The Causes We Cherish


Jagmeet Singh was interviewed yesterday on CBC Radio. Singh was asked about a seminar he attended with the National Sikh Youth Federation in the U.K. in 2016, in which the organizer, Shamsher Singh, discussed the legitimacy of armed struggle by Sikhs in the creation of Khalistan.

The Khalistan movement was one of violence, terror and division. In his radio interview, Singh condemned terrorism, but equivocated in condemning the movement for Khalistan. He expressed sympathy with the pain and trauma suffered by Sikhs, but dodged any implication that the Khalistan movement was a terrorist one.

Within hours, the internet was awash headlining Mr. Singh’s name with terms like “Sikh separatist,” “blood hatreds” and “strange loyalties.”

The Khalistan cause has long since fallen on the losing side of history. So, it’s okay to question the loyalties of politicians like Singh if they fail to condemn it. Yet we fail to question those politicians who support “winning” causes like Israel, Saudi Arabia or Canada’s policies towards its own Aboriginal peoples.

Last month, Justin Trudeau visited India where he met with the country’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. India under Modi has witnessed the widespread and repeated abuses of human rights and civil liberties. Yet Trudeau failed to condemn the violence, terror and division that is engulfing India under Modi just as Singh failed to condemn the violence, terror and division of the movement for Khalistan.

Trudeau’s failure though wasn’t questioned by the Canadian media. His “loyalties” to Canadian values or human rights weren’t an issue. Both Trudeau and Singh failed to condemn what’s wrong. Only Trudeau ended up on the winning side.

Thank you to Z. Makhdoom for inspiring me


Danish Punjabi Sufi Singer & Music Therapist Pervaiz Akhtar in Town – March 9

Singer, Composer, Music Therapist Pervaiz Akhtar sings Punjabi Sufi poetry and Urdu Ghazals. He has issued five albums featuring poetry of Khwaja Ghulam Farid, Madhulal Husain and Bulleh Shah, among others; and, his repertoire as a composer includes works of Rumi, Hafiz, Saadi and Amir Khusrow in Farsi. His Jazz fusion concerts have been held in Pakistan, Europe and the USA. For more information:

Visit Pervaiz’s blog
Contact Pervaiz

Pervaiz is visiting from Copenhagen and he will stay in Vancouver till the middle of March. This presents us with a rare opportunity to listen to him in a public event. Details are below.

‘Kahe Fakeer’ by Pervaiz Akhtar
7pm, Friday, March 9, 2018
Punjab Banquet Hall
8166 128 St #215, Surrey
(604) 598-7611

$30 per person (dinner included), $50 for two.
To book your ticket, call: 604-780-0164


The Honorable Asma Jahangir

Last Rites
2:30 PM
Tuesday, February 13
Outside the Gaddafi Stadium
Lahore, Pakistan

Last Public Speech

Last Tweet
‘Nehal Hashmi’s tone and words cannot be defended but use of contempt law selectively only undermines confidence in the system of justice’


‘Nasreen Anjum Bhatti Ke Leeye – For Nasreen Anjum Bhatti’ a poem by Amna Buttar

‘I read the story and frankly I don’t see a point to it. Her poetry tells her story poignantly and eloquently. This story is more like yellow journalism and is demeaning to the legend called Nasreen Anjum Bhatti.’

Amna Buttar

نسرین انجم بھٹی کے لئے

میرا اندر اور میرا باہر
سب تمہارا ہے
میں نے اپنے آسمان کو
اپنے پاتال کو
کے موتیوں میں
پرو کر
تمہارے گلے میں مالا ڈال دی ہے
سوئمبر تو نہیں تھا
مگر پھر بھی
بس اتنی_ بنتی ہے
تم سے
میرا بھرم رکھنا

Nasreen Anjum Bhatti Ke Leeye
By Amna Buttar

Mera andar aur mera bahir
sab tumhara hai
main ne apnay aasmaan ko
aur apnay pataal ko
ilfaaz ke motiyon main pro ker
tumharay galay main mala Daal de hai
soimber tau nahin tha
magar phir bhi
bus itni beenti hai
tum se
mera bharm rakhhna

Amna Buttar is a poet and politician who works as a physician with New York University (NYU).

Amna wrote this poem after reading a story recently published and launched in Lahore that attempts to degrade and demean the Late Punjabi author Nasreen Anjum Bhatti and others. View details at the link below:

Thinkfest Promotes ‘gutter literature’ in Punjabi

Thinkfest 2018 chose to promote a sub-standard work on the life of Punjabi author, radio artist and arts activist Nasreen Anjum Bhatti. There was an intense demonstration of solidarity with the late author by people who were there to protest against this choice.

Nasreen Anjum Bhatti reads from her first collection of poetry ‘Neel Karayaan Neelkan’.

The aware Punjabi writers and artists have described the story as ‘yellow journalism’, ‘tabloid literature’, and, of course, ‘gutter literature’.

The text proceeds to carry out ‘character assassination of progressive Punjabi writers such as Nasreen Anjum Bhatti, Shaista Habib, Zubair Rana and Fauzia Rafique’, and it does so in a misogynistic, homophobic and degrading manner. The story is penned by Nain Sukh aka Khalid Mahmood in his book called ‘ayi buray de wa’. The so-called story is a collection of inaccuracies where there are as much as FIVE factual mistakes in FOUR lines of text- about one of the writers attacked who, incidentally, is still alive to point them out.

Uddari fully supports Naeem Sadhu, Lahore’s Feminist Collective, and other individuals and organizations that are getting together to stop this attempt to legitimize yellow journalism as literature, and to resist this onslaught of conservative patriarchal mindset that demeans and degrades women, lesbians, gay men and religious minorities.

Down with the erstwhile ‘friends’ who are promoting and supporting this abusive and filthy text, and who are insisting that it should be accepted as Punjabi literature.

Fauzia Rafique

Also view
‘Nasreen Anjum Bhatti Ke Leeye – For Nasreen Anjum Bhatti’ a poem by Amna Buttar

Jatinder Mauhar’s ‘Qissa Panjab’ – a film about youth

‘Qissa Panjab’ by Jatinder Mauhar is a pleasant departure from typical ‘commercial’ or ‘formula’ Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu films being produced in India and Pakistan.

Dheeraj Kumar and Kul Sidhu

First of all, the two women protagonists do not, at any point in the whole hour-and-a-half long film, appear to be ‘heroines’, ‘actresses’, ‘fashion models’ or ‘prostitutes’- instead they always appear to be who they are supposed to be: two young women from lower middle class making their way through poverty, crime and misogyny in today’s urban and rural Punjab.

Second, the music thing. Yes, there are songs and dances, but each are made to occur ‘naturally’, so to speak. For example, most songs and dances were performed on stage by characters who are singers and dancers; and, there’s a nice recurring theme song by Gurdass Mann.

Jagjeet Sandhu

This same ‘common sense realism’ sets off and permeates the plot, characters and scenes of ‘Qissa Panjab’- and its done very well where there isn’t a dull moment in the film.

Director Jatinder Mauhar

The director has achieved an important milestone in creating a real-to-life film for the box office. The film has no pretensions of being an ‘art’ movie made for foreign film festivals and academic institutions, and it does not covet to become a box office hit by employing the usual ‘selling’ tactics of sexualizing women, over-dramatizing or providing solutions palpable to exploitative societal structures.

This is Jatinder Mauhar’s third full-length feature film as a director, earlier he had made ‘Mitti’ (2010) and ‘Sikander’ (2013) where he was also the screenwriter. Jatinder’s short films include ‘No exit’ (2005) and ‘Reth (The Sand)’. He has worked as researcher for the documentary ‘India’s Frontier Railways’ in 2014 for BBC London. He is a regular columnist with over 82 articles published about films, film literacy and current issues for the USA based newspaper Punjab Times, and for other publications in India and abroad.

Jatinder is now working on his fourth film titled ‘Saade Aale’.

‘Qissa Panjab’ was presented in Surrey on December 20th by Sukhwant Hundal and Sadhu Binning for ‘Watan’ where Jatinder Mauhar was in attendance.

View its trailer:

Contact Jatinder Mauhar

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from the unceded territories of the
Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Artist Shahid Mirza opens Exhibition of new work at Alhamra Arts Council in Lahore 26-29 December 2017

You are invited to an exhibition of recent works by Shahid Mirza, a painter, mentor and media producer working in Lahore.

Opening @ 3pm on 26th December
Continues till 29th December 2017
Gallery timings: 9am-5pm

Mirza graduated from National College of Arts in Lahore with a degree in advertising design in 1981. He has worked as a full time painter since the late eighties.

The exhibition is hosted by Shahid Mirza and Akram Warraich.

For more information, visit the link below:

View Mirza’s official web page
His Facebook Page
Contact Shahid Mirza