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Anti-politics of the Heterodox Poetry and Life history of Shah Abdul Latif: Ambedkarian Perspective
  • Ghulam Hussain
Ghulam Hussain
Quaid-i-Azam University Islambad, Quaid-i-Azam University Islambad, Quaid-i-Azam University Islambad

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This paper is an attempt to analyze the construction of Latif’s poetry by the Progressives from the Ambedkarian perspective 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. I argue that due to Latif’s heterodox and multivocal nature of poetry and ambiguity regarding the originality of his verses gives expression multiple and contradictory signifiers, including the casteist ones. This heterodoxy of Latif 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, patriotic import, and exonerate Latif from any possible hegemonic impact of the casteist values and the Ashrafia privileges that he enjoyed in his times, or the Progressives themselves continue to enjoy.