Saturday, November 12, 2011

Telugu Muslim Literature: In Search of a Friend
Dr. P. Kesava Kumar

In post independent Indian society, the electoral success of BJP, demolition of Brabri Masjid and Gujarat massacre indicates the consolidation of hindutva forces that are challenging the secular India. In a strife ridden society, the Muslim community has compelled to lead insecure and uncertain life. The community become silent in public sphere, which is mostly dominated by caste hindus. There no clues about the creative thinking of the community except the occasional outbursts of self protective religious voice of Muslim clergy. It is visible that the Muslim community has lost faith in secular credential of state and started moving away from the congress. They started identifying with the dalit bahujan political forces that are promised to fighting against the caste hegemony and consequentially hindutva. In this backdrop, Muslim literature as a new genre emerged with a creative efforts of Telugu speaking conscious intelligentsia of Muslim community. They dared to articulate the anxieties and social aspiration of the community in literary front. Initially Muslim writers identified with Dalit literature as their fight against common enemy, brahminical Hinduism. It was even a debating point weather to include Muslim writers as a part of dalit literature. It is even argued by some Muslim writers that Indian Muslims are originally belonged to lower social strata and are converted into Islam. In due course, muslim literature has emerged as a distinctive literary genre by addressing the specific problems of Muslim community. Muslim literature has voiced not only against the tyranny of politics of majoritarian Hinduism, but also articulated the socio economic situation of Muslims. Jala Jala, the poetry collection and Watan, a collection of short stories are landmark in Muslim literature in Telugu. It has followed by considerable literary and political writing.
The Muslim literature reveals the ambivalent relationship with dalit literature. On hand, politically motivated to identify with dalit literature in their struggle against hindutva forces, and on the other hand it would like to maintain its autonomy by maintaining the specific identity of Muslim community. And another level, there is a debate within Muslim literature on ideological stand, weather to articulate the aspiration of community in terms of Islam or Muslim. Muslim represents the sociological community, and Islam represents the religious community of the same. The Muslim literature has largely expressing its loyalty to religion and Islamic tradition, which is committed to rational and logical rather dogmatic faith. Some of the muslim writers argued that muslim literature has to be founded only on Islam. Islam has seen as a liberating force in the contemporary context of ‘clash of civilizations.’ However, we may find complexity and ambiguity involved in Muslim literature on reflecting the issue such as fatwa, triple talak, Burkha. The Muslim writers’ powerfully depicted the socio, economic, educational and political backwardness of a community apartment from crisis and insecurity of religious minority. The literature wages a struggle for dignity of a community and social justice.

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