Ghulam Hussain Quaid-i-Azam University
This paper is an attempt to understand the appropriation of spaces of Dalits by Sindhi Progressive activists and short story writers in Pakistan as they construct or rather undermine caste at the anvil of religion and gender to project their own religio-political agenda premised on political Sufism or Sufi nationalism. I specifically discuss the narratives emergent of the three popular short stories that are projected as having exceptional emancipatory potential for the Dalits and (Dalit) women. Assessing the emancipatory limits of Sindhi Progressive narrative, I argue while that the short stories purport to give fuller expression to religious, gender-based and class dimension of the problematic, it elides the problem of casteism and the subsequent existential demand of Dalit emancipation. Given the hegemonic influence of local Ashrafia class, the internal caste frictions are glossed over through political Sufism or Sindhi nationalism.
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