‘Blood on the streets’

Journeys to democracy

Student mtg 1951 or 52 M. Sarwar addressing a meeting in Karachi, early 1950s, Khaliqdina Hall. Seated left: Rehman Ali Hashmi.

Looking back to look forward: The DSF-led movement of the 1950s eschewed party politics, was inclusive, and focused on student unity. Besides students from medical, engineering and and law colleges, it involved students from girls’ and boys’ high schools, and women’s colleges. 

Below, an extract from my forthcoming memoir on the struggle for democratic spaces in Pakistan. This is from the chapter about the student movement of 1953 that shook the country and laid the foundations for the University of Karachi, published in The Friday Times, Jan. 8, 2016. Thanks to Raza Rumi for pushing me to share this

View original post 3,063 more words


Celebrating Dr Sarwar, DSF, Lahore, Aug 8, 2009

Video clips from the event Celebrating Dr Sarwar, DSF, Aug 8, 2009, at the HRCP auditorium in Lahore, organised by medical doctor Dr Farrukh Gulzar, Ammar Ali Jan of the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) and friends of Dr Sarwar, now uploaded to the web. Below, the respected journalist Minhaj Barna speaking at the occasion. Other speakers included Abid Hasan Minto, I.A. Rehman, Hameed Akhtar, Zaman Khan, Afzal Tauseef, and others. For all the clips in this series, see this playlist.

Fatehyab Ali Khan no more. RIP comrade

Sad to hear that Fatehyab Ali Khan is no more. He suffered a massive heart attack in Karachi on Sept 23 and was rushed to hospital where doctors tried to revive him with electric shocks. He was subsequently kept on a ventilator, until doctors gave up hope last night.

He and his contemporary Mairaj Mohammad Khan were very much present at the Jan 9, 2010 event held in Karachi to commemorate the 1950s Democratic Students Federation (DSF) led student movement, during which he had been a high school student. They were happy to be there; their very presence meant a lot to everyone there. The movement inspired him and others of his generation who were inclined towards left-wing, progressive politics. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: