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Engaging Politically from the Margin 283


A God in Every Stone

, internal societal changes brought forth

by the reflexive self-transformation of the subaltern reflect the micro

dimension of cosmopolitanism. According to Delanty, the micro

dimension of cosmopolitanism could be exemplified in changes within

individual agency, national and societal identities, so “cosmopolitanism

is not to be equated with transnationalization” (2006: 42). Through

the peaceful actions that Qayyum has taken to bring change to society

and the nation, Shamsie demonstrates that patriotism could be

non-violent as well, as opposed to violent extremism of some of

Qayyum’s countrymen. After feeling ashamed of himself for having

served the British Raj, Qayyum begins to participate in local political

activities against the British Raj. However, he refuses to join Haji

Sahib’s jihad although his best friend, Kalam, does, and even accuses

him of betrayal: “You’ll fight for the Europeans who want to keep their

land away from invaders but when your brothers want the same thing

you turn the invaders into your beloved” (Shamsie, 2014c: 147). For

Kalam and other jihadists, attacking English troops is the only way to

show loyalty to their compatriots and to relieve the plight of the

Pashtuns. For Qayyum, however, “Ghaffar Khan is a true Pashtun”

(179). Here, once again, Shamsie includes another historical figure into

the novel. It is known that Haji Sahib and Ghaffar Khan once worked

together to “set up a programme for education and reform,” but,

“when Haji Sahib declared jihad[,] their paths diverged” (180).

Qayyum joins Ghaffar Khan, who “travelled all through the settled

districts setting up schools where the Pashtuns could find education

untainted by the superstition of the mullahs and the brainwashing of

the English” (180). In 1930, Qayyum becomes more a part of the

Khudai Khidmatgar, meaning “Servants of God” (239), to engage in

civil disobedience against the British. The non-violent struggle,

however, ends in a massacre ordered by the English officers, who,

according to Qayyum, “couldn’t believe we were unarmed” and

“wouldn’t believe we weren’t intent on violence” (261). It is because, in

the eyes of the English, the Pashtuns are “savage men of the Frontier”

(322). With “accelerating cars, men crushed beneath wheels, machine