It is an unfortunate fact that the wannabe philosophers of Pakistan, students with their ages being hardly twenty five years and who after having read philosophy in an immature age think that they are ready to indulge in a discourse on any subject, after questioning religion and then their homeland, are now bent upon establishing themselves as critics whose objective is to defame two respectable and famous writers of Pakistan, Ashfaq Ahmad and Bano Qudsia .

The husband and wife are ineluctable figures in the field of Urdu literature. Bano Qudsia has written a number of novels such as Raja Gidh, Haasil Ghaat, Abaad Veerane/Shehr-e-Lazawaal, Aik Din. And Ashfaq Ahmad’s drama series Aik Mohabbat Sau Afsaanay and his TV show Zaavia comprising of his lectures on self-actualization, used to go on air during the golden era of Pakistan Television.

However, recently the writers have been accused in various ways, one of them being that they happen to be advocates of patriarchy. It is surprising that a man who in a lot of interviews has been found stating that his wife Bano is a better writer than himself, and possesses better qualities than him has been labelled as an advocate of patriarchy, and a woman who is the author of a novel which has made your national language a respectable one, and your country’s literature worth studying is being called an advocate of patriarchy.

But unfortunately, the words ‘country’ or ‘nation’ have no importance in the so-called modern times. The pseudo-philosophers of Pakistan are not ready to accept terms such as ‘nationalism’ or ‘patriotism’, for they are not in favour of the very existence of Pakistan. This radical approach towards nationhood has become a trend with the motive to label oneself as literate.

This might be one reason for disrespecting Ashfaq Ahmad and Bano Qudsia , whose works are deeply rooted in the Pakistani culture and who propagate the eastern way of life comprising of religious and family values. But family and religion in the modern era have also become subjects of debate among Pakistani students who are deeply inspired by the western philosophers.

According to them, family is a social construct and there should be no fulfilment of rights and duties between parents and children, for everyone exists as an independent individual. Religion, in their view, has been imposed upon us without our will. Moreover, even the existence of God is questioned, since for the aspiring philosophers, it is a matter of coolness to be called an atheist, for it makes one seem liberal, literate, and learned in philosophy.

It is not surprising that people with such mindsets would dislike Ashfaq Ahmad who wrote on themes of mysticism throughout his life and in his lectures, talked about establishing a close connection with God. Why would these people like Bano Qudsia , who in her novel Raja Gidh talks about haram and halal Rizq, for if religion has no value, there is no point in discussing what is haram and what is halal. Why would she be respected, for she talks about the evil acts being performed by the people of Lahore in her short story Shehr-e-Lazawaal and discusses the adverse effects of drinking in her short story Mausam-e-Sarma Mein Neeli Chirya Ki Maut, since ‘free will’ is our favourite term these days.

Their views on family as a social construct would never allow them to read her novel Haasil Ghat the theme of which is the generation gap between parents and children, and how parents gradually lose their value in the lives of those children who are a product of those very parents’ sperms and eggs.

The ones who claim them to be advocates of patriarchy must read Ashfaq Ahmad’s play Maah-e-Kanaan which targets men with weak characters who readily fall for beauty and do not remain loyal to one woman, or must read Ajr-e-Aswad in which a brother’s heart is ripped apart when he realizes that his sister is being ill-treated by her in-laws. Whereas Bano Qudsia is concerned, her play Laal Baig is a must watch piece in this regard, for she also targets men who fail to grow mature as a result of which they are not able to keep a balance between their wives and mothers after marriage.

Keeping patriarchy aside, if we look at the works of these writers from a different perspective, we find out that both of them are well-read beings with a strong command on wide range of subjects. The allegorical chapters of Raja Gidh discuss not only all the animals, but their natures as well, depicting Bano Qudsia’s strong hold on Zoology. In the same novel, she describes yoga, and explains its essence and the name and purpose of its every move in excellent detail. She talks about the mystery of Bermuda Triangle in her novel Haasil Ghat and finely describes the geography of her story’s setting in Abaad Veerane. Moam ki Galiyan, a novelette by her, can be studied as an informative essay in how bees build their homes.

Ashfaq Ahmad cannot be considered an ignorant religious man with all his inclination towards sufism, for in his collection of short stories Talism Hosh Afzaa he exposes his talent of writing science fiction, consequently making conspicuous his knowledge of scientific studies, and his ability to keep a balance between religion and science. Aik Mohabbat Sau Afsaane, his series with hundred different stories revolving around the theme of love depicts his observation of one phenomenon from hundred different perspectives.

Defaming such writers and questioning their popularity is either a result of a lack of perusal of their literary works, or a practice of propagating the theory which points fingers at your country or the people who love your country and strive to do something for it. Now it is the turn of those writers who spent their entire lives writing for your country and making your language noticeable. The reason why Pakistan does not prosper as a nation is because of such students, who in their predilection of western philosophies, disregard their religion, their culture, and the new trend being disregarding their very own writers.