Faith and Feminism in Pakistan
Religous Agency or Secular Autonomy?
by Afiya S. Zia
Rs. 1195 Rs.1015
Are secular aims, politics, and sensibilities impossible, undesirable and impracticable for Muslims and Islamic states? Should Muslim women be exempted from feminist attempts at liberation from patriarchy and its various expressions under Islamic laws and customs? Considerable literature on the entanglements of Islam and secularism has been produced in the post-9/11 decade and a large proportion of it deals with the “Woman Question”. Many commentators critique “the secular” and “Western feminism,” and the racialising backlash that accompanied the occupation of Muslim countries during the “War on Terror” military campaign launched by the U.S. government after the September 11 attacks in 2001. Implicit in many of these critical works is the suggestion that it is Western secular feminism that is the motivating driver and permanent collaborator – along with other feminists, secularists and human rights activists in Muslim countries – that sustains the West’s actual and metaphorical “war on Islam and Muslims.” Faith and Feminism addresses this post-9/11 critical trope and its implications for women’s movements in Muslim contexts. The relevance of secular feminist activism is illustrated with reference to some of the nation-wide, working-class women’s movements that have surged throughout Pakistan under religious militancy: polio vaccinators, health workers, politicians, peasants and artists have been directly targeted, even assassinated, for their service and commitment to liberal ideals. Afiya Zia contends that Muslim women’s piety is no threat against the dominant political patriarchy, but their secular autonomy promises transformative changes for the population at large, and thereby effectively challenges Muslim male dominance.
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: May 2018
Rights: South Asia
Availability: In Stock
Eight Theses on Authoritarianism in Pakistan
by Ammar Ali Jan
Rs. 750 | $ 10.00
Why have democratic institutions and norms not taken root in Pakistan? In these polemical essays, Ammar Jan presents eight theses to explain the political, economic and social roots of authoritarianism in the country. Rather than fixating on particular individuals or governments, this work focuses on the structural features propelling the rising militarisation of society. Jan locates the deep fear of the masses held by ruling classes and state officials as a critical point of departure to grasp the pervasive disregard for popular sovereignty. This paranoia has created a permanent state of emergency in Pakistan that is used to deploy excessive violence against popular challenges to the status quo. To fight back against this failing order, the book calls for the construction of alternative ideas that can unite disparate movements struggling for justice and dignity.
“Rule by Fear is a much-needed primer for progressive politics in Pakistan. Ammar Jan brings together his scholarly insights and experience as an activist in this clearly written and accessible text. It reminds us of Pakistan’s checkered past, yet provides a way forward toward a more egalitarian and socially just future. A must read for those interested in the linkages of the Pakistani state with the colonial era and how this history continues to inform the contemporary period.”
– Kamran Asdar Ali, Surkh Salam: Communist Politics and Class Activism in Pakistan 1947-1972
“Rule by Fear is a compendium of all the hidden, progressive stories of Pakistan that fundamentally reads as a love story for the people of Pakistan, particularly students and workers who have been systematically denied any right to call themselves Pakistani because of politicians and military leaders who pose as if they are the only groups who can protect Pakistan against the many threats to its security. Jan traces this constant state of fear of attack back to the colonial period. He argues that the military and certain politicians are only able to portray this threat as new, and themselves as the true protectors of Pakistan’s integrity, and win “… the battle of ideas” because they rob “the public of its own past”. Jan’s book illustrates precisely that past. A fantastic feat by an activist-academic who has worked tirelessly to stand by the ideals he believes in. Ammar Jan has written a book that will be, for years to come, a sourcebook for social historians who are searching for the hidden histories of progressive Pakistan.”
– Anushay Malik, Narrowing Politics: The Labour Movement in Lahore, 1947-1974
“Ammar Ali Jan’s Rule by Fear is an intellectual tour de force that provides nuanced theoretical insights into the historical processes of Pakistan’s political formations, social complexities and economic upheavals over the last seven decades. Through his rigorous critical analysis, Jan helps set up a plan for revolutionary praxis as young Pakistani students, feminists, farmers, workers, ethno-nationalists and human rights activists seek to transform the country’s outlook for a better future, an egalitarian society and a radical democracy.”
– Ali Usman Qasmi, Muslims against the Muslim League: Critiques of the Idea of Pakistan
Publisher: Folio Books
Release date: November 2021
by Bacha Khan
Translated from the original Pukhto by Imtiaz Ahmad Sahibzada
Affectionately known as ‘Bacha’ Khan or ‘King’ Khan amongst his people, Ghaﬀar Khan’s life was dedicated to the social reform of the Pukhtuns, who traditionally adhere to a strict code of life, ‘Pukhtunwali’, governed by rather rigid tribal norms. His life-long struggle to modernise Pukhtun society and his decades-long non-violent defiance, adopted by his Khudai Khidmatgar (Servants of God) party during the struggle for independence against the British, have earned him a stature that few other anti-colonial leaders in the Sub-continent can match. Few are aware that the Khudai Khidmatgar lost the greatest number of workers compared to any other party that was part of the anti-colonial movement.
An increasing consciousness amongst the Pukhtuns against oppression and war, in Pakistan and Afghanistan, has led to a resurgence of the teachings of Bacha Khan. His powerful political weapon of non-violence, his emphasis on including women in all walks of life, his belief in religious tolerance and his legacy of speaking truth to power, are, today, values that bear increasing relevance to the people of a much-troubled region.
“Bacha Khan’s message of the power of peaceful protest for liberty, equality and justice changed our culture and customs forever and inspires me every day in my activism for girls’ education and women’s empowerment.”
-Malala Yousafzai, Youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate
“As a student activist, what struck me the most about working with Bacha Khan was the strength of his compassion and his disarming humility. He would insist on walking long distances even in old age to reach the marginalised to help them or to at least express solidarity with them. The publication of English translation of his Pakhto autobiography is coming out at a time when younger generations are rediscovering Bacha Khan’s life and struggle.”
-Afrasiab Khattak, Former Provincial President of Awami National Party, former senator, writer and analyst of regional affairs.
“This compelling story is more relevant now than ever. Bacha Khan’s tireless struggle against oppression and division was non-violent and uncompromising, principled and creative. Readers will be enthralled and inspired.”
-Mukulika Banerjee, Author of The Pathan Unarmed, 2001.
“The life story of a man of peace and non-violence, born amidst mayhem and conflict across the Sub-continent, still carries a powerful message in the turbulent times we live in. The autobiography of Bacha Khan in English, for the first time in a lucid translation from the original Pakhto by Imtiaz Ahmad Sahizada, is a landmark publication. The history of modern South Asia has been incomplete without a better understanding of how and why the fierce Pashtun tribes embraced the Gandhian ideology of non-violent defiance. My Life and Struggle introduces a new and younger generation to the tribulations of the Pashtuns.”
-Ahmed Rashid, Author of Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan, 2012.
Publisher: Folio Books
Weight in kg: 0.900
Publishing date: February 06, 2021
Rights: Pakistan and Afghanistan
Joys and Jitters of Many Journeys
by Razi Azmi
Rs. 1,495 | $ 25.00
A World Unveiled captures Razi Azmi’s many journeys spanning decades across Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Russia, all undertaken with something approaching religious zeal. This is a compelling travelogue with many elements: personal stories, adventures, social encounters, historical facts, geographical descriptions, anecdotes and more. The author shares not just his passion for travel and the thrill of his journeys but also the frustrations and annoyances that inevitably accompany the intrepid traveller: moments of ecstasy and excitement interspersed with frustrations, dangers and vagaries of visas. As Razi Azmi describes his fascinating trips in A World Unveiled, he seems to take you along with him to his numerous destinations.
“Razi Azmi chronicles his world-wide adventures in the great and enduring tradition of travel writers from Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta to Richard Haliburton and Paul Theroux. A keen observer and meticulous penman, he records in fascinating detail his journeys from tiny specks of nations like Lesotho to the vast steppes of Russia and the wide Canadian prairies. Throughout, his descriptions are colourful and witty and evoke the very character of the lands and peoples he visits.”
– B. R. Burg, Former Professor, Arizona State University
“Of many reasons to read this book, three stand out in particular: Razi Azmi has been to hundreds of places most people will never get to; he’s talked to more people in more languages than most people ever will; and he has a sense of humour more profound than most travel writers.”
– Carl Pletsch, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado
“Razi Azmi writes with empathy and respect for the lands, people and their cultures. I am particularly impressed by his detailed observations and descriptions of the people and places in Africa, the continent of my birth and growth. But it wasn’t until I read Razi’s travelogue that I realised how little I knew about my own continent.”
– Ali Tunne Godana, Kenyan Travel Enthusiast
“Razi Azmi, like me, was born with itchy feet, which took us far and away to different parts of the world. His accounts of India in particular—the places, the train odysseys, the bustling mood—are fascinating to read. I salute him for his travels and insightful narration of his experiences covering much of the world.”
– Sandip Hor, Indian Travel Writer and Photographer
“Razi Azmi gives us a poignant, simultaneous look at geographic, demographic and political landscapes. He’s a polyglot with as many interests and stories. Unlike accidental tourists, he follows an intentional course, with articulate conversations about both the structured and serendipitous. And he is fearless in doing so, following the George Packer model (the Atlantic): ‘A writer who’s afraid to tell people what they don’t want to hear has chosen the wrong trade.’ Azmi should never trade his trade; he demonstrates joy, courage and candour in his timely reflections .”
– Jerry Pattengale, Professor, Indiana Wesleyan University
“Packed with fascinating details and insights, A World Unveiled brings to life the infinity of meandering plains, the aromas escaping deep from within narrow bazaars. It is a gift for these times, when so much has changed for the intrepid and curious traveler alike.”
– Amna Zuberi, Pakistani Travel and Documentary Photographer
Publisher: Folio Books
Release date: July 15, 2021
Pages: 336 including 21 maps and 22 photos
Availability: In Stock
by Toni Usman
Rs. 799 Rs. 599
تاریک ایام ریاستی جبر سے تنگ آکر تارکینِ وطن ہونے والے باپ اور بیٹی کے درمیان نفسیاتی کشمکش کا ایک مکالمہ ہے۔ یہ کہانی ریاستی جبر، متعصب امیگریشن قوانین اور غیر انسانی سمگلنگ جیسے مکروہ جرائم کا خلاصہ پیش کرتی ہے۔ ہینی مانکل کے لکھے گئے اس اسٹیج پلے کو پہلی دفعہ کتاب کی صورت شائع کیا جارہا ہے۔ اس پلے کا اردو ترجمہ پاکستانی نژاد نارویجن آرٹسٹ ٹونی عثمان نے مرتب کیا ہے۔
ہینی مانکل سویڈن کے دارلحکومت اَسٹاک ہولم میں 1948ء میں پیدا ہوئے۔ 1966ء میں وہ تعلیم کے لئے پیرس چلے گئے جہاں انکی آشنائی ترقی پسند رحجانات سے ہوئی۔ 1972ء سے لے کر 1981ء تک وہ ناروے میں مقیم رہے اور تھیٹر کے لئے کام کرتے رہے۔ مانکل کا کہنا تھا کہ وہ دنیا میں استحصال اور لوٹ مار کے خلاف مذاحمت میں اپنا حصہ ڈالنے کے لئے لکھتے ہیں۔
مترجم ٹونی عثمان تقریبا تین دھائیوں سے ناروے میں ٹیلی ویژن، تھیٹر اور ریڈیو سے منسلک ہیں۔ ٹونی عثمان پروڈکشنز کے نام سے انکی ایک رجسٹرڈ تھیٹر کمپنی ہے جس کے وہ آرٹسٹک ڈائریکٹر ہیں۔ اسی کمپنی کے بینر تلے ہی تاریک ایام کو 2018ء میں اوسلو میں اسٹیج پر پیش کیا گیا تھا۔
Availability: In Stock