The 27th annual Faiz Amn Mela in connection with the 108th birth anniversary of iconic poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz was held at the Open Air Theatre, Bagh-i-Jinnah, on Sunday.
A number of people from all walks of life attended the event organised by the Faiz Amn Mela Committee.
The first session of the festival was addressed by Dr Amaar Ali Jan, Aimen Bucha, Awais Karni and Muhiba Ahmed who spoke at length on inequality in education and underlined the need to abolish class division. They said it was becoming increasingly difficult for people to get education in the private institutions and urged the government to spend 10pc of the budget on education.
The second session was dedicated to theatre. Laal Hartaal, Azaad Fankar and Momin Khan Momin Group from Karachi came up with an impressive theatrical production. Dr Laal Khan also spoke on the occasion, saying “capitalism is becoming unsuccessful.”
Faiz’s message was one of socialism and he remained part of the trade union movement and struggle for the rights of people, he said.
The third session had a poetry sitting which was presided over by Baba Najmi. The other prominent poets were Dr Javed Jaan, Dr Jawad Jaffri, Anjum Qureshi, Tahira Sara and Sabir Ali Sabir.
Veteran journalist Imtiaz Alam in one of the sessions said it’s important today to spread Faiz’s message that had become relevant in present times. He regretted the pay cuts for journalists and restrictions on the media.
Farooq Tariq said: “We are spreading the message of mehnatkash tabqa through Faiz’s approach and thinking. Faiz would always remain a guiding force for us.” He said the Faiz Amn Mela Committee and the like-minded people were against religious extremism and terrorism.
He urged the government to release Baba Jan Rawal Asad and Mehr Abdul Sattar.
Faiz Amn Mela is an annual event organised by the committee to observe the birth anniversary (Feb 13) of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. It brings together progressive forces of Pakistan to hear revolutionary songs and poetry. The poems of Faiz about social injustice and revolution were also read out by the participants in the festival.
Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2019