Amritsar, Mar 26, 2016: A two day UGC National Seminar on Society and Economy of 19th Century Punjab: Continuity and Change was inaugurated here today in the Conference Hall, Guru Nanak Bhawan of the Guru Nanak Dev University. The Department of History of the University is organizing this seminar. Senior scholars from Kashmir University, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Punjabi University, Patiala, Jammu University, and Jaipur University are participating. The response is so overwhelming that there are more than fifty papers to be presented during these two days.
The theme of the seminar was introduced by Professor Bir Good Gill, Head Department of History. She conveyed that the 19th Century Punjab was rich in cultural traditions and literature. The region was so vast as conquered by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Ladakh to Peshawar and Multan. Along with goe-political relevance, it was the geo-cultural strength of the Punjab that it gained from its neibouring regions, through the influences and interaction with sufi saints, poets, travelers and trading caravans.
Professor Himadri Banerjee from Jadavpur University, Kolkata delivered keynote address on the agrarian society of the 19th century Punjab. He stressed that the British for their own interests pampered the landlords though peasantry remained at the receiving end. He paid a rich tribute to the Punjabi society which is rich in its legacy inherited from the times of its great ruler.
Professor Paramjit Singh Judge, Dean Academic Affairs of the University presided over the proceeding and stressed the need to study other societies to have broader view and understanding of the Punjabi Society.
Professor Amarjit Singh Sidhu, Dean Students Welfare suggested the need to study the society and economy of the Punjab keeping in mind the concerns for the agricultural classes. He added that the plight of the peasantry today worries us all and we should not forget it. The historians can by studying the agrarian society of 19th and 20th centuries help find better solutions to the present day challenges of the peasantry.