The Frivolous Literature – Adfar Shah & Syed Shafqat

Crime, violence, warfare, nuclear technology debates, discourses upon issues of alienation and empowerment still keep on showing a greater prevalence in many respects in twentieth-century literature. There is found a massive reflection of the themes like destruction and warfare, increasing trends in crimes like molestation, murder, rape, and drug abuse.

 While the history and Political Science over emphasized upon the period following the world wars and independence tales, The Psychology exaggerated the human aggression and mental anxieties, Surprisingly the sociologists instead of giving a Clarian call for a paradigm shift or understanding the wider aspects of the global community or conceptualizing the suffering, pain, protest, hope and transcendence, instead began to report society in arm chairs in ivory towers and thus conceptualized the world order rather the shameless disorder in a more shabby and dishonest way.

Also such a well paid community over stressed upon just kinship, family and marriage–the garbage from anthropology actually to be treated as the heart of Sociology. Media confined itself to violence reporting as a major theme only just for heavy perks and good news ceased to be the news afterwards. Also when all the sections of the society particularly in conflict zonesfaced the wrath of turbulent times just this fraternity survived hale and hearty and created history by becoming the only community who felt greenery all around even when everything was in tatters and the burning flames were the holistic landscape. Their newspapers got birth in small rooms published from nowhere overnight and thus thrived upon the bloodshed and prolonged agony, with even lay men the journalists to report as media personalities. Thus, violence become a subject to be sold and most of the writers who wished to convey the historical, psychological, and artistic landscape in the modern world found no way but to express only through the prism of conflict or bloodshed narrative. On the other hand so called field workers remained in homes to fill questionnaires and schedules and manufactured statistics to draw inferences about the social order and the routine over repetition of common social problems, tribal anthropology and ethnography, women and futile statistical field findings, late marriages, communal issues, fallouts of conflict even on dogs and cats, depression and anxiety among rats even, etc, thus lacking a commonly understood methodology  and a well oriented theoretical grounding. Therefore a plethora of trash produced without any immediate utility in terms of social policy and planning or any use to state and society in the long run. The academia turned to a mafia, and got filthy with politics, power relations generated even in classrooms and the internal conspiracies thrived well. Further the culture of disregard for the new young talent to bloom turned into a cultural universal, academics remained busy in personal gains and writings for the sake of their own career ahead and not for the writings of excellence which could have lead to some paradigm shift or could have worked for a desired social transformation or earn a name for the nation in the global market. The researchers turned to menial laborers at the hands of the intellectuals, research in the third world remained the research of ignorance and literature faced insult and violence at the hands of literature makers because creators produced no creativity but commodity to sell.

In addition to the above mentioned sections, the Poet class mostly confined themselves to love stories and futile romantic lines for cash rewards and state awards. The institution of Drama declined in its quality and produced nonsense and shameful fables instead of reflecting the societal order both in good and bad aspects.

Creativity at its best lasted in the poetry of ignorance and cash. Novelists created fabricated stories and imaginary themes that flooded books filled with obscene and sexual content and seductive stories for youth to get attracted to this cheap and value fewer genres. Immorality, sexuality and obscenity become the trend and hallmark of the high profile writings.So we can argue that literature was meted violence with and violence, immorality, oppression and ignorance dominated the intellectual endeavors and shaped up a new but corrupt literature devoid of any truth, scientific scale, objectivity, rationality and innovation.

A  lot was jotted down too upon the themes like gender, suicide, youth, conflict, anxiety, independence, tourism, wars, knights, etc, but did our scholars and stalwarts studied water, ozone, mountains, nano-technology, AIDS, depleting resources, human and animal suffering, transcendence and universal untruth, ancient environmental situation and fallouts, etc, in a justified and deserved manner? A created new school of poetic thoughts, novels of truth and reality, research debates on excellence and innovation, celebration of days and weeks dedicated to personalities and causes though came to existence, but actually with zero output.  Scientists of all arenas claimed to be literally engrossed in laboratory tests and developed a shrewd professional grin to avoid humanity.

 They believed as if the whole earth is sustained by them and life existed because of them only.New sources of creativity and identity emerged, where for  popularity,models portrayed nude and shoot naked, poets committed blasphemy in the name of creative and reflective poetry, novelists attacked faiths and religion in the name of plot for cheap fame, academics developed politics for dominance, researchers resorted to speedy completion of their projects for new statuses, collecting everything from Google and all this happened but innovation and scientific temper  never developed.

Just readingworld wars repeatedly or ‘On Violence’ by Hannah or At the minds Limits by Amery, or Pedagogy by Paulo Freire or Reality by Berger or psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud or Suicide by Durkheim or Verses of Rushdie or the Prince or Das Capital will not lead us to the zenith of excellence, there should be something worth reading as well. To explore the balance between the institutional power structures and violence embedded within the system remained under dust. Scholars failed to know their subjects from their conscience and conceptualizing ideas of one’s own for common social good and contribution ceased to nothing because we produced nothing literally.

An equilibrium that was greatly upset as violent means were adopted to cleanse and reorder the world through fascism, collectivism, and imperialism in the twentieth century, still finds its place today on priority however under the different terminology and tactics like delaying politics, politics of schemes and welfare, expansion of educational institutions lacking quality round the globe, etc,.

In short what we read was meant for us- the ignorant, those who produced it were undoubtedly intellectuals but we the duffers kept licking their vomiting blindly without any critical sense and protesting for a paradigm shift or a new protocol in knowledge industry. Consequently, what was to be read, was never read actually, what was to be researched, was never investigated actually, what was to be conceptualized as knowledge in modern era, was not drafted at all but the old and sloth ridden literature and fairy tales with meaningless poetry still crowded the books and nothing actually comes absolutely new, but a stitching and out stitching of older discourses, thanks to the computer uncle. To the student of Sociology just marriage and Kinship is notthe limit, I always believe there is hardly a difference between a philosopher and a sociologist. Hang on…by sociologists… we don’t mean academics!!!

(Adfar Rashid Shah is a Doctoral Candidate of Sociology at faculty of Social Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia-Central University, New Delhi. Mail at

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