“Voyage of the Ghadar” Topics & Speakers

The conference, which occurred on September 30, 2012, featured an exhibit room with artifacts from the Sikh-American culture, posters of early Sikh pioneers, of the Ghadar Party and Indian independence movement, and of Sikhs in World Wars I and II. (Courtesy of Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany, Sikh Foundation and Kesar Singh Dhillon Ghadar Memorial Trust.) Read “The Voyage of the Ghadar conference” for full details about the conference.

“Voyage of the Ghadar” Topics (click title to view abstract)

[Click here to download a PDF copy of the academic paper abstracts from the conference.]

“Sikh Chetna da Ubhar te Ghadar Movement”

Hindu-German Conspiracy Trial and North American Sabotage by Germans, 1914-1917” by Dr. Jasbir Singh Mann (PDF)

Sikh Pioneers and the Crisis of Leadership” by Dr. Amrik Singh (PDF)

Life Sketches of Leading Ghadarites in North America” by Prof. Sohan Singh Pooni (PDF)

“Presidential Address”

Multi-Faith Resistance to British Colonialism: A Brief Overview of Pan-Islamists’ Role in Ghadar Movement

Sikh Perspectives on the Ghadar Movement” by Dr. Balkar Singh (PDF)

Ghadar Movement and the Secularist-Nationalist Discourse

Genesis of the Sikh Ghadar” by Prof. Prithipal Singh (PDF)

Ghadar Movement and Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre and Their Impact on the Indian Freedom Struggle” by Dr. Tarlochan Singh Nahal (PDF)

Colonial Terrorism of Fear for Respect vs. Guru Granth on Fear & Hatred: Final Statements of Sikh Shaheeds (Mewa Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Karam Singh, Bhagat Singh, and Udham Singh)” by Dr. Gurnam Kaur (PDF)

The Indian Mutiny of 1857 and the Sikhs” by Ganda Singh (PDF, from 1969)

Concepts of Freedom in Guru Granth Sahib and Ghadar Lehar” by Dr. Sarajbinder Singh (PDF)

Ghadar Movement and Har Dayal: Life, Activities, and Ideology” by Jatinder Singh Hundal (PDF)

The Central Role of the Gurdwaras in the Ghadar Movement” by Rajwinder Singh Rahi (PDF)

Ghadar Lehar Sikh Legacy and 1857 Mutiny” by Dr. Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon (PDF)

Canadian Shaheed Bhai Mewa Singh” by Prof. Sohan Singh


“Voyage of the Ghadar” Speakers:

1. Dr. Jaspal Singh is the Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala. After securing his Master’s degree in Political Science, he served as India’s High Commissioner to Mozambique and Swaziland. During that time, Dr. Jaspal Singh played a stellar role in identifying newer areas of cooperation for enhancing the scope and vistas of understanding among the countries concerned. This included signing of agreement for the establishment of Indo-Mozambique Joint Cooperation Commission, Indo-Mozambique Draft Agreement for Cooperation and Indo-Swaziland Trade Agreement.

After securing his Master’s degree in Political Science and Diploma in Foreign Affairs from Aligarh Muslim University, he did his Ph.D. from Panjab University, Chandigarh in 1989 on the topic: “The Concept of State as Reflected in Sikh Scriptures and Historical Writings.” He has a total 32 years of teaching experience in Khalsa College, University of Delhi, which includes a seven-year stint as Principal of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, University of Delhi.

Dr. Jaspal Singh has authored several well-acclaimed books, including “Raj Da Sikh Sankalp” (The Sikh Concept of State) (1990), “Sikh Dharam Te Rajniti” (Sikh Religion and Politics) (1997), “Sri Guru Granth Sahib: Sadivi Prerna Srot” (2007), “Sri Guru Granth Sahib: The Sikh Scripture” (2009), “Sikh Virasat: Sidhant Te Vihar” (2010), and he has published more than 250 articles on Sikh history and Religion, and on the issues of national and international politics.

2. Dr. Balkar Singh is former Head of Guru Granth Sahib Studies and Dean of Colleges at Punjabi University, Patialia. He is a former member of the Advisory Committee to Akal Takht Sahib in Amritsar and obtained a Ph.D. in 1983 with the topic: “Sikh Mysticism: An Analytical Study in Experience and Expression.”

Dr. Balkar Singh edited the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Studies departmental journal “Nanak Parkash Patrika” from 1980-1995, has participated in many academic seminars and conferences in India and abroad, and has authored approximately 140 articles in journals related to fields of religion and spiritualism. He has authored several books, including “Guru Tegh Bahadur Hind Di Chadar” (1974), “Gurmat Vivechan” (1995), “Bhagat Nam Dev: Jeevan Te Rachna” (1995), “Sikh Rahaswad” (1999), Akal Takhat Sahib: Joti Te Jugati” (1995), Punjab Da Baba Boharh: Gurcharan Singh Tohra” (2005), “Jinhan Ton Vichoria Gia Hai” (2003), and “Sikh Conception of Sabad-Guru” (2008).

3. Dr. Jagtar Singh Grewal is a former Professor and Vice-Chancellor at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and Director and later Chairman of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. He has written extensively on historiography, medieval India, and the Punjab and Sikh history. His many publications include “Muslim Rule in India: The Assessments of British Historians” (1972), “The State and Society in Medieval India” (2005), “Religious Movements and Institutions in Medieval India” (2006) and “The Sikhs: ideology , Institutions, and Identity” (2009), “Guru Nanik in History” (1969), “Sikh Ideology, Polity, and Social Order” (1996), “Historical Perspectives on Sikh Identity” (1997), and “Contesting Interpretations of the Sikh Tradition” (1998).

4. Dr. Prithipal Singh Kapur is a well known educationist and historian who was formerly Pro Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar and Director of Punjab State University Textbook Board, Chandigarh. He also served as Editor in Chief of the Encyclopedia of Sikhism at Punjabi University, Patiala. He remains a member of the Academic Council of Tagore’s Shanti Niketan (West Bengal).

Dr. Kapur has authored several books on Punjab and Sikh history, including “Jassa Singh Ramgarhia” (1469-1799), “Master Tara Singh,” (pbi), “The Khalsa,” “Main Currents of Freedom Struggle in Punjab,” and edited works such as “Sewa Ram Singh’s The Divine Master: Life & Teachings of Guru Nanak,” “Sikhism in the Third Millenium,” and “Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Coronation Commemorative” volume.

5. Rajwinder Singh Rahi is a writer and journalist from India whose many literary achievements include writing for Daily Ajit and Aj Di Awaz and authoring “Ghadar Lehar Di Asli Gatha (The Real Story of Ghadar Movement)” Volumes I-III (2012), “Meri Ram Kahani (The Story of My Life)” (2012), “Jithe Pash Rehnda Hai (Critique of Poet Pash’s Life and Ideology)” (2007), “Punjab Di Pug – Jaswant Singh Kanwal” (2010), and “Chaunh Killian Te Usriya Tibba” (short stories) (1987). In addition to the above, he has also published numerous articles on literary and contemporary historical issues have been published in various newspapers and reputed magazine, as well as presented literary papers at academic conferences in the UK.

6. Dr. Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon is an expert on Sikh social, political, and religious history. He received a Ph.D. in history. He is a former professor of history at Punjab University. He has published scores of articles in reputable national and international journals, as well as academic pieces in newspapers including The Tribune (Chandigarh), The Indian Express (New Delhi), The Illustrated Weekly Of India, The Washington Times, The Globe and Mail, and The Punjabi Tribune. He is author of several books, including Researches In Sikh Religion and History (1989), Insights Into Sikh Religion and History (1991), India Commits Suicide (1992), Truth About Punjab: SGPC White Paper (1996), and Perspectives On Sikh Religion and History (1996).

7. Ajmer Singh is is a down to earth political activist without party affiliation, with a clear understanding of the regional, country-level and global political thought processes. As a political activist, he has been and continues to be closely associated with progressive and justice-loving individuals and organisations in India and South Asia.

As a political analyst, Ajmer Singh wrote extensively boldly delineating the nuances of the rights struggles in Punjab in widely published columns and monographs. Ajmer Singh is a strong exponent and protagonist of the Punjabi language and has been working for egalitarianism in society. He has been working earnestly and wholeheartedly for the transformation of the Indian society brought about through the upward movement of Dalits and other oppressed sections.

In his present pursuit, Ajmer Singh is engaged in working on the modern political history of the Sikhs in a multi-volume framework, three of which have already been published, namely “Veehvi Sadi di Sikh Rajneeti” (Sikh Politics of the 20th century), “Kis Bidh Ruli Patshahi” (Whither Went Sovereignty), and “1984-Unchitvaya Kehar” (1984- Unimaginable Catastrophe). He is now working on “The Road Ahead: The Solution to the Entire Situation for the Sikh nation.”

8. Dr. Sarbjinder Singh is the head of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Studies at Punjabi University, Patiala. He holds a Ph.D. in History and Religious Studies. He is a member of the Punjabi University, Patiala’s Academic Council. He is also a Member of Baring Union Christian College, Gurchanran Singh Tohra Institute of Advanced Sikh Studies, and Dharm Parchar Advisory Board, SGPC, Amritsar. He has authored several books, including “Divine Revelation,” “Dhur Ki Bani: Sampadan Jugat,” and “Maran Kabool,” and edited books including “”Vishav Dharam Bani, Granth, Samprdai ate Chintak” Volumes I-IV and “Sikh Dharam: Sidhantak te Itihasak Prepekh.”

9. Dr. Gurnam Kaur is a former professor and head of the department of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Studies at Punjabi University, Patiala. She obtained a Ph.D. in 1986 in the field of Sikh Philosophy with a focus on “Reason and Revelation in Sikhism.” Since 1969, she has been engaged in departmental research in Sikh Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion. She is the author of about 50 research articles on her related fields of study, and of several books, including, “Reason and Revelation in Sikhism,” “Bani Ate Dharm Darshan, and “Guru Granth Sanket Kosh” (co-author). She has also edited several books and participated in translation into English of Volumes III and IV of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Additionally, she has guided at least 20 student dissertations and two students have obtained their doctorates under her auspices. She has participated in several academic conferences and delivered radio and television talks in India and abroad.

10. Dr. Iqtidar Karamat Cheema is Registrar at The Markfield Institute of Higher Education, UK. He also remains the Registrar of College of Central England, Birmingham and Deputy Registrar of University of the Punjab, Lahore. He earned his Ph.D. in International Relations from University of Gloucestershire, UK. He has received many distinctions and honors of his achievements, including the Presidential Award of Excellence in Academics “Izaz-i-Subqat” conferred upon him by the President of Pakistan in 2002, the National Award in Education and Research awarded him by the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2008, and 5 University Gold Medals and 2 Honor Rolls awarded him for his academic achievements. He is also the winner of SAARC Seven Countries Inter-Universities Genius of South Asia contest. He is the author of 3 bestselling research books and 23 research papers related to history, Sikhism, international relations, and ethnic conflicts. The total quantum of his published research is over 1000 pages.

11. Dr. Tarlochan Singh Nahal obtained an M.A. degree in English from Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar in 1977. He also studied Punjabi at M.A. level at Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar. He obtained a Ph.D. in Political Science from Senior University International (USA) in 1999 under the supervision of Dr. Noel Q. King, then Professor Emeritus, University of California, Santa Cruz. The topic of his Ph.D. thesis was “Miri and Piri: Religion and Politics in Sikhism with Special Reference to the Sikh Struggle (1947-1997.” He has been working as a Technical Writing professional in the computer industry since 1983. He is currently employed as a Senior Staff Technical Writer at Qualcomm. He has organized many international Sikh conferences. Author of many articles published in various journals and newspapers, he is also author of the book “Religion and Politics in Sikhism: The Khalsa Perspective” (2011). Dr. Nahal is a keen student of the Sikh history and observer of political developments. Currently he is doing some historical research on ancient Punjab related to Alexander the Great’s invasion of Punjab. His granduncle Mihan Singh was one of the Ghadri Babas who came to the US about 100 years ago. Dr. Nahal has been honored twice by Sri Akal Takhat Sahib with a siropa (robe of honor) for his academic research and commitment to the Khalsa Panth.

12. Prof. Sohan Singh Pooni lives in Vancouver and is an expert on the Ghadar history. Formerly a history professor in Punjab, he is author of “Canada De Gadri Yodhay” (2011), a book about how the Ghadar combatants from Canada played a part in the formation of the Ghadar Party movement.

13. Dr. Amrik Singh is a Professor of Punjabi and ethnic studies at California State University, Sacramento. He holds a Ph.D. in English. Formerly president for two years of the Punjabi Literary Society of California, he is also active in the Punjabi American Heritage Society. A journalist for The Ambedkar Times and The Sacramento Examiner, Dr. Singh pursues study of Sikh-Americans, globalization, the history and socio-politics of India, and a range of other issues.

14. Dr Gurmel Singh Sidhu is a Professor of Biology at California State University, Fresno. He is also a Director of Research and Development for Greek and Turkish biotech companies. Dr. Sidhu has written several scientific books, including Genetics of Pathogenic Fungi (1986), AIDS: A Miserable Disease (2003), Life and Cloning (2004), and DNA: The Language of Life (2006). He has also authored over 150 scientific papers for a range of scientific journals. Dr. Sidhu is also a renowned and highly accomplished literary critic who has authored nine books of poetry, edited another nine, and written over 100 literary articles and reviews.

15. Jatinder Singh Hundal is an Electronics Engineer by profession. He graduated from Oregon State in 1985. He is currently based in Sacramento as a professional with the State of California. His field of study deals with Sikh Numismatics and history of the community’s struggle for survival. His articles on technical and community issues have appeared in international technical and academic publications. Actively involved in tracing the roots of Sikh sovereignty through linking of history of Sikh Numismatic to current under waves within the community for a homeland. He has been an active participant in community events since 1984 and is involved/aligned with organization dedicated to bringing justice to community’s ill treatment by the current rulers of India.

16. Dr. Jasbir Singh Mann is
an orthopedic surgeon, practicing since 1980, and a scholar and writer on Sikh issues. His articles have appeared in a range of journals, including Nishaan, The Sikh Review, and Abstracts of Sikh Studies, and in several books. He has co-edited four books on Sikhism and arranged many international Sikh Studies conferences including in 1988, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, and 2004. A recipient in 2001 of a D.Lit. (Honoris causa) from Punjab University, Patiala for his contributions to Sikh studies, he is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, a Fellow of the International College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of International Physicians.

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