This paper attempts the historiographical analysis of the caste as it reflects in Sindhi progressive literature and rural politics. In an attempt to reframe the harmonious image of Sindhi society, the Progressives popularised certain slogans, phrases and historical events as the metaphors of the nationalist and class struggle. Tracing from the early Partition phase (the 1940s), this paper interrogates the progressive’s orientalist literary trajectory that reframes caste metaphors and constructs the Sindhi nationalist narrative. It is contended that the reframing of some key historical events of Dalits and peasants seem uncritical and apologetic of caste friction, create an illusion of neutrality and at times even sanction casteism as a functional aspect of Sindhi society. The ‘progressive’ literature condones caste hierarchies and flattens the question of caste adding to the pre-existing hegemonic relations between the historically dominant and the subordinated caste groups. This diminishes the possibility of deploying the framework of caste-as-class for understanding caste, organising Dalits reckoning their agency as it may shape their immanent narratives and subverting caste hierarchies.
Hussain, G. (2020). Ethno-Nationality of Caste in Pakistan: Privileged Caste Morality in Sindhi Progressive Literature and Politics. Critical Sociology. https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920520964541