Royal Holloway University of London Department of History
and The University of Leeds School of History
Event Date: 9 and 10 September 2010
Royal Asiatic Society 14 Stephenson Way, London NW1
Kamran Asdar Ali – Progressives and “Perverts”: Partition Stories and Pakistan’s Future
My paper will argue that as much as newly independent Pakistan was formed on an ideological platform of Muslim nationalism in South Asia the shape of its future culture initially remained an open question. Within this context, in Pakistan’s first decade of existence there were clear camps of intellectuals who had competing claims linked to various ideological positions that impressed upon the state and the populace about the legitimacy of one set of ideas over others. One group with a clear ideological perspective was the set of intellectuals closely aligned with the Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP). Yet, other groups, not as organized as the progressives, consisted of a range of free thinkers, modernist poets and independent minded intellectuals along with those who sought to link the question of Pakistan with Islamic morals and values.