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2 - Blasphemy

Progressives, Literary Ethics, and the Case of Burning Embers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 January 2022

Sarah Fatima Waheed
Affiliation:
Davidson College, North Carolina
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Summary

The controversy over Angāre in the early 1930s has always been interpreted as a contest between religious and secular forces given the furor around the publication for being “blasphemous.” Turning to relevant legislation in the period, contextualizing debates around blasphemy in the legal and literary spheres, and analyzing responses to the text, I problematize assumptions behind seeing the controversy as one about religion vs. secularism. I argue that the text and the reception to it is best read as a crisis over ethics within the colonized, Urdu-speaking Muslim upper classes of urban North India, who were beginning to stake their raison d’etre and sense of selfhood on minority political status. This status had enormous consequences a decade later in the demand for Pakistan. This chapter shows how this early controversy was about how a class of Indian Muslims were identifying as an ethical community, not a religious one.

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Hidden Histories of Pakistan
Censorship, Literature, and Secular Nationalism in Late Colonial India
, pp. 44 - 93
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Blasphemy
  • Sarah Fatima Waheed, Davidson College, North Carolina
  • Book: Hidden Histories of Pakistan
  • Online publication: 06 January 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108993517.003
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  • Blasphemy
  • Sarah Fatima Waheed, Davidson College, North Carolina
  • Book: Hidden Histories of Pakistan
  • Online publication: 06 January 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108993517.003
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Blasphemy
  • Sarah Fatima Waheed, Davidson College, North Carolina
  • Book: Hidden Histories of Pakistan
  • Online publication: 06 January 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108993517.003
Available formats
×