Mallika Kaur Presentation: Faith, Gender, and Activism in the Punjab Conflict: The Wheat Fields Still Whisper

Date / Time

March 6, 2020

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Punjab was the arena of one of the first major armed conflicts of post-colonial India. During its deadliest decade, as many as 250,000 people were killed. This book makes an urgent intervention in the history of the conflict, which to date has been characterized by a fixation on sensational violence — or ignored altogether. Mallika Kaur unearths the stories of three people who found themselves at the center of Punjab’s human rights movement: Baljit Kaur, who armed herself with a video camera to record essential evidence of the conflict; Justice Ajit Singh Bains, who became a beloved “people’s judge”; and Inderjit Singh Jaijee, who returned to Punjab to document abuses even as other elites were fleeing. Together, they are credited with saving countless lives. Braiding oral histories, personal snapshots, and primary documents recovered from at-risk archives, Kaur shows that when entire conflicts are marginalized, we miss essential stories: stories of faith, feminist action, and the power of citizen-activists.

Mallika Kaur is a lawyer and writer who focuses on human rights, with a specialization in gender and minority issues. She received her BA from University of Chicago; Master in Public Policy from Harvard University, and her Juris Doctorate from the UC Berkeley School of Law, where she currently teaches skills-based and experiential social justice classes.


UIC Imagining Peace in the 21st Century Working Group event
Working Group Organizers:
Joaquín M. Chávez, UIC History
Andreas Feldmann, UIC Latin American and Latino Studies & Political Science

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