P63. Individual Papers on South Asian Studies

Session: Session 9, 10:15-11:45 am, Sunday 10/1

Category: Individual Papers

Location: Illinois Ballroom B

Chair: Rahnuma Siddika (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Paper Presenters: Farhan Munir Abbasi (Quaid-i-Azam University), Maria Rose Francis (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

History, Nature and Influence of Eid-Milad un Nabi’s Processions in Punjab: A Transformation from Religious Piety to Symbol of Power

Speaker: Farhan Munir Abbasi
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. Pakistan
Abstract: Abstract The present study would explore the origin of Eid-Milad-un-Nabi (EMN) processions in Punjab in the pages of history. By doing this, it would discuss how an occasion which was previously associated with religious piety converted into a show of power. This event is traced to a historical city of Punjab named Rawalpindi. The city housed a mixture of many communities i.e Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus and Christians. Before the partition of India, Rawalpindi witnessed bloodshed in the form of communal riots, these riots were the first incidents of violence within the Pothwar region. In 1896 the construction of the famous Jamia Masjid became a bone of contention between Sikhs and Muslims. After just a couple of years, the chosen locality and surrounding areas witnessed a massacre which took the lives of hundreds of innocent people.   In the memory of that massacre, Muslims started the procession of Eid Milad-un-Nabi in 1926 for the very first time and thousands of Muslims participated in this procession. It is also observed as a deviation from mere religious piety to a show of power. This research would also explore how the EMN procession presently serves socio political purposes and its conversion into a method to satisfy intrinsic political interests.   Keywords: Punjab Riots, Eid Milad-ud-Nabi, Rawalpindi City, Milad Politics, Communal Violence.

Thangasseri: Rediscovering a Forgotten Colonial Port Town in Kerala, India

Speaker: Maria Rose Francis
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Abstract: Thangasseri, a small coastal town in Kerala, India, was once a bustling colonial center during Portuguese, Dutch, and British rule and was called the “New York of India”. However, after independence, the town underwent a significant transformation with the outflow and migration of the Anglo-Indian and Luso-Indian communities, resulting in the deterioration of many colonial-era buildings. By analyzing the town’s material culture and existing villas, this paper provides valuable insights into Thangasseri’s colonial past. It explores the factors that have contributed to the deterioration of Thangasseri’s heritage, its unique cultural and historical identity. The study concludes by stressing the importance of preserving Thangasseri’s heritage buildings and settlements to celebrate its legacy and ensure that its history is not forgotten. While Thangasseri may not be as well-known as other colonial-era towns in India, such as Cochin, it played a significant role in the region’s history and deserves to be preserved.