KARACHI: Scores of social and political activists and students gathered on Tuesday evening at Karachi Arts Council to pay tribute to peasant leader Qazi Faiz Muhammad.
The event was organised by the Memorial Committee, Sindh Thinkers Forum, on his 33rd death anniversary. Qazi Faiz was a social reformer, novelist and a lover of classical and Sufi music.
Tributes were paid to the legendary peasant leader by guest speakers, including human rights activist and lawyer Asma Jahangir and Dr Syed Jaffar Ahmed, the director of the Pakistan Study Centre of Karachi University. Appreciating his role, Asma said that when no one was allowed to speak out, Qazi Faiz raised his voice for the oppressed people of Sindh. “The people of Sindh have always spoken against dictatorships,” she said, adding that people like Qazi Faiz have sacrificed for democracy and for the people.
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She was of the view that a similar situation exisits now and added that one can speak against politicians but not anyone else. “Instead of progressing we are going backwards,” she added.
“Qazi Faiz was born at the time of slavery,” Dr Ahmed said, adding that he struggled all his life for the rights of the people. He said that he actively participated in student politics and took part in protests, including those against the Simon Commission. “His struggle against Sindh’s feudal system is very significant,” he added.
The musical night was enlivened by a host of famous performers, such as Sheema Kermani, Shafi Faqeer, Saif Samejo, the Fakeers of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and the Fakeers of Daraza Shareef. The open-air theatre packed with social and political activists actively participated in Samejo’s Sufi song ‘Mein Sufi Hoon’.
Faqeer’s ‘Ko Rehman Je Pase, Ko Bhagwan Je Pase, Aaon Sajdo Kayan Un Khe Jeko Insan Je Pase’ [Someone believes in Allah, someone trusts in Bhagwan, I bow to those who support humanity] was much appreciated. The event was also attended by literary figures and politicians, including Sindh Assembly lawmaker Mehtab Akbar Rashdi and poet Imdad Hussaini.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2015.