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Independence Days – Wembley Park; learning lessons from history, assassin Madan Lal Dhingra; stars sing for India; and community Jashan e Azadi…

Independence Days – Wembley Park; learning lessons from history, assassin Madan Lal Dhingra; stars sing for India; and community Jashan e Azadi…

A few events that seek to mark the birth of two nations…

AS BOTH Pakistan and India prepare to celebrate their respective Independence Days, August 14 and August 15, there are events taking place marking these…

UK Asian Film Festival’s Independence Day celebrations: Bollywood and ‘The Other Side of the River’ (‘Mrugtrushna) film screening…

Wembley Park Screenings
Karan Pagli and his students

OVER at Wembley Park (next to Wembley Stadium), the UK Asian Film Festival is marking India’s Independence Day with a special afternoon of activities for all the family ahead of a child-friendly feature film screening.
It all starts at 4pm with the leader of Brent Council Muhammad Butt welcoming all to the afternoon activities.
There are dance performances and demonstrations for all the family led by several local groups. One of the highlights will almost certainly be Karan Singh Pangali, artistic director of KSpark Entertainments, which specialises in Bollywood style entertainment, leading a team of his dancers on the stage.
The well-known choreographer has danced at awards ceremonies in Mumbai in front of the crème de la crème of Bollywood’s biggest stars.
He conducts a workshop on the day and takes his KSpark crew through its paces.
“We are super excited to bring Bollywood dance to UKAFF’s celebration of Independence Day,” he said. “Our talented students have been training hard and will be putting on a very special performance for the public.”
“It’s going be a lot of fun,” said Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry, director of the UK Asian Film Festival. “There will be a range of dance activities to keep everyone entertained before the screening of our really wonderful film.”

The Other Side of the River

The film is ‘The Other Side of the River’(‘Mrugtrushna’). This Gujarati-language child-friendly film is centred around four children who dare to dream. They live on one side of the river in humble surroundings, but think a lot about what life might be like over the other side. They come from traditional families who disavow the modern and feel secure with their station in life but their children hope with something better.

Sunday, August 15 from 4pm. Entry is free and get there early to grab a deckchair or bring your own. Film is scheduled to start at 6pm.
Wembley Park HA9 0GG (Wembley Park tube) HA9 0GG
For more details, check:

Learning the lessons of the past: what history can teach us podcast, panel talk and story behind Indian freedom fighter Madan Lal Dhingra

IT’S SOUTH ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH (SAHM) and we’re entering the last phase with the curtain drawing down on all next (Tuesday) August 17.
There are still quite a few digital talks and events and among those that caught our eye and have a Partition/Independence angle are – Truth and Reconciliation: Let’s talk about colonial past on Sunday. It’s a live podcast from The Decolonial Podcast and is a talk about colonialism and its modern legacy and lots of related subjects. Hosts Natasha Junejo (pictured in the middle above) and Maya Kalaria (pictured above left) lead the discussion and it’s billed as a conversation for Black Indiginous People of Colour (Bipoc). It will be released on streaming platforms on Tuesday August 17.
Another one of the final events centres around the need for better education and helping more young people know more about British Colonial history and what happened during Partition.
Entitled, Learning about Partition: an Introduction, it brings together many of the learned and powerful voices behind the Partition Education Group. This collection of peple is lobbying to introduce the subject of British Colonial History and Partition into school curricula – currently there is no formal provision for the subject. Many in school know far more about Henry VIII and Tudor history than what happened in South Asia just under 75 years ago, even though it is part of British history.
Among those contributing to the panel discussion are Professor Sarah Ansari, whose areas of interest are rights and citizenship in Colonial India, South Asian women, and the history of the province of Sindh and its port city, Karachi; Professor Will Gould, who is an expert on Indian history and specialises in citizenship in the 20th century in the region, and has helped to produce a historical documentary looking at India’s tribal and nomadic communities; Dr Deborah Sutton, whose research interests including the way the authorities managed temple issues in Colonial India, heritage in the region, including the history of Delhi and the academic has also worked with software developers on new heritage tech apps.
The debate will be moderated by Raj Unsworth. (For listings details see below).
There is also, Exhumation: The Life and Death of Madan Lal Dhingra, part history, part memoir by Leena Dhingra (pictured third right above).
Leena Dhingra is well-established writer and actor and can be seen in Channel 4 school drama, ‘Ackley Bridge’. She is also the author of ‘Exhumation: The Life and death of Madan Lal Dhingra’ which will be published on Tuesday next week (August 17). It is the story behind her great uncle – Madan Lal Dhingra who on the same day in 1909 was hanged for the assassination of Sir William Hutt Curzon Wyllie, a high ranking civil servant in the British India Office. In India, Madan Lal Dhingra was seen as a freedom fighter and his remains were exhumed and returned to India – with a hero’s welcome.
Leen’s family were forced to relocate – firstly from Lahore and then onto Europe following Partition.
It was her guest role in the Partition episode of BBC’s ‘Doctor Who‘ (‘Demons of the Punjab’ November 2018) that set her off on the trail of her Great Uncle. She will discuss her latest book with writer and historian Kishwar Desai. (See SAHM listings below).

SAHM Listings:
Sunday (August 15)
Truth and Reconciliation: Let’s talk about colonial past on Sunday, between 2pm-3.15pm. The podcast welcomes questions –
Tuesday August 17
Learning About Partition: an Introduction – 4pm-5pm
Exhumation: The Life and Death of Madan Lal Dhingra Part history, part memoir Leena Dhingra. 6.30pm-7.30pm

Host of music and Bollywood stars join hands in ‘We for India’

ON SUNDAY (August 15) itself, there is one of the largest and most star-studded post covid events ever organised and seeking to raise money for continuing health relief work in India. Created around the theme, We for India: Saving Lives, Protecting Livelihoods.
This digital event, known in short, as We For India, will broadcast from 3pm BST on Facebook and will include the likes of pop stars Mick Jagger, Annie Lenox (pictured above left) and Ed Sheeran (pictured above middle by Dan Martensen) among several others, including other pop acts, Nile Rodgers, Sister Sledge and music maestro AR Rahman, social media sensation and lifestyle guru, Jay Shetty (pictured right) and actors Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Rajkummar Rao and star producer Karan Johar, as well as actor and activist, Dia Mirza, either performing or talking about the cause and some no doubt doing both. The event is looking to raise about £3 million in donations. You can donate through Indian charity platform, GiveIndia. It’s expected money will go to ongoing relief efforts and vaccination programmes. The fundraiser has been organised by social enterprise The World We Want and produced in partnership with India’s Reliance Entertainment.

Tune in here on Sunday, August 15 at 3pm BST/10am (New York)/7.30pm IST:

August 14
Pakistan (community)

Community mark Jashan e Azadi

The British Pakistan Foundation (BPF) is marking Pakistan’s Independence Day with an in-person event, Jashan e Azadi, in Rochdale, Lancashire. There is food and drink at The Community Hub, based at the Castlemere Community Centre on Saturday (August 14). The BPF is a London-headquartered not for profit, secular organisation that runs programmes that seek to help the community and create better links between the UK diaspora and government organisations and non-governmental groups in both the UK and Pakistan.

Saturday, August 14 from 11am-2pm, Castle Community Centre, 60, Tweedale Street, Rochdale OL11 1HH For more see: British Pakistan Foundation and BPF Glo Hub

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture