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Insaan or Devta: Addressing unjust societal norms


Naseem Hijazi perhaps is writer; every Pakistani student who can read Urdu must have read once in life time. I had read few of his books, however one of his novels was remained un-noticed for several years in my book bank named “Insaan or Devta”. Yesterday night I finished reading “Insaan or Devta”. In 2005 book was available for Rs225 at Jahangeer Book Deput, however price surely has increased but not much.

I was initially surprised to see that Naseem Hijazi had dedicated this book to “the step progeny of Bharat Maata”. Later the content of book revealed how sensible it was to dedicate novel to those who suffered because of the caste stratification in Hindu society.

A well known truism that external insurgency can not destroy nations; a cognitive fortress helps them safeguarding their national status and when that is broken nations lose their national character which is the starting point of destruction. Naseem Hijazi involving few characters from the lower(shooders) and upper strata(khastreesi-Brahmans) of Hindu social fabric in ancient times; had crafted a love story. Calling love a nature’s echo he tried to explained how love can demolish the walls of different classes.

Meanwhile; he through his several characters has described how ruling classes in Hindu society waged means to make lower their class slaves. One character named taiju saying “jab takk azaad thay insaan thay, ab sirf ghulaam hain, insaan nahee” (till we were free; we used to be human beings, now we, are only slaves) is self-explanatory.

Naseem Hijazi has stressed a society where equal distribution of resources and equal access to everything is inevitable. Moreover he tried to explain worshiping several Deities(devta) who they used to made with stone can never find solutions for their problems. It is a mindset that forces people to worship gods, not an actual concept of god lies in sculpting stones and then worshiping. Furthermore human beings from lower class are butchered to elate these gods believing they would be blessed by making human of lower class bleed. Particularly Kali Maata who’s horrific features scared the kids. Making the power of gods a pretext; lower caste was being suppressed and oppressed. A war between powerful and weak leading towards the disastrous conclusion for generations. The hypocrisy in Hindu Samaaj has been disclosed significantly. Since inception of cultures and societies religion and its norms are used to exploit humanity.

His main character despite being a khastri(fighters) “Sukhdev” has faith in a centripetal force that believes in just and equitable distribution within societies. And he aspires for a Messiah who will change the world where everyone would be equally treated and enjoy life as human beings not slaves.

Regardless of “Waran Aashram” (caste stratification) in Hindu or any society, it can easily be observed that today the powerful is waging same tactics to make down trodden and poor; their slaves. Book has remarkably indicated the way powerful wants to stay in power just by applying measures that to some extent sooth weaker and lull their wish to be free using religion as weapon. Instead of betterment of humanity religion has been used destructively to please self made deities and gods.

Writer has clearly mentioned that if some group has to establish or maintain its national identity; it has to be freely opinionated viz-a-viz self respect is major factor that helps standing nations in distinguished manners.

I liked the theme of novel regardless of few sentences that were not coherent and did not suit the literary taste e.g. “do aanso baha deay” while reader can interpret this as if these were pretending to gain sympathy. However I can safely connect the past incidents in book that co-relate to sentences and could be over sighted. Writer had lucidity in his thoughts and focus was exactly on what he wanted to established as point. Last speech by the Sardar(head) of tribe clearly indicate his own thoughts about unjust societal norms.



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