Writer Amrita Pritam remembered on 12th death anniversary

Writer Amrita Pritam remembered on 12th death anniversary

A speaker demanded that the government name a road or hall in Gujranwala after Amrita Pritam
01 Nov, 2017

A speaker at a conference on Tuesday demanded that the government name any road or hall in Gujranwala after Amrita Pritam in recognition of her literary contribution.

Gujranwala is the birthplace of the writer in whose memory the World Punjabi Congress (WPC) organised an event on her 12th death anniversary. Some Indian delegates were also expected to participate in the conference but they could not come owing to delay in visas.

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The first session of the conference (held at a Lahore hotel) was presided over by renowned writer Mustansar Hussain Tarar and a major part of it was dedicated to the screening of documentaries on Amrita Pritam. The documentaries including the one by Basu Bhattacharya had a lot to offer on her life and works. Among the nine documentaries screened on the occasion were those in which Pritam recited her poem and an audio recital by Gulzar.

Mr Tarar lauded Fakhar Zaman for his role in the promotion of the Punjabi language. He said he never met Amrita Pritam but there was communication through literary pieces as they both read each other’s writings. He said he was often associated with the Partition but the fact was that two of his novels – Raakh and Khas-o-Khashak Zamanay – had major portions on partition.

“One should look forward and leave the partition behind. What happened to the Hindus and Sikhs in this part of Punjab during partition he has mentioned in his writings and he also expect the same from East Punjab writers that they should truly portray what was done to the Muslims there at the time of partition,” he said.

“And just as we are observing the death anniversary of Amrita Pritam here, literary figures should also celebrate writers such as Nasreen Anjum Bhatti, Afzal Ahsan Randhawa and Sharif Kunjahi in Indian Punjab,” he demanded.

WPC chairman Fakhar Zaman regretted that in India there was not much work about Amrita Pritam and no one had observed her death anniversary. Only Sukhwinder Singh Noor wrote about her. She said Pritam inspired generations but it’s a pity that the house where she lived had been demolished for some commercial place. He also demanded that the Pakistani writers should be acknowledged across the border.

He requested the government to add a full paper on Amrita Pritam for the students of MA Punjabi. He announced that the next conference would be held on Shivkumar Batalvi.

WPC President Saeedullah Chaudhry passed a declaration that Pakistan and India should solve their issues through dialogue so that both countries could progress, promote the culture of peace, facilitate writers and intellectuals and issue visas for longer periods.

A website should be launched for the promotion of the Punjabi literature and language. Special focus should be given to the rights and progress of women. In both India and Pakistan, Punjabi varsities should be established and Punjabi be made compulsory at the primary level, he demanded.

Afzal Sahir said he met Pritam twice in 1999 and 2001 and he would write all those memories.

Mudassar Butt congratulated Fakhar Zaman for holding the conference and demanded that a road or hall be named after Amrita Pritam in Gujranwala.

Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture Director General Sughra Sadaf said PILAC would hold a Punjabi conference in the last week of November.

Originally published in Dawn, November 1st, 2017


bUpi Nov 01, 2017 11:52am
Good to remember. There are mor such personalities of Past to be given respect & hope we all do so.
imdadali Nov 01, 2017 01:13pm
it is symbol of live nation to memorize their legends so those who have arranged the program in the honor of late amarta deserve Accolade and we should arrange such progarm with punctuality in the honor of our heroes and we must not restrict it only literature but all walks of life.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Nov 01, 2017 01:52pm
Yet another feeble attempt by the organizers to stay afloat, get counted and remain in the limelight.
Sheena Nov 01, 2017 06:14pm
Amrita Pritam's legendary poem " aaj akhan Waris Shah nu kithoon qabraan vichoon bol" brings tears into my eyes and an ach in my heart whenever I read this poem; her poem describes the bloodiest partition of Punjab. She must be an indisputable poetess of both sides of Punjab, The organizers of this event deserve an applause; bravo & more power to them.
N.K.Ghai Nov 05, 2017 10:13pm
Delighted to read the news item. Culture binds people and is above the artificial boundaries. My heartfelt admiration for the organizers.