The chapter investigates the construction of Sikh identity in British Sikh Diaspora in J. K. Rowling’s first adult novel The Casual Vacancy, which stirred a ruckus within Sikh Community after its publication leading to the involvement of sgpc and its head showing concern with the negative portrayal of Sikh characters in the novel. Rowling defends the novel by her theory of ‘corrosive racism’ after her ‘vast amount of research’ in Sikhism. The chapter explores diasporic Sikh identity through the character of Sukhvinder who though dyslexic is stifled by her mother and harassed by her classmate Fats through slanderous remarks targeting her Sikh identity. Though Sukhvinder resorts to self-torture after undergoing racism, she emerges victorious like a brave Sikh by her self-determination and emerges a heroine by helping everybody in Britain. The chapter applies Teun A. van Dijk’s racist discourse and post-colonial theories specifically Homi Bhabha’s hybridity of cultures, Jacques Rancière’s distribution of the sensible hinting at the redistribution of identities to make invisible diaspora visible and inaudible audible and Gayatri Spivak’s theory of the subaltern to prove that the Sikh diaspora remains in Charhdi Kala (higher state of mind) even in tough situations. The chapter concludes that though British Sikh diaspora undergoes racialism leading to identity crisis, Sikhs finally find resolution through Sikh identity model Sukhvinder who, treading the footsteps of Sikh heroes like Bhai Kanhayia, becomes a heroin by risking her life to save Robbie and by helping all in the novel.
This book offers fascinating insights into the concept of diaspora by presenting a portrait gallery of writers highlighting diasporas on Welsh, Mauritian, Palestinian, Circassian Kurdish, British Sikh, Dutch Hindustani, Indian, Tamil and African experiences. Harjinder Singh Majhail and Sinan Dogan present the world of diasporas in interesting portrayals such as Gulnur’s research into Circassian history lying hidden in
Yistanbulako elegy, Enaya’s visits into Milwaukee in Wisconsin where Palestinian Muslim women marry outside their religion because of the non-availability of suitable partners in their community and Harjinder Majhail’s sojourns into J. K. Rowling’s
The Casual Vacancy portraying a teenager girl’s brave encounters in British Sikh diaspora. Contributors are Vitor Lopes Andrade, Kimberly Berg, Amenah Jahangeer Chojoo, Gülnur Demirci, Sinan Doğan, Jaswina Elahi, Ruben Gawricharn, Lola Guyot, Nadine Hassouneh, Harjinder Singh Majhail and Enaya Hammad Othman.