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Research Staff at the Centre

Director: Professor Balkar Singh

Balkar Singh is thecurrent Director of World Punjabi Centre who took charge in May 2018. A postgraduate of Punjabi university (M.A. in Punjabi, 1964; Persian, 1975) and Post Graduate Course in Sikh Theology, (1964-1966, Shaheed Sikh Missionary College, Amritsar) where he is particularly proud of his training under the guidance of distinguished theologians; Sahib Singh, DharamAnant Singh and Taran Singh) and with a doctoral study on'Sikh Mysticism’ at Punjabi university in 1983.Balkar Singh started his career as a lecturer at Guru ArjanDev College, Tarn Taran and in 1970 shifted to the Department of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Studies at Punjabi University as a Senior Research Fellow. Working here, Balkar Singh eventually becamea Professor and Head of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Studies Department. On his retirement, Balkar Singh was honoured with the title of ‘Professor of Eminence’ In view of his distinguished career and numerous contributions to Sikh Studies.

During his long academic career, he held several other posts including Dean, Faculty of Humanity and Religious Studies, Dean of Colleges and was a Member of Punjabi University Syndicate. As a member of several academic bodies of Punjab and a longstanding advisor to DharamParchar Committee of SGPC, he was also Member of Advisory Committee to Akal Takhat Sahib, Amritsar. Among other positions he was Director, Guru Ram Das Institute of Language and Culture, Espanola, New Mexico, USA during 2001- 2006. He is anExecutive Member of Sikh Educational Society (SES), Chandigarh, Member of Advisory Committee for Advanced Centre for Sri Guru Granth Sahib Studies at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. He is widely-known for his much-acclaimed biographyof an AkaliDal statesman who played a prominent role in Sikh politics since the 1970s and was the longest serving president of ShiromaniGurdwaraParbandhak Committee;Punjab Da Baba Boharh: Gurcharan Singh Tohra (Chandigarh, 2005). Hisseveral publications on the subject of Sikh Studies include: Guru TeghBahadur Hind Di Chadar (1974); GurmatVivechan (1995); Bhagat Nam Dev: JeevanteRachna(1995); Sikh Rahaswad (Patiala, 1999) Akal Takhat Sahib: JotiTeJugati (Amritsar, 1995); Jinhan Ton VichoriaGiaHai (2003); Sikh Conception of Sabad-Guru (Delhi, 2008); Sabad- Guru da Sikh Sidhant (Patiala, 2012). In addition, he has edited a number of volumes arising from seminars bearing upon Sikh Studies, Culture and Literature.

Professor Balkar Singh has travelled widely across the Indian subcontinent as well as among overseas Sikh communities. He was a visiting Professor of Sikh Studies at Espanola, New Mexico, USA during 2001-2006 where he had extensive exchange with Harbhajan Singh Yogi and his followers while gaining much experience of the Sikh community settled in North America. His regular columns through newspapers are widely read for comments upon Panthic matters while his more serious contributions are by way of books, written submissions and policy papers. Hewas honoured with ‘JathedarGurcharan Singh Tohra Memorial Award’by SES Society, Chandigarh. Balkar Singh is recipient of Punjab Language Department award ‘Shiromany Punjabi Alochak-KjojSahitkar’ for the year 2013.

Senior Fellow: Dr Darshan S. Tatla

DarshanTatla was educated at Cambridge University (M.A.), his research on overseas Sikh communities began at Warwick University with a doctoral study. Hispublications include;The Sikh Diaspora; The Search for Statehood (London: 1999); Sikhs in Britain: the making of a community (London: 2006 co-author with Gurharpal Singh); Sikh Diaspora Philanthropy in Punjab: Global Giving for Local Good (Oxford, 2009 co-edited with Verne Dusenbery); Epicentre of Violence: Partition and Refugee Voices from Amritsar (Delhi: 2005 with Ian Talbot), Bartaniavich Panjabi Bhasha (Patiala: 1996).

Concerned with documentary experience of overseas Sikh communities he has published oral testimonies and bibliographiesincluding SantTeja Singh: a short biography In a series of oral history; Sikhs in North America (Greenwood, 1991); Sikhs in Britain, Centre for Ethnic Relations, Warwick University, 1994(with Eleanor Nesbitt);Punjab (World Bibliographical Series, Oxford, Clio,1995 with Ian Talbot); Ghadar Movement: a guide to sources (Amritsar: 2003); DeshBhagatYadgar Library: A guide to manuscripts and other materials (Jalandhar: 2013); Punjab Theses, (Coventry, 1996, 2 volumes). On the KomagataMaru episode, he has edited a series of three volumes, Gurdit Singh’s Voyage of KomagataMaru or India’s Slavery Abroad; Zulmi Katha and Report of the KomagataMaru Committee of Inquiry and Some Further Documents. (2007); Gurdit Singh’s two books collectively called Zulmi Katha were published in its centenary year of 2014 (with Prithipal Singh Kapur).

Dr.Tatla is founder editor of Journal of Punjab Studies and on editorial board of Sikh Formations (London, Routledge). On return to Punjab, Dr.Tatla was for several tears a Fellow in the Department of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University and in September 2018, joined World Punjabi Centre as a Senior Fellow.


  • Office: Punjabi University, Patiala (Near Enquiry Centre, Main Gate)
  • ਦਫਤਰ : ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀ, ਪਟਿਆਲਾ (ਨੇੜੇ ਪੁੱਛਗਿਛ ਕੇਂਦਰ, ਮੇਨ ਗੇਟ)
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