Story by Urdu writer sparks off Jamat anger

A story by Salam Bin Razak has sparked off a religion-versus-literature controversy. The Urdu writer's short story Jindagi Afsana Nahi targets the religious organisation Tablig Jamat by raising the issue of "family responsibility" of a devout Muslim.

The short story was read out by the writer during a symposium at the All India Urdu Conference here recently.

Razak is a Sahitya Academy Award winner. His story revolves around a factory worker, Jamaloddin, who becomes Maulana Jamaoddin after joining the Tablig Jamat. The religious transformation forces him to neglect his family, as he focuses his attention on his new mission: spreading religious message among the Muslims.

The story narrates a grim situation of Jamaloddin's family. His children struggle to get education, his wife's health deteriorates even as she looks for suitable matches for their daughters.

The message that comes across is that for Jamat followers, religious campaign takes precedence over their responsibilities towards their families.

Many Jamat followers had tried to interrupt Razak when he first read out the story. The writer could have been roughed up had the organisers not intervened.

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