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21st Monthly Study Circle for Baacha Khan Fellows

Monday, 07 May 2018 11:48
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BKTEF organizes 21st Monthly Study Circle for Baacha Khan Fellows

The Baacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation (BKTEF) held 21st monthly study circle at the BKTEF head office on May 5, 2018. The study circle was attended by almost 30 participants belonging to different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA including Peshawar, Mardan, Swat, Charsaada, Swabi, Shangla, Hangu, Dir, Waziristan, Khyber Agency, Mohmand agency and Tank. The text selected for the study circle was a novel 'Dar ul Aman' written by Dr.Liaqat Taban.

Farid Kakar, one of the participants of the study circle, described the detailed story and plot of the novel while Sumbal talked about the characters depicted in the novel.

Afterwards, an open discussion took place among the participants which was concluded by Dr.Khadim Hussain.

Farid Kakar narrated the stories depicted in the novel one by one. Even though the stories belonged to different women coming from different backgrounds, there was one feature common among them; they were all oppressed in one form or another and sought refuge in Dar ul Aman- a place dedicated to give shelter to the women victims of violence. In the later stages of the novel, a training workshop took place at the Dar ul Aman where the women were apprised of exclusion and discrimination aimed against them. A movement was finally formed by these women who raised voice for the oppressed women of the society and thus most of them lost their lives for the cause.

The participants including Tariq Pukhtunyar, Azmat Afridi, Mehnaz, Ali Hussain, Sajjad, Shehzad, Abdul Wali Khan , Mehran Wazir, Fazal Malik, Isma, and Abdur Rauf were of the view that the novel portrayed the social construction of the roles of women. There were varying views among the participants regarding the quality of the art and the style of the writer. Some of them were of the view that the style of the novel was more like a report rather than a novelist. Some of the participants in the study circle said that the novel depicted a weak status of women who needed Dar ul Aman for shelter, refuge and later resistance while others debated that the author had rightly been able to describe and treat his subject matter artistically. Dar ul Aman was infact a focal place where the weak and the voiceless were given a voice to share. They maintained that even though these painful stories of violence against women held significance, it was high time that solutions were sought for women by women through using their own human agency.

The discussion was concluded by Dr.Khadim Hussain. He said that novel was a fictional art and every art is a creative process of imagination and observation. A good novel should have a story which would arouse curiosity of the reader, a well-knit plot, round characters and scene setting.

He said that the main theme of the novel was the construct of gender in society. He said that women had been stigmatized and objectified to the point that it was impossible to imagine women as being free humans of the society. He said that unless a nation did not liberate an entity(women) which constituted half a population of the nation, it was impossible for them to attain prosperity.

He further said that indigenous model for breaking patriarchy needed to be explored. History of this region witnessed three movements where women were involved in the social and political process and were relatively free to participate in collective life. First of these movements was Bayazid Ansari’s Roshanite Movement, then came Khushal Khan Khattak and finally Khudai Khidmatgar movement which gave space to women to participate in economic, political, cultural and social spheres of life. The Khudai Khidmatgar Movement deconstructed existing patriarchal gender roles and included women in every aspect of collective life.

He maintained that if we wanted to find a middle way between the neo liberal and tribo-religious conservative gender narrative, we needed to explore an inclusive indigenous model that should have the involvement of women in all four domains of collective life, i.e.; cultural, social, political and economic fields. This would lead to our collective empowerment.

The next study circle was decided to be held on 2nd June, 2018 at 6 pm. Text decided for the next study circle was “Achoot logo ka adab” written by Mubarak Ali.

Last Updated on Monday, 07 May 2018 12:10
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