Evolution and Trends of Progressive Historiography in Pakistan

The paper evolves the thematic assumption that historical consciousness reflected in progressive historiography in last four decades or so is primarily a reaction against the feudal fabric and outlook of the society and tends to understand the historical process and trends which paved way for the emergence of this school of historiography in the country. Progressive School of Historiography links itself with the progressive movement of mid-thirties which inspired a considerable number of scholars i.e. the leftist lot of the country. They adopted a self-motivated rather missionary approach to proliferate a historiographical ideal what is typically termed as the “other side” of History Writing.  In the wake of revolutionary outburst of 1969 in the country- which claimed the first Martial Law regime, public hoped for the end of the country’s oppressive fabric forever. Although the endeavor remained fruitless yet it gave way to the realization of “social democracy” and “populism” in the country with an aim to create dialectic against the feudal as well as industrial classes of the country. The progressive historiographers were viewed as subversive to the indigenous history writing pursuits rather they were termed as hardliners both content and methodology they adopted for the promotion of their ideologies. Another phenomenon which emerges as the by-product of this dialectic was the influence of politics over the history writing which resulted into the leftist-rightist milieu. The progressive movement in spite of failing to produce the desired results yet the influence of the historical school of thought it produced cannot be marginalized or undermined. Hence the Progressive historiography is the logical outcome of the subaltern, alternate, anti-colonial, and post modern concepts of history and historiography destined to reshape the socio-cultural fabric of the society.