnek Singh, Vice Chancellor, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Vishav
University, Fatehgarh Sahib, reiterated that the Vision of Sikhism is
unifying in nature. By following the same he added, casteism and
discrimination against women automatically gets eliminated. Prof.
Dalip Kaur Tiwana, Eminent Punjabi Writer, started her discourse by
pointing that women in the west measure their value from the eyes of
their male counterpart. She dwelt upon female Sikh ideals from her
novels, 'Teen Lok Se Nyari' and 'Tumhari Katha Kahi Na Jaaye' in which
powerful women characters have spent their lives in spiritual
relations or for a cause.
Prof. Jaspal Singh, Vice Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala,
began his Presidential Address by stating that a process of
exploitation of certain categories has been going on throughout India
comprising three stages of discrimination, followed by marginalization
and finally exclusion. He further stated that once these categories
are excluded, an attempt is made to make sure that they do not come
back into the mainstream. He viewed Dalits and Women as two major
categories, which have suffered the most on account of this process.
He gave several examples from Sri Guru Granth Sahib to point out that
the Sikh tradition has made an attempt to bring back these excluded
categories not only to the mainstream, but to the corridors of power.
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