Social Science Research Council Research AMP Mediawell

Slow Violence in Post-1984 Punjab: Remembering, Forgetting and Refusals

Grewal, Inderpal; Sabherwal, Sasha
Sikh Formations

In this paper, we examine the afterlives of insurgent and counterinsurgent violence in Punjab and the US. We explore how the period of the 1980s and 1990s came to have effects that linger into the present, and how violence is remembered by ordinary people, especially non-elite women. We argue that memories unfold in relation to the slow and structural violence that has manifested through years of Punjabis living with the after-effects of insurgency and counterinsurgency. Our research on remembering and forgetting shows that the period of violence of the 1980s and 1990s remains alive and formative in contemporary forms of community, gender, and identity across Punjab and its diasporas.