Let’s celebrate, it’s Faiz time | Pakistan Today

Let’s celebrate, it’s Faiz time

“Jeay Bhutto – Jeay Faiz. Jeay Bhutto – Jeay Faiz. Jeay Bhutto – Jeay Faiz.”
The Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Banquet Hall at the Sindh Chief Minister’s House resounded with the slogan as provincial Culture Minister Sassui Palejo addressed the opening session of Faiz Centenary Celebrations on Friday morning.
The event kicked off the three-day celebrations to commemorate the contributions of one of the most famous poets of the Urdu language, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, towards the social and political scenarios in the country. A host of literati and political leaders attended the opening session, addressed among many others by the Sindh culture minister.
“The [Jeay Bhutto – Jeay Faiz] slogan has opened new avenues for the people with a progressive background,” she remarked. “Faiz is not just a name of a poet but an inspiration for those who dare to step into a valley of thorns for the betterment of society that respects human values.”
“Just taking Faiz’s name moves my heart, because it was him who had awakened us from slumber and guided us for a society that lays its basis on humanity,” Palejo said. “[Faiz] was a poet for humanity and peace and his universal message has gained momentum in the corridors of power houses.”
The culture minister said that in recognition of Faiz’s universal message [in his poetry], the Sindh government has decided to translate his poetry into the Sindhi language. “Late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had acknowledged and admired Faiz in his life and the successors of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) founder have maintained that tradition.”
Speaking on the occasion, Anjuman Tarraqi Pasand Mussanafin (Association of Progressive Writers) President IA Rehman elaborated the multi-dimensional aspects of Faiz’s poetry, work and the struggle for the establishment of a true democratic society. “Faiz just wanted that the high values of humanity should be promoted, propagated and respected.”
“Faiz is actually ‘Faiz-e Jariya’ and is not [a pool of] stagnant water but as fresh and cool as a stream of running water, which should continue to expand and not confined to geographical boundaries,” Rehman remarked.
Calling to include introductory lessons on Faiz in the primary school curricula, he demanded that the Sindh chief minister establish “Faiz Chair” in universities of Sindh.
“Faiz’s movement is being rejuvenated across the world and special programmes have been held in India, Pakistan, US and Europe also,” Rehman said.
Speaking at the inaugural session, Senator Taj Haider said that Faiz was arrested on the pretext of ‘Pindi Sazish’ but “those who had sent him [Faiz] and his friends up the river were the actual traitors.”
“They [Faiz and company] wanted to see Pakistan as a welfare state but those who placed them behind bars wanted to see Pakistan as an administrative state,” the senior PPP leader said. “The religious extremists failed and nobody knows their names now. But the entire world is familiar with Faiz and his companions and those who stood by Faiz are still remembered and have been awarded with prestigious rewards for their works.”
Eminent Indian intellectual Dr Ali Jawaid said that some sections of the society are trying to propagate the idea that there is a conflict between different civilisations today. “We do not accept the idea and believe that civilisations never collide but always attract each other with love and harmony.”
Calling Faiz a poet of humanity and peace, he said that his message can only be promoted if it is implemented in letter and spirit.
In his presidential address at the session, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah recalled Faiz’s tenure and paid rich tribute to him for the poet’s struggle for the sanctity of humanity.
He also presented special shields to Faiz’s companions, who spent much of their time in prison with the poet.

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