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:


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).

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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