Celebrating 100 years of Faiz and Manto- at TISS, Mumbai

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Dear  Friends,

It is a nice co-incidence that this year (2012) is the birth centenary of two of the greatest creative writers that twentieth century has produced  – Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Saadat Hasan Manto. It is worth remembering that these writers lived and worked through turbulent and difficult times personally as well as socially, politically. Although the times have changed and the challenges have taken a new form, the relevance of the ideas and values that these people worked and stood for are worth revisiting. Hence we thought it would be a good idea if we could organize something to not only remember and underscore the relevance of those dreams and ideas shared by these people but also to expose and acquaint ourselves with the several such thinkers and romantics who dreamt of a better world.

It is not just an exercise in celebration of their uniqueness but also committing ourselves to the struggle for a more equal world, to rework the world in favor of the ‘wretched of the earth’.

We are well aware that this exercise maybe found lacking in its direct relationship with the core business of education, but as Anthony O’Hear says, engaging with the sphere of literature and art is integral to the idea of ‘education for goodness in a changing world’.

Please join us for the following
सबसे खतरनाक होता हैं, मुर्दा शांति से भर जाना
ना होना तड़प का, सब कुछ सहन कर जाना
घर से निकलना काम पर, काम से घर आ जाना
सबसे खतरनाक होता हैं हमारे सपनो का मर जाना

– अवतार सिंह पाश 

…eager to hear many more such great pieces tomorrow.
The process of unearthing such writers and reliving their thoughts will begin with sharing what each one of us know and hold dear.
Please bring in pieces that inspire you (any language) and share them.
Poetry Reading Session
Date: 22 May (Tuesday) 2012
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Venue: Quadrangle, TISS Campus, Deonar
1. Poetry Reading – 22 May, 6.30-8.00 PM, Quadrangle, TISS Campus (Opposite Deonar bus depot, Chembur)
Poems with social or political relevance in any language would be welcome.
2. A Talk on Faiz Ahmed Faiz  – 26 May, 6:00 – 7:30 pm, Common Room, TISS Campus (Opposite Deonar bus depot, Chembur)
SpeakerProf. Zaheer Ali

3. Screening of Kali Shalwar, the film based on Manto’s story by the same title followed by a discussion.
30 May, 6 PM, Common room, TISS Campus 
(Opposite Deonar bus depot, Chembur)

Please call – 08237680474 or             09911118081       for further details.
in solidarity
Manish Jain, Nandini Manjrekar, Saqib Khan, Yogender Dutt and Vivek Vellanki

Kindling music, playing a revolution

NEW DELHI, April 23, 2012

Vijetha S. N, The Hindu

Artistes from Pakistan’s Laal Band performing at Press Club of India in New<br /><br />
Delhi on Sunday evening. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.
Artistes from Pakistan’s Laal Band performing at Press Club of India in New Delhi on Sunday evening. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.

Laal Band speaks the language of Marx and Faiz Ahmed Faiz

A song dedicated to Lenin, Lal Salaams, the revolutionary poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Habib Jalib and Ahmed Faraz and quotes from Karl Marx — all intrinsic features of the Pakistan-based rock band Laal Band — were the highlights of a performance at the Press Club of India here on Sunday.

“I feel upbeat. So all the songs are going to be fun and fast, nothing slow,” promised the band’s lead singer and guitarist Taimur Rahman, an hour before the show was to begin.

During the performance, Taimur encouraged the audience to sing along, occasionally stopping to quote Marx or a bit of poetry.

“We have a song Jhoot Ka Uncha Sar with visuals that depict women who dress like the military – everyone refused to air that video because they felt it went against the Pakistani army and another song of ours which was against the Taliban. Well I still get hate mails for that one,” added Taimur Rahman when asked about the revolutionary nature of his band which has surprisingly done very well commercially.

The band has been in India for sometime, already having toured Mumbai and Pune along, and has given three recent performances in the Capital. “The response was amazing, equal or even better than in Pakistan. We got standing ovations in almost all our concerts here,” Rahman said, adding: “Delhi is just like Lahore. So much so that I feel more culturally and aesthetically connected to Delhi than other cities in Pakistan like Peshawar and Karachi.”

The band members said their philosophy was firmly based on socialist values and Leftist ideals and also sought to popularise the works of revolutionary poets like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Habib Jalib and Ahmed Faraz. “It is an honour for us to put their poems to our music,” he added.

Taimur is also a professor of political science at the Lahore University of Management Sciences and has been leading the band for several years now. The band used to play at small gatherings, but all that changed in 2007 when lawyers in Pakistan started a movement against military dictator General Pervez Musharraf‘s unconstitutional sacking of Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

The band’s philosophy and revolutionary songs calling on the country’s young to fight against injustice and oppression had a widespread appeal, which propelled it into instant popularity.


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