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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Consensus Literature

Pakistani literature cannot be restricted to those who imitate whatever change occurs in form and style in the West (whether Russian West or the capitalist West). That is sentiment, not thought.

I believe that democracy applies to everything, including literature. Hence our "literature" is not those highbrows who never meet the approval of the masses. Our literature after Iqbal, according to me, is national songs, popular film, film poetry, mystery literature, digests, etc. These are "democratic" art forms.

The job of the intellectual is to interpret the consensus of the people rather than importing values from abroad and imposing them. That is just another form of "ascetism" (rahbaniyat) and is typical of decadent periods when nations decline in power - and it became standardized in the West only when their imperialism got thwarted. But we won an empire just when they lost it, so how can our lives be parallel?

Blind imitation of the West eventually leads to hostile reactions against West itself: in Pakistan we find that those who are most cynically anti-West are usually the ones who are not in touch with the vernacular spirit. The vernacular spirit in Pakistan is not cynical. It values its freedom and is bent upon developing its own potential rather than blaming others. The verncacular spirit is still in touch with the ideal of Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah, "peace within and peace without."

4 comments:

Rehan Damani said...

One thing which i'm not able to yet understand is how will we be able to save the spirit with democractic consensus, if people conform more to the ideas of the West? We will be promoting West if we want consensus. Then, how will the consensus would save the venacular spirit?

Khurram Ali Shafique said...

"The whole is larger than the sum of its parts," says Aristotle. Even if every single individual conforms to an alien idea, the overall picture which emerges from their combined opinions will have something new to offer. The job of an enlightened mind is to discover it.

Ubaid said...

If Pakistan should be made of Quaid e Azam Pakistan. How many time spend that present to Quaid e Azam Pakistan?

Ubaid said...

If Pakistan should be made of Quaid e Azam Pakistan. How many time spend that present to Quaid e Azam Pakistan?