Three Announcements


The Third  Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer Memorial lecture

Speaker:  Mr.Wajahat Habibullah, former Chairman of National Commission for Minorities

Chair: Dr.S.Parasuraman, Hon. Director, the Tata institute of Social Sciences.


Topic: “Islam in India – Challenge or Promise”

Date/Time: September, 6, 2014 at  3.p.m.

Place: Library  Conference Hall, Tata Institute of Science (Main Campus),

Deonar, Sion-Trombay Road., Mumbai


(The memorial lecture has been jointly organized by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism.)





The Sufi Legacy in South Asia: Sufism (Public Forum)


Date/Time: Saturday, Sept 13, 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm

Place:  7000 SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West, Hastings Street, Vancouver


Sufism came to South Asia in the 12th Century and spread from Afghanistan, Sindh, and Punjab  to the South and Bengal. It resonated with spiritual movements in Hinduism, produced practices  that cut across religions, and established shrines where all prayed. It spoke to aristocrats,  artisans, peasants, and those in the margins of society. It created poetry and music that is vital  to the cultural life of the subcontinent. It entered the Guru Granth Sahib of the Sikhs in the  poetry of Sheikh/Baba Farid and permeated the cultural life of Punjab with the Heer Ranjha of  Waris Shah. It enriched the life and language of Sindh with the all-embracing poetry of Shah  Abdul Latif Bhitai and empowered the downtrodden all across India in the songs of Kabir. It  vitalized the folk life and music of Bengal in the songs of Lalon Fakir and the Bauls and became  a major strain in the songs of Tagore. Qawwalis and ghazal connect South Asians everywhere  to their Sufi legacy. A celebration of this legacy in diaspora is the remembrance of a common  heritage across the division of post-colonial nation states.



Keynote address: Dr. Nile Green (UCLA), (“Mazars for the Marginalized: Reflections from the

Pilgrim’s Road.”

Seemi Ghazi (UBC), “The Doctrines and Practices of the Sufis.”

Zahid Makhdoom, “The Poetry of Bhitai.”

Madan Gopal Singh (Delhi U), “The Songs of Waris Shah and Bulleh Shah.”

Enakshi Chatterjee (Sunandan, Kolkata), “Sufis and Bauls in the songs of Rabindranath


Moderator: Zahid Makhdoom

Refreshments will be served.


(This is a free event but requires registration by RSVP:; This event is part of a larger program (Sept 6 – Sept 20) organized by Hari Sharma Foundation with the help and support of the following: The School for the Contemporary Arts, KRT Fund, SFU; Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures, SFU; Indian Summer Arts; Greater Vancouver Bangladesh Cultural Association (GVBCA); Chetna Society; Institute for the Humanities, SFU; Lower Mainland Bengali Cultural Society (LMBCS); Progressive  Intercultural Services (PICS); South Asian Film Education Society (SAFES); and South Asian


Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD)






Directed by Ritesh Sharma, the film The Holy Wives documents the life of a woman, who is raped in the name of tradition even before she could understand the meaning of sex and the impoverished life that she leads till death. It also goes deep into the struggle a woman from this community forges to maintain her dignity and self-respect. This film also brings out the lives of three different communities who have been victimized in the name of caste based sexual exploitation in this country. It’s an attempt to present an insight to the poor and pathetic condition of people who still are not free from the clutches of social evils and who in order to meet their ends are forced into the brutal act of either selling themselves or their kin to others.


(Arun Khote: On behalf of Dalits Media Watch Team; An initiative of PMARC)

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