Quaiser, Neshat (2021), “Epistemic Ashrāfiya- Morality and Urdu Theatre Public Sphere in Nineteenth-Century Bihar: Muslim Internal-Decoloniality”, Explorations, Vol. 5(2)
Prof. Neshat Quaiser, an associate researcher at CSH, wrote an article “Epistemic Ashrāfiya-Morality and Urdu Theatre Public Sphere in Nineteenth-Century Bihar: Muslim Internal-Decoloniality”, published in Exploration, an e-journal of Indian Sociological Society (ISS) on October 2021.
The article can be found at: http://app.insoso.org/ISS_journal/Repository/Neshat_Q.pdf
Abstract: This essay attempts to provide a Muslim internal-decolonial critique of the hegemonic ashrāfiyai knowledge-oligarchies. Epistemic ashrāfiya-morality is produced by these oligarchies as a mechanism to colonise the shudraii -dalitiii-disenfranchised Muslim mind internally. Through the prism of the western-style Urdu theatre in the last quarter of the 19th century in the Indian province of Bihar, this essay examines the epistemic ashrāfiya-morality-based responses to the popularity of the western-style theatre and its ‘corrupting influences’; participation of the ‘lowly’ women and men in theatre that posed a threat to ashrāfiya moral order; a possible subaltern counter-intuitive subjectivity; women as objects of marketised desire and other related issues. Although the essay deals with the colonial period, it has theoretical implications for comprehending the convincing continuity of epistemic ashrāfiya-morality in the postcolonial Indian subcontinent.