‘Looking back to look forward’: event videos now online

A play list of 16 clips from ‘Looking back to look forward’, the three-hour long event held in Karachi on Jan 9, 2010 to commemorate Dr Sarwar and the 1953 student movement. Click this playlist link to see a list of all the clips. Clickable in chronological order below: Continue reading

Video links: “Looking back to look forward”

Finally managed to convert and upload the video of the inspiring event held on Jan 9, 2010 to commemorate Dr Sarwar and the 1953 student movementtotal of 16 clips, featuring great speeches, music, poetry and people –  http://www.youtube.com/p/A7510E99FB0730E2?hl=en_US&fs=1
Click here for photos and report of the event

Video footage by Sakhawat Ali, tel 03012712659, Karachi.

“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

Photos: ‘Looking back to look forward’

‘Looking back to look forward: celebrating the 1953 student movement
Click the image above to access photos from the events of Jan 9 & 10, held in Karachi to commemorate the 1953 student movement and its activists.

‘Looking back to look forward’ – amazing turnout, thanks everyone

Rahat Kazmi introducing speakers - photo by Aliya Nisar

What an amazing response to ‘Looking Back to Look Forward – Celebrating the 1953 Student Movement’. (‘…we look back not to revel in nostalgia, WE LOOK BACK TO LOOK FORWARD,’ said veteran journalist Eric Rahim in an email while we were conceptualising the event).

We didn’t think we’d be able to fill the 1000-seater hall. Everyone said “be happy if 500 people turn up”. The hall was FULL, thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of the volunteers and participants – students and youngsters from Sindh Awami Sangat (huge team of volunteers and a crowded bus-load of participants), Szabist University, Ziauddin Medical College, PECHS Girls’ School (thanks to Seema Malik, 150 students who formed the heart of the audience and kept up the tempo with their youthful energy), and other groups.

Fehmida Riaz recites 'Palwasha muskura' - photo by Aliya Nisar

View of the audience with PECHS Girls School students - photo Aliya Nisar

“It’s not just the event, it’s the timing of the event that’s important,” said Hiba Ali Raza, one of the student volunteers. “At a time when things look so bleak, and people are so depressed, this was very significant”.

Many had come expecting the usual 200-300 crowd of old lefties with a sprinkling of the young ones. Instead, we had a hall full of young people, boys and girls, students and young professionals who listened attentively to the speakers – Continue reading

Jan 9-10, 2010: Event to honour and take forward the legacy of the 1950s student movement

3-Student mtg 1951 or 52

Sarwar addressing a meeting; M.R.A. Hashmi seated, Karachi, 1950's

Event to honour and take forward the legacy of Dr Sarwar and the 1950’s student movement ie. nationwide student unity based on issues concerning students, independent position (non-alignment to any political party or ideology), and organisation. Re-visiting and claiming this forgotten part of our past may help us find the way forward

Continue reading

KARACHI: Progressive student leader remembered, June 1, 2009

Progressive student leader remembered, Dawn  – http://tinyurl.com/sarwar-pma-dawn

By Our Staff Reporter
Monday, 01 Jun, 2009 | 02:39 AM PST

KARACHI, May 31: Tributes were paid on Sunday to a pioneering former student leader, Dr Mohammad Sarwar, who struggled for the rights of students, workers and the downtrodden masses.

Friends and admirers of the late Dr Sarwar belonging to different walks of life, including law, engineering, literature and the fine arts, spoke of their association with the late general practitioner at a meeting organised by the Pakistan Medical Association at the PMA House.

Former Sindh Governor Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, who as a young lawyer had defended Dr Sarwar and many of his comrades in the 1950s, said that Dr Sarwar founded the Democratic Students Union in the early 1950s because he felt students adopted the “politics of idealism”, and he also created a body that linked all students in other educational institutions in the city together, so that “principled politics could be strengthened in the newly born country”.

Unfortunately, however, first the DSF was banned and then succeeding governments banned student unions altogether for many years, Mr Ebrahim said.

He said that the “old leadership has failed and it is high time that a new leadership, believing in high ideals, emerges to lead the country and bring justice to society. He said equal rights for all must be ensured.

Mairaj Mohammad Khan said that Dr Sarwar was a “true progressive”, having a broad minded and secular way of thought, he “respected religion but was against this kind of interpretation of religion under which women were lashed and people were beheaded”.

Dr Jaffer Naqvi said that people could have a discussion with Dr Sarwar for hours and while they may continue to disagree with him, he would always listen attentively and was so tolerant that would never get angry or raise his voice.

In an interesting revelation, Arif Hassan said that the government had originally prepared a master plan of the city in 1951, with the proposed federal government buildings located opposite the university. When the DSF brought students into politics, however, and took to agitations and protests against the government, voices were heard in cabinet meetings calling for a change in the proposals, to relocate the federal government buildings. Eventually, he said, Ayub Khan moved the federal government apparatus over 1,000 kilometres away.

Aziz Tank, Samreen Hashmi, Badar Siddiqui and others also spoke while Arshad Mehmood, Tina Sani and Atiya Dawood recited poetry. A few documentaries on interviews and discussions with Dr Sarwar were also screened.

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