The DAWN media group once again highlighted that it is nothing more than a Chaaproos (sycophant) of elite interests and crony capital seths. Its gaudy article on BBC English’s celebration of mediocre yuppie ramblings by Kamila Shamsie and Mohsin Hamid is not just nauseating.
It is also symbolic of how DAWN and the other stars of our liberal firmament deliberately ignore more deserving works like “Infidels of Mecca” by Abbas Zaidi.
While BBC Urdu covered this publication, BBC English did not even do that. Mohammad Hanif, Harris Khalique and others were sent copies of “Infidels….” but they did not bother to review it.
The “Infidels of Mecca” is a Pakistani love story set during the tumultuous times of Benazir Bhutto’s murder. This was a time of hope for the Pakistani masses as their exiled democratic leader was set to return.
In this backdrop, the novel focuses on the romantic yearning and idealism of its protagonist for the impending return of his Ahmadi fiancé.
The national tragedy of Benazir’s murder by elements within the Deep State (as highlighted by a United Nations investigation requested by Benazir’s children and husband), ripped apart the world of the protagonist in more ways than one.
There are so many themes that are woven in this novel. So much raw emotion. It is both a celebration of Idealism and the crashing death of hope inflicted by the most powerful.
Abbas Zaidi’s novel celebrates the existence of disenfranchised Ahmadis, Shias and Hindus and takes an honest look at the dark forces of bigotry and prejudice that have been spread all over Pakistan.
Mohsin’s “reluctant fundamentalist” novella is the opposite. It is an apologist tome from a yuppie protagonist justifying his conversion to a Takfiri Wahhabi and budding terrorist. It represents everything wrong about the urban Pakistani bourgeois. If one wants to read the point view of a glib yuppie Wahhabi trying to justify nihilism and violence, this is it.
Kamila’a latest is just another iteration of the same elitist, private school, DHA dystopia that few outside of posh and fake accented Pakistanis can relate to. Different time and place but the same disconnected rubbish that posh Pakistanis want to shovel on the rest of us.