Of subalterns and Sammi trees: echoes of Ghadar in the Punjabi literary movement
This paper explores how Ghadar’s legacy is interpreted by the Punjabi literary movement in Punjab, Pakistan. Putting Ghadar’s poetry into conversation with the work of these contemporary activists sheds light on unexplored facets of both. It unveils how these writers and thespians invoke Ghadar to subvert the narrow discourse of “Punjabiyat” and ethno-nationalist identity, and allows us to appreciate the politics of language that underpinned Ghadar di Goonj. The intertwining of these histories of literary dissent raises key questions for debates around radical literature and progressive writing in South Asia, by highlighting the role of vernaculars in reading subaltern consciousness and native traditions of revolt.
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