Report in Daily Times, Aug 9, 2009
(Note: According to the published report, the event was about ’Dr Hasan Sarwar’. They did later correct the error on the website. Some of the spellings are also incorrect and according to the reporter the ‘known progressives’ who spoke included Muneeza Hashmi, Dr Mubashir Hasan and Syeda Diep. For the record, they didn’t speak, but were certainly there throughout, which was a great source of moral support)
Copies of the booklet 'Celebrating Dr Sarwar' published by the Labour Party Pakistan on a table outside the hall. Photo: Daily Times
* Hameed Akhtar says succeeding generations acting as mere guardians of previous generation’s ideology
* IA Rehman says Dr Sarwar spent his life building country’s future
LAHORE: Famous student leaders of their time paid tribute to the pioneer of progressive student unionism in the country, late Dr Mohammed Sarwar at the Dorab Patel Auditorium of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Saturday.
Known progressive leaders and professionals like Minhaj Barna, Hameed Akhtar, IA Rehman, Hussain Naqi, Abid Manto, Dr Mubashar Hassan, Prof Afzal Tauseef, Moneeza Hashmi, Saleema Hashmi, Saeeda Diep, Zaman Khan, Dr Farrukh Gulzar and many others shared their experiences and friendship with the former student leader. Sarwar’s wife Zakia and his daughter Beena were also present.
The speakers said Sarwar pioneered the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) in the early 1950s in order to give the students a platform to make themselves heard. The DSF played a vital role in developing a progressive ideology in the country, and later became the base of a number of other student organisations like the National Students Federation. Barna said the DSF, labour unions and the society of progressive writers were three forces that rendered remarkable sacrifices to rid the society of imperialism and it was the duty of the next generation to honour their sacrifices and envision their dreams.
Mere guardians: Akhtar said people like Sarwar gave their lives to bring a change in society but the next generation acted as if was a mere guardian of those ideals (majawar). He said the struggle and ideology should be carried forward.
Building futures: Rehman said when Pakistan came into existence, the people of that time thought about freedom and prosperity. “The farmers thought that there would be an abundance of water for their fields and countless resources. But a boy from Allahabad travelled all the way to Karachi and became busy in thinking about building the future of the country. His name was Dr Sarwar and he dedicated his whole life to the purpose,” he said.
Naqi and Manto said Sarwar successfully led his students union against all odds and continued to do so despite facing torture, persecution and crackdown by governments.
Filed under: HRCP Lahore Reference | Tagged: 1950s student movement, Abid Hasan Minto, Afzal Tauseef, Allahabad, beena sarwar, democracy, DSF, Farrukh Gulzar, Hameed Akhtar, hrcp, HRCP Lahore Reference, Husain Naqi, I.A. Rehman, Minhaj Barna, Mubashir Hasan, Muneeza Hashmi, pakistan, politics, Salima Hashmi, student unions pakistan, Syeda Diep, Zakia Sarwar | Leave a Comment »