‘Reflections on 1984’ Book Launched at Kings College London

LONDON, UK—Akaal Publishers launched ‘Reflections on 1984’ by Harjinder Singh at Kings College London on Wednesday 28th May 2014. They specifically chose Kings College as the venue for the launch as it hosts an Indian Institute which discusses the post-colonial relationship with India and current challenges facing India. The launch included short talks and a lively panel debate with a number of young and prominent Sikhs.

Harjinder Singh, Akaal Publishers
Harjinder Singh, Akaal Publishers

The launch began with a moving and inspirational poem by Pavandeep Kaur of Illustrated Thoughts, which raised the issues of why we can never forget 1984.  Dr Gurnam Singh, the Coventry University Lecturer, and host of the Sikh Channel’s Panth Time, chaired the proceedings – providing intellectual insight between speakers and questions.

Ranjit Singh ‘Kuki’ Gill talked live from India via a Skype link, he was moved by the events of 1984 and subsequently charged with the murder of Congress Politician Lalit Makin.  He fled from India to evade arrest and was arrested and imprisoned in the USA for 13 years. He returned to India, served a further 4 years and is now integrated into society.  He provided insight into the current challenges in Punjab and laid an emphasis on unity and how Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale got the Sikh nation united.

Harjinder Singh the author of ‘Reflections on 1984’ gave personal insights into why he was compelled to write his second book. Personal experiences of seeing bullet marks on Sri Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar (the Golden Temple), and seeing a childhood role-model, Shaheed Bhai Gurcharan Singh, being killed by the Indian Police deeply moved him. The pursuit of truth and dispelling myths was also a motivating factor – he described how the book is academically written and has drawn on a wide range of sources to make an objective analysis of the last 30 years.

KCL Book LaunchRavi Kaur Mahey a panelist described how her father, Paramjit Singh ‘Dhadhi’, was falsely implicated in a criminal case in India and how her family has felt the effects of 1984 throughout their lives. Her father served 4 ½ years in total in India between 2006 – 2011, this case exemplified how the effects of the last 30 years continue for those who remain politically active.

The event ended with a lively panel debate, in which Ranjit Singh from the Council of Khalistan described the right to self-determination for Sikhs and how Khalistan is still of relevance to Sikhs. Jay Singh-Sohal of Dot-Hyphen Productions and the first turbaned Sikh in the media described how he was moved by the events of 1984 and argued Sikhs need to now take different approaches to ensure media coverage. 

‘Reflections on 1984’ can be purchased from www.akaalpublishers.comwww.amazon.co.uk.


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