‘In one hand a pen in the other a gun’: Punjabi language radicalism in Punjab, Pakistan

Virinder Kalra, Waqas Butt (Collaborator)

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Abstract

The relationship between language and politics in South Asia has provided a rich vein for academic analysis as it is tied up with issues related to nationalism and political mobilization. However, much of this analysis has been based on the Indian reorganization of states along linguistic lines or the role of language in the Bangladeshi liberation movement. This article discusses the role of language in the mobilization of the Left in Pakistan, specifically the way in which Punjabi was utilized by the Mazdoor Kisan Party at the theoretical and practical levels, in its mobilizing in the early 1970s. The role that language played in the site of student politics is illustrated through a case study of Sahiwal College. Overall, the role that Punjabi played as a mobilizing tool for the Left in Pakistan demonstrates a practice where culture and politics are inseparable and in this sense the article contributes to the wider debates on language and politics in South Asia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-553
Number of pages15
JournalSouth Asian History and Culture
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013

Keywords

  • Punjabi; language; politics; Mazdoor Kisan Party; Sahiwal

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