Hashim Shah was a Punjabi poet of Arabic descent. At one point, he joined a rebellion against Sikh rule; but was pardoned by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and even given a jagir on account of his beautiful poetry. He would go on to write the renown ballads of Sassi-Punnu & Sohni-Mahiwal.
The cultural footprint of these poems lasts even today; the folk song "Dachi Waleya" is often associated with Sassi pining for Punnu, and in rural Punjab there is even a saying to "never trust a Baloch" associated with the story.

As for Sohni-Mahiwal; Sobha Singh's beautiful painting depicting the two lovers is probably its most iconic legacy (a staple on the walls of many Punjabis' homes, including my own).
This is my favorite song associated with Sohni-Mahiwal, from none other than Kuldeep Manak.

These stories predate Hashim in the folklore of Punjab+Sindh; but his rendition (of Sassi in particular) brought them new life.

The connection with Maharaja Ranjit Singh I find particularly interesting! A less-forgiving Sardar may have taken Hashim's head - but am glad that Maharaja Ranjit Singh recognized the genius of a former enemy and even patronized him to help him achieve new heights and acclaim.

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More from @JungNihang

17 Oct
What an imbecile...the recorded history is that the Mughals already had a force (few thousand+ strong) in hot pursuit of the Guru and his 40 companions, and they got reinforcements of 700+ cavalry and a "park of artillery".
The Guru and his force of ~40 were literally in a house of a local friendly villager - and the entire Mughal army chasing after them STILL needed reinforcements of cannons + horsemen to finish them off. And this is horsemen from one despatch.
Even if we were to take the "only 700 horsemen" number seriously (it is not), those are numerical odds of 18:1 - combined with the fact that the Mughals had a barrage of artillery, and the Guru, once again, was inside a literal house.
Read 9 tweets
16 Oct
For some reason, many British-Punjabi elders as well as Indian nationalists have, over the past few decades, have created a narrative of colonial rule in Punjab (and especially with Sikhs) being more of a two-way friendship than a fundamentally oppressive regime.
The British, so it goes, were different than prior rulers like the Mughals in that they did not visibly oppress based on religion and that they pushed a lot of economic development towards Punjab via the development of rural infrastructure and employment in the military.
While these things are *technically* true, they miss out on a huge factor that I only learned recently of: that the British had, from annexation in the 1849, used a “Punjab School of Administration” as their utmost guiding principle in governing the province.
Read 13 tweets
15 Oct
Some USA Sikhs are total hypocritical crybabies - they mock Nihang bana for doing “dress-up”, mock their celebration of traditions as “where are your battle formations when you need them”...

...but then cry about people being “toxic” to them for calling them an out of touch ਨਚਾਰ
Why do these wannabe activists think that personal insults and divisive rhetoric are okay when they’re passively aggressively throwing shade at a jatha they ideologically disagree with, but get mad when people bluntly respond to them and call them out for it?
One of the greatest things I think Nihangs in UK are doing is cultivating a culture of outdoorsman activities and survival skills - a honorable way of maintaining the nomadic tradition of the Khalsa even while in the West!

And this is what these self-righteous idiots call it: Image
Read 8 tweets
15 Oct
Great article. The introduction itself supports what farmers have been saying over and over again about their opposition to the bills - the proposed economic gains of a freer market are short-term, and it is effectively the writing on wall for MSP/income insurance. Image
Maybe if the BJP stalwarts, both the headmasters in Delhi and their eager cheerleaders from the metros of India and the West, stopped mocking farmers’ intelligence with “Agriculture University” and listened, they could learn a thing or two and start a productive dialogue Image
Instead, the center did the exact opposite - didn’t let the farmers have a chance to speak, spoke down to them, issued a threat about violence, and ushered them away. Callous, reckless, and arrogant attitude - indeed befitting of the Congress Dilli sarkar preceding them.
Read 4 tweets
18 Sep
The Sikh scholars did give a direct quote you illiterate hack - why have you CONTINUED to ignore how the introduction to it quite literally tarred the entire diaspora Sikh community memory as “self-victimization” to “seduce” politicians?
Your paper’s only mention of the massacres in 1984 (BTW, I hope you recognize that state violence was not just limited to the genocide in North India in November of 1984) was to say, “yeah it’s bad but I’m sure *Punjabi* Sikhs remember Muslim mobs as the real villains”
Are you really this thick Terry? The reason they specifically noted that diaspora Sikh voices also call out Pak is tht your entire article relegated diaspora experience to being manipulated/controlled by Pakistan - which may be true for some, but NOT all

Read 11 tweets
28 Aug
Most Hindutva thought is lazy because it rests its assumptions on “Neo-Sikhs”

This thread, for example, arbitrarily localizes Khalsa Raj as a local Punjabi political philosophy - when it explicitly was envisioned for the world.
Khalsa Raj was not seen as just a tidy arrangement inside an akhand-bharat; the assumption was that eventually, any type of akhand bharat would be ruled by Khalsa-Sikhs, and they’d go even beyond the scope of that geographical territory.

The irony is that this thread perfectly exemplifies the original thread - which discussed limitations Hindutva has with understanding precolonial “Sanatan” thought.

What in the world is a “half-Hindu”? Is that someone who practices half “Hinduism” and half “Sikhism”?
Read 7 tweets

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