Pandit Daya Narain Chakbast regards the disappearance of the super-natural from the Urdu dastaan as the point of transition in our literature from its pre-modern to the modern phase. He therefore classifies Rajab Ali Baig Suroor's Fasana-i-Ajaib (c.1825) as the perfect example of the old dastaan and Ratan Nath Sarshar's Fasana-i-Azad (1878) as that of the modern fiction - actually the novel making its debut in Urdu. He praises the rhymed prose of the first work named above but feels that its characterisation is archaic and there is over-dependence on the super-natural in it to solve human problems. This is true. But this only reflects the technological backwardness of the mankind at the time, its feeling of helplessness before the forces of nature, which also explains its preference for the "happy endings" in the dastaans. The man attains in the stories what he cannot in life. But even more awesome than the over-powering challenge of nature is social oppression. The ruling class steals the peasant's or the artisan's labour and the products of his labour, which are the material form of his alienated self. It steals even his children. And, in the absence of a revolt, the artisan or the peasant can only say, as does the Nepali peasant, Kay garay? (What can I do?) The oppressed is prepared, according to Christopher Caudwell, in this situation of utter helplessness "to believe the bourgeois lie" in the guise of the happy endings of the fairy tales. The end of the super-natural is, no doubt, an important step in the development of our literature. But it appears to me that the critical point in this passage, the decisive step, was the liberation of the literature from Sufism. Sufism was the attempt by the pre-modern man to explain the cosmic laws of causality purely on the basis of intellectual speculation, as there were no material means of discovering them. And, since he had succeeded in doing so about the cosmos, he also pronounced the existing social laws as logical and, therefore, just. Sufism became the ideology of the artisanat in South Asia around the thirteenth century and expressed that class's dissatisfaction with the social order and the class oppression. However, in the absence of the non-animal driving power for the industry, the artisanat could not create the major portion of the social product and become the dominant force in the economy. For that, it had to wait for the arrival of the steam. Therefore it was powerless before the social system. Sufism was reduced ultimately to reconciling the man to "his fate", to deprivation and injustice. Baba Farid (13th cent.), a pioneer of Sufism in our region, advises the people: Rukkhi, sukkhi khai kay thanda pani pi; Farida vekh prai chopri na tarsain jee. But even under oppression, there were rising voices of protest. When Shah Hussain speaks of praxis, it refers to struggle: Amlaan upper hoag nabaera kia sufi, kia bhanggi? Later nineteenth century brought protests but only the modern literature brought the South Asian man's cry of revolt: Fisurda honay say hasil? chalo talash karain; Kaheen to hon gi baharain jo gulsitan mein nahin (Shohrat Bokhari). The writer is a former ambassador