The twin cities’ schoolchildren reaffirmed Allama Iqbal’s message of “Khudi” through songs, poetry recitals and speeches on Thursday.
They had gathered at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) for a special ceremony to observe the national poet’s 135th birth anniversary.
Iqbal’s ghazal “Khudi ka sar-e nihaan la illah ill Allah” was the favourite among the students, with at least three student groups singing the poem during the ceremony.
Maarij Samad, a sixth-grade student at Gandhara Public School, recited “Khitab Ba Jawanan-e-Islam”, while Rizwana Bibi and Iqra Sakhawat of Fatima Jinnah Degree College for Women in Humak gave live song performances of Iqbal’s poetry.
Samad, 11, said he and his friends like Iqbal’s poems for children, and the famous verse that goes “khudi ko kar buland itna”. He said they usually recite Iqbal’s poems at school functions.
Mubashir Fayyaz, a student of Sir Syed School in Rawalpindi, gave an eloquent speech about the philosophy in Iqbal’s poetry.
The ceremony was conducted by TV actor and host Nargis Rasheed, who said Iqbal is among the few poets who wrote for children.
His work, some of which is also a part of the national curriculum, preaches virtues, such as helping others in need and humility, as well as providing lessons to safeguard against flattery, she said.
Obaidullah, a programme officer at the PNCA, said the event aimed to educate the new generation about the themes in Iqbal’s poetry.
“Iqbal’s message of self reliance for the youth can help students in shaping their character and practical lives,” he said.
Earlier, the National Puppet Theatre presented a show where the puppets danced to musical composition of “Javed kay naam”, a poem Iqbal had written for his son.
The students enjoyed and applauded the show, which was based on the children’s story about the boy who cried wolf.
In addition, students were also given a visual tour of Iqbal’s life, which included photographs of his house in Sialkot, his family members and his academic achievements.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2012.
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