Shrine Culture in Pakistan
Bulleh ki jaana main kaun: Politicisation of Sufi Shrines in Pakistan
Thesis-novel by Syeda Rumana Mehdi '18
ABSTRACT: “Bulleh ki jaana main kaun” is a thesis-novel that explores the themes of shrine culture in Pakistan and how it is impacted, exploited and politicised. Why Sufi shrines are being targeted by terrorists? How they can be stopped? What is the role of the Pakistani government regarding the operation of shrines? What is the future role of the Sufi Pir, the Sufi poetry and of Sufi shrines themselves in Pakistan? The thesis-novel aims to answer all of these questions by first looking into the history and reasoning behind politicisation of Islam in general and Sufism in particular in Pakistan. The novel section was largely inspired by Elif Shafak's novel “Forty Rules of Love” which attempts to highlight issues of ardent devotion in Sufism and on the importance of Sufi kalam. The research was done mainly via visits to shrines in Sehwan, Khairpur, Lahore, Multan and Hyderabad where I distributed questionnaires and conducted extensive interviews.