Pakistan’s contrary years (1971-1977): A cultural history of the Bhutto era

BY NADEEM F. PARACHA

Modern cultural historians have usually defined the 1970s as being one of the most implosive decades of the 20th century.

Their fascination with the 1970s has continued to this day — they describe the era as a period in modern history in which various contemporary ideologies of the left and the right fought their most decisive battles.

The 1970s were no different in Pakistan as well.

Flamboyant and edgy, here too, the prominent veneer of freewheeling cultural brashness and populism of the decade finally mutated and triggered social profligacy and economic downturns that (by the late 1970s) eventually gave way (around the world) to the emergence of starker forces of the ‘New Right’. Who, in turn, would go on to redefine global politics and society from the 1980s onwards.

The cultural and political flamboyance of the 1970s eventually collapsed on itself.

Incidentally (and rather aptly), the 1970s in Pakistan were dominated by one of the country’s most enigmatic, flamboyant and contradictory politicians ever: ZA Bhutto.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1223761

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