R.I.P. Moiz Farooqui

Prof. Khawaja Moizuddin Ahmed Farooqui, 83 years old, passed away on Nov 24th after a prolonged illness. Prof Farooqui was a former General Secretary, then Vice president of Urdu College Students Union and retired as a Professor of University of Sindh. In his student days, Moiz Farooqui was involved in the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) and Inter-Collegiate Body (ICB) of the 1950s. He was one of the four person delegation that the Convening Committee for the All Pakistan Students’ Convention, formed by the Inter-Collegiate Body decided to send to tour important towns of West Pakistan to mobilize support for the convention.

Prof. Farooqui addressing the audience at the event 'Looking Back to Look Forward', Jan 10, 2010

“Amongst the members of the delegation were Syed Iqbal Ahmed, (VP, SM College), Moizuddin Farooqui, (GS, Urdu College) and Khwaja Adil Ahmed, (GS Law College) and myself. Our programme was to pay short visits to Multan, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Hyderabad. After reaching Lahore we had to accept the forcing invitation of Lyallpur students to visit their city also,” wrote Dr Sarwar in in the Student Herald of March 9, 1953.

Despite his illness, Prof Farooqui had attended and addressed the event Looking Back to Look Forward we organised in Jan 2010 at the Karachi Arts Council to commemorate the 1953 student movement.
May he rest in peace.

“Students Movement leaders remembered: Revival of student activism termed must for reshaping society” – PPI report

Rahat Kazmi listens to Alia Amirali's fiery speech. Photo by Sakhawat Ali

PPI report by Azhar Khan

KARACHI, Jan 10 (PPI): In order to bringing positive, deep and lasting sociopolitical changes in Pakistani society it is necessary that students should play their due role and mount pressure on the policymakers through their activism to focus on the burning problems faced by our society and its people. For this purpose it is a must that student unions should be strengthened and their elections held on urgent basis.

This was said by speakers of a moot here on Saturday evening at Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi to pay rich tributes to the martyrs of “Students Movement 1953”.

This historic student movement was launched by Dr. Mohammad Sarwar, which played an important role in strengthening the leftist student movement in Pakistan.

Hundreds of students and civil society members attended the moot and paid rich tributes to the martyrs of “Students Movement 1953”. They also paid rich tribute to Dr. Mohammad Sarwar, who they said was the core catalyst for the formation of Students Unions for the first time in Pakistan. Continue reading


KARACHI, Jan 6: Students traditionally observed January 8th as ‘Martyrs’ Day’ in memory of the students and passers-by killed by police firing on Jan 7, 1953, during the peaceful ‘Demands Day’ procession organised by Inter Collegiate Body (ICB) and Democratic Students Federation (DSF). The High School Students Federation (HSSF) also actively participated in this movement and some of those killed were high school students.

Their demands were education-related, including: revise the fee structure (make fees payable monthly instead of six-monthly), improve laboratory, library, and hostel facilities, build a proper University in Karachi (where none existed) and provide security of employment to graduates. The High School Students Federation also actively participated.
Continue reading

Security of employment and students – M. Abdul Fazl

STUDENTS’ HERALD Fortnightly Journal of the Students

Vol 1 No 9 April  3, 1953


By M. Abul Fazl

Many months ago, the students of Karachi signed an appeal for vindicating such demands as the reduction in fees, free medical aid and security of employment. At that time the Islami Jamiat-i-Tulaba seeing itself going in to the background brought out a counter-appeal demanding Islamic education and the basic necessities of life according to Islam. These mullas could have done their work on their own without entering into any controversy with other organizations, but no, they did precisely the wrong thing. Instead of propagating their demands, they unnecessarily launched a campaign against the demand of “security of employment”. When asked as to why in the name of goodness were they opposed to security of employment, their surprising answer was that it was anti-Islamic. This attempt at diverting the attention of students from their basic demands was, however, swept aside by the great January movement of the students of Karachi which awakened from slumber the youth of the entire nation and won the sympathy and support of all the people of Pakistan. Continue reading

The role of the High School Students Federation

Page from Students' Herald, Feb 6, 1953

Article from STUDENTS’ HERALD, Vol 1, No 6, Feb 6, 1953

School Students’ Glorious Contribution to Common Struggle

By Saghir Ahmed,

General Secretary, High School Students’ Federation

The students of high schools had played a prominent part in the common struggle for better conditions of life and study which culminated in a mighty and victorious demonstration of student unity and determination. In fact their leaders and their sole representative organisation, the High School Students Federation, together with the Democratic Students’ Federation and the Inter-Collegiate Body, had jointly chalked out the pro­gramme for the struggle and made valuable con­tribution in the deliberations of the Action Committee.

Apart from the common demands of the student community on the whole, which had been presented by the Action Committee to the Education Ministry, which include provision of better accommodation for schools, reduction in fees, building of more hostels and colleges, playgrounds, free medical aid, etc., there are certain demands peculiar to the high schools which also have been presented to the Education Ministry and more recently to the Directorate of Education in the form of a me­morandum detailed below. Continue reading

MARTYRS TO THE CAUSE OF STUDENTS (Students’ Herald, Jan 19, 1953)

STUDENTS’ HERALD – Fortnightly Journal of the Students
Vol. 1 No. 5 JANUARY 19, 1953  PRICE 2 As.
Inserts: page i (with photos of injured in hospital) and page ii (text below)

Insert pg i

Page ii (insert) with list of students killed on Jan 7 & Jan 8


The bestial action of the police of Karachi in the three tragic days, was marked with indiscriminate shooting of teen-agers and old   people. They seemed to have a special liking for the blood of those, who as human beings could not resist helping their injured brethren.

According to hospital authorities about a score of persons have been permanently disabled and many of the patients shall take at least one month to be discharged from hospitals.

The tale of the extremely tragic death of a young Hindu student Mansukhlal, who had   just  finished his camping in the much-trumpeted Scout Jamboree, shall long be remembered by the  citizens of Karachi. Donning his gray scout uniform this Sindhi youth, full of vigour and enthusiasm, was helping the injured in front of Paradise Cinema. The police could not tolerate this “criminal” action of the young boy and soon sent the young soul to its heavenly home. Before taking this last breath, he might have pondered, what for was all this learning and listening about the duties of a scout.

There is a great number of such tales about police brutalities and if one had time and space volumes could be written about them.

According to information received  by Herald, the following is the list of casualties:


ICB tour and meetings with students in other cities, Feb 1953 – report by M. Sarwar

Page from Students' Herald, March 9, 1953

Read below, text from the Students’ Herald, March 9, 1953, Convention Chairman Mohammad Sarwar’s account of the trip, including the efforts by the Jamat to disrupt their meetings and to discredit them.

[Note: an interesting story from the 1950s’ student movement, about how they contacted colleagues and supporters in other parts of the country in an age when communication was far slower and more expensive than it is now. Students around the country had rallied in support of their Karachi colleagues following the January movement when police firing killed several students and passers-by on Jan 7 and 8, 1953. Demonstrations in Lahore, Dacca, and other cities drew hundreds and thousands of students, according to the Students’ Herald). Encouraged by this overwhelming response, the Democratic Students Federation formed an Inter-Collegiate Body (ICB). An ICB delegation visited other cities to link up with other students and work towards the National Convention (eventually held in December 1953). Here is how they managed this `grand tour’ to Multan, Lyallpur, Peshawar, Pindi and Lahore:

The Principal of Nishtar Medical College, Multan had invited the Dow Medical College Principal Col. Malik to inaugurate a new hostel. Col. Malik nominated the President of the Dow Medical College Union, Mohammad Sarwar – something unheard of for a principal to do. He also agreed to let Sarwar use the ticket money to take three other students from the Inter-Collegiate Body (ICB), traveling by second-class train. At the Multan railway station, a somewhat taken-aback Nishtar Medical College Principal warmly received them with a welcome committee, garlands and all. The Karachi students used the trip to make contact with students at colleges in Multan, Lyallpur, Peshawar, Pindi and Lahore and form ICB units there]


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