Gala Opening of National Celebrations - Faiz Centenary - LAST PAGE
in New Delhi India.
By Dr. Ali Javed
There are only a few people, who have striven to cross the confines of their respective countries to promote the cause of humanity without borders and revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz was one of them, said President Pratibha Patil. She was inaugurating an international conference, attended by a number of Pakistani intellectuals, including the poet’s family members to mark the beginning of the centenary celebrations of Faiz.
The inaugural function, attended by literary, cultural, social and political activists and luminaries both from India and Pakistan, was held in Vigyan Bhavan Hall, in New Delhi on February 25. CPI general secretary AB Bardhan was the chief guest. About two dozen Pakistani writers, poets and artistes including both the daughters of Faiz, Saleema and Muneza were in Delhi to attend the function.
Functions are being held as part of the celebrations in different parts of the country by various literary and cultural organizations including Progressive Writers Association (PWA) and Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) in whose formation Faiz himself had played a leading role.
“Faiz took the tradition of Ghalib forward. It has been said that if words had soul, Ghalib would have been the god of words and Faiz would have been their messiah,” said the president while recalling the contributions made by the legendary poet. She also referred to the contribution of Urdu language towards the freedom struggle as well as the secular polity in the country.
Dr Ali Javed, general secretary of Anjuman Tarraqipasand Mussanafeen (PWA) while welcoming the guests elaborated on the details of the year-long celebrations. He said that Pakistan already had an inaugural programme on February 13, the poet’s birthday, and Pakistan PWA along with other organizations has plans to have at least a function in memory of Faiz every fortnight till the year ends in various cities and towns of the country. Similarly, programmes have also been chalked out by PWA-India. Germany, Russia, England and Canada to hold memorial function during the year.
The inaugural session was followed by an interaction with the Pakistani guests in which both the daughters of Faiz, Rahat Saeed, general secretary of Pakistan PWA, Dr Alia Imam, poet Kishwar Naheed and others shared their views with the audience on Faiz and his works. They agreed that Faiz was a poet of commitment and linked his poetic work to the day-to-day struggles of the working people. . He was a true practitioner of the principles of proletarian internationalism and worked tirelessly for the unity of the struggling people world over, including India and Pakistan.