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Reflections on 1984 Legacies of Silence, History & Otherness

Wednesday
,
16
November
2016

Every year around November, history is visited by some who commemorate the devastating anti-Sikh violence in Delhi and other northern cities of India in 1984, strongly insisting to never forget 1984, while others insist on forgetting...

Every year around November, history is visited by some who commemorate the devastating anti-Sikh violence in Delhi and other northern cities of India in 1984, strongly insisting to never forget 1984, while others insist on forgetting and moving on from that dark chapter in post-independence Indian history. What are the ramifications of this tug-of war between memorialization and demanded forgetfulness of such historical blot? This discussion hopes to bring out the ethical imperatives that Sikhs as well non-Sikhs can and must adopt through a conscientious, empowered remembering. To simply erase violent history is also an act of violence that leads to erasure. We must re-investigate the mainstream history and its role in un-acknowledging the discourse of 1984; we must force ethical challenges to the willful abnegation and/or totalitarian evasion of our social history.

Dr. Parvinder Mehta is a scholar, educator, and an author who lives in Michigan. She earned her PhD in English (with minor in Film Studies) from Wayne State University. She enjoys teaching literature, composition and liberal arts courses at undergraduate level. She has presented at several national and international conferences on issues of cultural formations, representations and social justice. Her publications include book chapters as well as academic articles in peer-reviewed journals as Sikh Formations, Journal of South Asian Diaspora, South Asian Review. She also writes poetry in English.

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