Tough Crowd

Pakistan’s Communists in the late 1940s/early 50s did not go out of their way to make friends (from Kamran Asdar Ali’s MAS piece on the Communist Party of Pakistan) pp. 516-517):

“By the late 1940s, the All Pakistan Progressive Writers Association had started to purge from its ranks those that did not completely tow the new party line. . . . During this conference the ‘non progressive’ intellectuals were severely criticized for their perceived political failings, alliance with the state machinery, sexual perversions and lack of social consciousness. . . .The manifesto lumped the various writers: Islamists, nationalists and liberals (supporting ‘art for art’s sake’) into the same basket and painted them as reactionaries. The published manifesto then turned towards those writers who used bourgeois psychology and Freudian parameters to understand society. These authors were rendered perverse, pornographic and decadent for their depiction of life through the lens of sexuality. They not only distorted people’s experience, the manifesto asserted, but also disrespected love as a pure desire.”

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