Public Lecture: ‘The Unrelated Community’: Indian Christians and the Punjab Partition by Dr Yaqoob Khan Bangash

Dr Yaqoob Khan Bangash is a historian of Modern South Asia and a current Fulbright Fellow at the Mittal Institute at Harvard University. He will be visting UHM through the Fulbright Outreach Lecturing Fund on Monday, November 21 and Tuesday, November 22.

On Monday, November 21 at 4:00 pm in the Tokioka Room (Moore Hall 319) he will deliver a public lecture entitled  ‘The Unrelated Community’: Indian Christians and the Punjab Partition.  

Abstract: Historiography on the partition of the Punjab in August 1947 as part of the creation of Pakistan and India has almost always focused on the Muslims on the one hand, and Hindus and Sikhs on the other. However, there was another significant community in the province–the Indian Christians– who also lived through the partition process and were deeply affected by it. This talk thus focuses on the half a million strong Indian Christian community in the Punjab examining how it articulated its politics in the period immediately preceding and during the partition. Primarily assessed through the lens of Dewan Bahadur S.P. Singha, an Indian Christian member of the Punjab Assembly, who interestingly became the speaker of the very divided assembly in 1946, this talk exhibits the attempts of the Indian Christians to also become a part of the partition deliberations and even become ‘consequential’ in some ways. It also sheds light on the internal dynamics of the Indian Christian community where not only were questions of identity critical, but the location of their ‘homeland’ became a life and death issue. 

On Tuesday, November 22, he will visit the graduate seminar South Asia Now, and speak about constitutional issues in Pakistan.