Saturday, May 05, 2007

Remembering 1857: 10th and 11th May, New York

Two events to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the The Great Rebellion in India. Spread the word.

1) Rebellion: History, Music, Poetry
featuring musicians Achyut Joshi, Dave Sharma and Samita Sinha; and narratives, poetry and folksongs from 1857
Alwan For the Arts, 16, Beaver Street
Thursday, May 10, 7pm

2)The Uprising: Reflections on 1857
A panel discussion with Janaki Bakhle, Faisal Devji, Salahuddin Malik and Veena Oldenburg
602 Hamilton, Columbia University
Friday, May 11, 6.30pm

1857 – A defining moment in the history of South Asia and British colonialism.

May 10th, 2007 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Rebellion of 1857. As the largest anti-colonial uprising of the 19th century, the Rebellion marks a watershed moment in history at multiple levels: the end of the East India Company's rule and beginning of direct British government rule and the Raj; the completion of the loss of Mughal sovereignty in India; and a sea change in North Indian life, culture and politics.

1) Rebellion: History, Music, Poetry

To mark the 150th anniversary, we are revisiting 1857 through multiple narratives of the event - narratives of revenge, lament and lost possibilities - through history, music, poetry, and images. The program will integrate live performances of ghazals and various Indian musical forms, readings of selected poetry and historical prose, and images of the uprising and its aftermath.

May 10, 2007. 7pm
Alwan for the Arts, 16 Beaver St.

Music - Achyut Joshi, Dave Sharma, Samita Sinha

Poetry/Narrative/Images - "The 'Wheat-ish' Log Collective" - Sajid Huq, Prashant Keshavmurthy, Daanish Masood, Haroon Moghul, Anand V Taneja

About Achyut Joshi - Achyut Joshi has trained in Hindustani Classical Music as a student of Raghunandan Panshikar of the Jaipur Gharana. In 2005 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study music in India. He teaches high school math in New York City.

About Samita Sinha
- Though trained primarily in classical Hindustani music, Samita Sinha's repertoire spans a range of styles in several different languages. She experiments in synthesizing elements of Hindustani music with jazz, electronic music, and theater. In 2002 she was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to study in the guru-shishya tradition in India with Dr. Alka Deo Marulkar. Since returning to New York City her main projects have included KAASH, Sunny Jain Collective, and Sekou Sundiata's the 51st(dream)state.
More at

From Dave Sharma's Myspace page - Sharmaji creates a bass-heavy, post-desi sound that is as consistently powerful as it is diverse in background-- and completely NYC. As a DJ and percussionist he's brought his riddims to artists as diverse as Karsh Kale, Ming & FS, Tina Sugandh, JUNGLI, and Timbaland's hookstress RajeSwari, as well as for NYC's 9-years-strong Basment Bhangra party...
In 2004 he started a long-term relationship with AR Rahman's Broadway musical "Bombay Dreams"
More at

The 'Wheat-ish' Log Collective - Came up over chai one rainy New York afternoon as a bunch of impecunious desi graduate students and NGO types realized that the state sponsored 'celebrations' of 1857 in India were going to entirely painted in black and white, and that even if sitting in NYC, we needed to do something to change the tints of the picture.

2) The Uprising: Reflections on 1857

To mark the 150th anniversary of the rebellion of 1857, we will come together for brief reflections on the event, its lasting repercussions in the 90 years of the Raj that followed, and its relevance to current Indian identity and politics. Professors Janaki Bakhle, Faisal Devji, Salahuddin Malik, and Veena Oldenburg will offer brief remarks on 1857 and after. This will be followed by an intra panel discussion and an interactive Q&A session with the audience.

May 11, 2007. 6.30pm
602 Hamilton, Columbia University.

- Janaki Bakhle teaches History at Columbia University.
Prof. Bakhle has recently published Two Men and Music: Nationalism in the Making of an Indian Classical Tradition (New York: Oxford, 2005). She is currently researching Marathi Revolutionaries in the early twentieth century. Bakhle is working to situate their activities within a specifically Marathi discourse.

Faisal Devji teaches History at the New School. He is interested in the political thought of modern Islam as well as in the transformation of liberal categories and democratic practice in South Asia. His broader concerns are with ethics and violence in a globalized world. Prof. Devji has recently published Landscapes of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity.

Salahuddin Malik, a professor of history, earned his PhD at McGill University in Montreal. He is a widely-published specialist on 19th century British India and Islam. He teaches Ancient World and upper-level courses on Islam and South Asia.

-Veena Oldenburg teaches at Baruch College, CUNY.
Among her publications is her work on British colonial urbanization, The Making of Colonial Lucknow, 1856-77 (Princeton University Press, 1984), "Life Style as Resistance: The Case of the Courtesans of Lucknow" (Feminist Studies , 1990) and Dowry Murder: The Imperial Origins of a Cultural Crime (Oxford University Press, 2002).

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