Friday, August 28, 2009

Ibne Safi: issues for advanced research

Now with the revival of Ibne Safi, there is once again some talk about doctoral research on him. In my opinion, there are thee are some underlying issues which need to be resolved first:
  • What is Pakistan? How does the creation of this state questions previous notions in the domain of social and political sciences?
  • What is a nation? How does it regulate the society which becomes it?
  • What are the components of a society and how does their "hidden" working become "apparent" in the creation of Pakistan?
  • What is/was the Muslim community of the sub-continent, how is it redefined through the creation of Pakistan, and what is the continuation of its literary and political history?
Once these questions are answered "through" Ibne Safi (rather than "for" him), then other questions can be taken up, for instance the evolution of Dastan (prose epic) into "Sirri Adab" through him, and how his "sirri novel" being so much shorter than Dastan is also comparable with "hikayat" (parable). In other words, how dastan and hikayat converge in his "sirri novel" and how it alters the modern European novel in order to conform to the whims, tastes and aspirations of that amazing generation who had worked out the miracle of Pakistan (on both sides of the border).

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