Anti-politics of the Heterodox Poetry and Life history of Shah Abdul Latif: Ambedkarian Perspective

2019-10-03T20:21:54Z (GMT) by Ghulam Hussain

This paper is an attempt to analyze from the Ambedkarian perspective the interpretation of Latif’s poetry by the Progressives to assess its emancipatory potential for the Dalits. Building my critique primarily on the scholarly work of H.T.Sorley, I argue that in an attempt to construct the Sufi image of ‘Sindhi nation’, the Progressives undermine the casteist, fatalist and sectarian import of Latif’s poetry and life-history. Latif’s heterodox and multivocal nature of poetry and ambiguity regarding the originality of his verses gives expression to multiple and contradictory signifiers, including the casteist ones. This heterodoxy of Latif creates the anti-political crises of interpretations and self-contradictory projections that depoliticizes the problem of casteism. It allows the ‘Progressives’, like any other social and political group, to legitimize and popularize the selective verses that may have, at least on surface, the egalitarian and patriotic import, to exonerate Latif from any possible hegemonic impact of the orthodox casteist values and the Ashrafia privileges that he enjoyed during his lifetime, or the Ashrafia-Savarna Progressives themselves continue to enjoy.