Commemorating the 1950’s student movement

You are invited to commemorate the legacy of the nation-wide student movement led by Dr. M. Sarwar who passed away earlier this year

VENUE, DATE AND TIME: Jan 9, 2010, at 4.30 pm at the Arts Council Bokhari Open Air Auditorium, Karachi.

WHO IS INVITED: Anyone who is interested, especially students and young people. For passes, pls contact – tel. 021 3585 3156; Cell: 0300 241 3103; Email:


  • Honouring the January 1953 movement activists & documentary film on the 1950’s student movement
  • Renditions by Fehmida Riaz and Tina Sani
  • Brief comments by young activists Alia Amirali (QAU), Varda Nisar (Karachi University), Amar Sindhu (Jamshoro University) and Ali Cheema (LUMS).
  • Concluding remarks by I.A. Rehman, Director HRCP
  • Performance by the popular band Laal


All, especially students and young people are invited to attend. The event re-visits January 8, 1953, traditionally commemorated as ‘Martyrs’ Day’, in memory of students and passers-by in Karachi killed by police firing on the peaceful Jan 7, 1953 ‘Demands Day’ procession organized by the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) and the Inter-Collegiate Body (ICB) that linked the student unions. The High School Students Federation (HSSF) also actively participated in this movement.

The students’ demands included revising the fee structure (make fees payable monthly instead of six-monthly), laboratory, library and hostel facilities, the building of a proper University in Karachi (where none existed) and security of employment. The High School Students Federation also actively participated. These events catalysed Pakistan’s first nation-wide, broad-based student movement. DSF stood for student unity across all divides and formed an All Pakistan Students’ Organisation (APSO) in December 1953.

As student unions are revived after a long hiatus, re-visiting and claiming this past is not only educational but may also feed into the process of strengthening politics in Pakistan at a time when meaningful, issues-driven politics are direly needed (For chronology of the student movement and related material please see the ‘Student Movement’ tab on this blog, or join the Dr M Sarwar Group or Fan Page on Facebook)

SOLIDARITY CONTRIBUTIONS: We will be happy to accept whatever friends and well-wishers want to contribute to the event. We will acknowledge individuals and organisations in the brochure (unless they ask not to be mentioned).

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