Ghazi Salahuddin: The High School Students’ Association and my rite of passage

Essay written for the booklet published to commemorate the 1953 movement, Jan, 2010

THE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ FEDERATION

My rite of passage

Ghazi Salahuddin

1953, and I have often thought about it, was the year that changed my life. It was my rite of passage. I say this not with any specific reference to its New Year stirrings. But my rather peripheral and juvenile involvement with the students’ movement had a lot to do with the transformation that I feel I had then experienced.

Old memories, we know, are not always reliable. We also change them in the process of our selective recollections. That is what makes the past another country in which they do things differently. We are talking about times that have slid to the very edge of living memory. Indeed, this article is written for an occasion that is meant to be a tribute to a man who passed away in the summer of 2009. The rest of us who were participants or observers of the students’ movement of 1953 – and I was among the youngest members of that caravan – are, in a sense, waiting for our departures. Fifty-seven years, after all, is a very long time. Continue reading

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Barkat Alam – an old comrade passes on

Barkat Alam001_2

Barkat Alam. Photo courtesy Barkat Alam's family via Eric Rahim

From Eric Rahim in Glasgow:

Dear Friends,

I bring you the sad news of the death of Barkat Alam in the early hours of this morning (Saturday, the 10th of October). Barkat had been seriously ill for some months now and the end was not unexpected. I was with him last night, but he was unconscious and the doctor told me that he would probably go during the night. Najma, his wife, and daughter Sabaa were with him when he passed away peacefully.

Barkat joined the Karachi student movement of the early 50s (and the Party), along with Mohammad Shafi and Saghir Ahmad, while still at school. All three of them played an active role in the movement. Many friends from that time will remember him with affection, a quiet, unassuming, serious-minded young man.

Continue reading

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