Literature is the only thing that has all the revolutions and changes, said poet Zehra Nigah as she spoke to a group of students.
“Every teenager today knows Faiz Ahmed Faiz, which is unlike the old days when people would concentrate only on the English language,” she said. She was speaking at a seminar, titled ‘Our Writers, Our Heroes’, organised by Beaconhouse School System’s DHA campus on Friday afternoon.
Apart from Nigah, the school had invited Fehmida Riaz, Attiya Dawood and Wajid Jawwad to discuss whether or not Urdu has kept pace with the changing times.
“The school should lessen the burden of the curriculum so that the students can start reading and taking up other healthy activities,” suggested Nigah, adding how students go to school in the morning and then to tuitions. “In such hectic routines, how can a student manage time for reading or any other activity?”
Nigah went on to say that we must respect the Urdu language. “If we do not respect our language then we can’t learn any other language too,” she added.
Riaz was of the view that real Urdu literature is not in practice now but that she has high hopes with young people in the country. “Urdu language is multicultural and people of all faiths and walks of life have contributed to this language,” she said. Attiya Dawood stressed on the importance of reading Sindhi literature as well.
“Don’t learn any language for the sake of your career but learn it for the sake of your inner soul,” advised panellist Wajid Jawwad.
Later, a student of Beaconhouse, Shehryar Ahmed, recited a ghazal while a student band, Zambeel, acted out dramatic poetry. Nigah also recited the poem, ‘Jungle ka dastoor’.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2014.