Issue No:  17


In This Issue

  • A Message from ASHT
  • 'Lionhearts' Return
  • 'Going Global: Sikhs in Canada'
  • 'The Scar that Never Healed: Collective Memories of the Partition'
  • Other News & Events

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A Message from ASHT
 ASHT Highlights 2011

2011 has been a typically busy year for ASHT and 2012 promises to be even more exciting and challenging on many fronts.

History no matter how glorious runs the risk of becoming obscure and irrelevant before eventually being cast aside with the passage of time. At ASHT our mission is to keep Sikh history relevant and to showcase it in the most professional, engaging and vibrant of ways as we strive to reach new audiences and territories.

Like all charities across many sectors diminishing resources are a constant challenge. The total amount of charitable giving in the UK has declined during the recession with fewer people giving and there being smaller average donations. Sadly we are not exempt from the effects of this trend and urge you to continue your donations and to encourage others to support the cause.

We sincerely appreciate your support and look forward to its continuation in the year ahead.

 'Lionhearts' Return
 Saraghari Challenge Cup India

The Sherdils (or Lionhearts) polo team and the British army polo team were in action again at the rematch of the Saragarhi Challenge Cup which took place in December at the Jaipur Polo Club, Delhi.

The game was fast and fierce echoing the inaugural match played in Berkshire in 2010, which was attended by HRH the Prince of Wales. The cup was initiated by ASHT to raise awareness of the little known Battle of Saragarhi, during which 21 Sikhs died defending a British army post from around 10,000 Afghan tribesmen.

Attended by India's Minister for External Affairs, Praneet Kaur, in the capacity of chief guest, the rematch ended in a 7-3 victory to the Sherdils with Col Navjit Singh Sandhu, scoring three goals.

"It was a good game, very fast, we got an early advantage at 3-0 and then they found it difficult to catch up," Col Sandhu told the BBC after the match.

Col Simon Ledger, chairman of the British Army Polo Association, said it had been a "perfect day" to play polo.

"The match is a reminder that the Sikh community is brave and resourceful," he said.

Watch a short video of the event here

Going Global: Sikhs in Canada
 Going Global: Sikhs in Canada

The 2012 calendar entitled ‘Going Global: Sikhs in Canada, Through the Art of The Singh Twin's is the first in a special ‘Going Global' series which will be dedicated to an aspect of the Diaspora Sikh community. This year looks at Sikhs in Canada through the eyes of The Singh Twins - focusing on the artwork they have been commissioned to create for Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum collections. Each month presents specific details from the painting.

The painting, which took several months to complete, is executed in the Twins' unique Past-Modern Indian miniaturist style. The iconography and symbolism within the work reflect the artists' personal experience of the community in Canada as well as the research they did for the commission, offering a selective overview of Canadian Sikh history and achievements.

Available in the UK exclusively from ASHT! £10 (plus p & p)

To order your copy email

'The Scar that Never Healed: Collective Memories of the Partition'
 Migration during the partition

The British Academy and University College London have recently funded a project which aims to collect and preserve the stories of the 1947 Indian Partition from members of the South Asian communities in Britain. "The Scar that Never Healed: Collective Memories of Partition in the South Asian Diaspora" project will focus on both direct and inherited memories of the Partition and once complete, the interviews will be part of an open-access, electronic archive stored by UCL, so that they can be accessed by anyone who might be interested. They will also be used to facilitate community inter-generation and inter-faith workshops designed to highlight the importance of these stories, and help foster community cohesion.

Given that the partition was and remains a seminal event in the lives of so many Sikhs of that generation it is important that our narrative is also captured. For Sikhs the partition was a traumatic event the effects of which reverberate to this day. This is all the more ironic as although the Sikhs were utterly opposed to partition they perhaps suffered the most.

"Try to think in terms of millions. Try to think of a relentless hot son, alternated with torrential rain and underneath it all, an unbroken stream of humanity, stretching beyond the eyes.....
In that world of terror, panic and confusion, it was difficult to even fathom the extent of human tragedy. Civilisation seemed to have ended"
( Maj Gen M S Chopra: "1947 - A Soldiers Story")

ASHT have been invited to contribute to the project by way of gathering testimonials so if you would like to get involved in this project please email us at

Other News & Events
Image 1. A Maharajah & A Munshi Image 2. The Sikhs in Britain

'In Court with Queen Victoria - A Maharajah and a Munshi'

An exciting and groundbreaking multimedia installation, bringing to life Queen
Victoria's relationship with Maharajah Duleep Singh and Abdul Karim

Wednesday 15th February to Thursday 5th April 2012, Slough Museum

Uncover the hidden history of Queen Victoria's relationships with two Indians from contrasting
backgrounds - a Maharajah and a Munshi.

Inspired in design by the Royal thrones of Britain and the Punjab and a ‘Munshi's' (Teacher)
chair, this exhibition brings to life, a relatively unknown side of Queen Victoria's reign. The
dramatised installation provides an engaging insight into Queen Victoria, Empress of India,
and her extraordinary experience of India, and all things Indian, without ever setting foot on
Indian soil.

This is the story of how ‘India came to the Queen', in the guise of a Maharajah and a Munshi.

For further information email or call 01753 526422

The Sikhs in Britain: 150 Years of Photographs

The 150 years migration of Sikhs to Britain and their contribition to British Society

'Sikhs in Britain'
is a new highly illustrated Coffee-table book by Peter Bance, charting the fascinating history of the Sikhs and their contribution to British society from the mid nineteenth century to the present day. The new publication released in December 2011, contains compelling and extensively researched narrative with over 200 black and white photographs, the majority of them drawn from private collections and never before published.

For further information visit

ASHT Contacts
Media Relations: 
Telephone: 0845 600 1893
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