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date: 26 September 2022

Muslim Literary Culture in Late Colonial Indialocked

Muslim Literary Culture in Late Colonial Indialocked

  • Neilesh BoseNeilesh BoseUniversity of Victoria

Summary

Muslim literary production in the late colonial period of South Asia’s modern history converged with a number of layers of South Asian Muslim cultural, political, and social histories. The “late colonial” period is conventionally understood to begin in the era of British rule in India when imperial power became questioned, threatened, or challenged in various ways through mass movements, such as the Swadeshi movement of 1905–1908, the Khilafat Noncooperation movement of 1919–1921, or various political organizations and gatherings that challenged the foundations of British colonial rule in the subcontinent. The late colonial lasted until the end of the British Empire in 1947 and the creation of India and Pakistan. Decolonization as a political process did not simply start on August 14–15, 1947, but rather entailed a range of negotiations and wars (such as in Kashmir and Hyderabad) in the immediate postcolonial era as well as a process by which new constitutional states were born in India in 1950 and in Pakistan in 1956. Furthermore, the state of Pakistan transformed into two states in 1971, with what had been West Pakistan becoming Pakistan and what had been East Pakistan turning into Bangladesh after an intense civil war throughout 1971. Highlights of Muslim literary production in this time period and across the expanse of India figure in this survey of individuals active in late colonial India, such as Muhammad Iqbal and Kazi Nazrul Islam, as well as important institutions central to the creation of Muslim literary production, such as the Progressive Writers Association. Literary production featured not only widely read literary texts of enduring quality but also of social institutions as well as political speeches or articles, important reference points generated by Muslim writers in this time period. What was at stake in all writings by Muslims was an engagement with the Muslim qaum (community). Not only visible in the politics of the All-India Muslim League, concern for the qaum was seen in newspapers, speeches, books, pamphlets, and reportage of the Khilafat and Noncoperation movements.

Subjects

  • Cultural
  • South Asia

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