ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Competing Sovereignties, Muslim Masculinities, and the Shaping of National Imaginaries in Pakistan

Sovereign Attachments: Masculinity, Muslimness, and Affective Politics in Pakistan by Shenila Khoja-Moolji, US: University of California Press, 2021; pp 321, `2,369.


“For a Pakistani writer to do yoga feels like questioning the two-­nation theory,” wittily remarked the writers of a special issue, titled, “How to Write about Pakistan,” in the literary magazine Granta (Hamid et al 2010). A population of 200 million, and rising, speaking close to 70 languages with diverse physical and social landscape, was brought together under the banner of a single religion, Islam, to form an (un)imagined political community. Today, 74 years after its creation, Islam stands out to be the primary mod­ality in shaping national imagination in Pakistan, producing emotional sovereign attachments by constructing gendered ideas of Islamic normativity.

In this insightful book, Sovereign Attachments: Masculinity, Muslimness, and Aff­ective Politics in Pakistan, Shenila Khoja-Moolji critically interrogates the construction of nation, community, and gender by closely engaging with the print and online cultural production of “two contenders of sovereignty”—the Pakistani state and the non-state actor, the Tehreek-Taliban Pakistan (or Pakistani Taliban).

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Updated On : 22nd Jan, 2022
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