Speakers termed a new Pashto poetry collection by Dr Roshan Kalim Sarhindi a strong voice for women rights in the society.

The Pohantoon Adabi Stori, a literary organisation, conducted the launching ceremony of a maiden Pashto poetry volume titled Khamosha Chaghy (silent cries) at Khana-i- Farhang Iran, Peshawar, on Friday. A number of poets, writers and bibliophiles attended the event.

The speakers said that women should be given space to bring out their talent and also opportunities be created for them to raise voice for their genuine rights.

They said that taboos and so-called traditions had choked the voice of women to speak out their heart and mind. They said that Ms Kalim’s poetry had broken taboos prompting women to give a poetic shape to their feelings.

Chairing the function, noted writer Prof Salma Shaheen termed the new Pashto title as a valuable addition to Pashto literature especially of woman writer Dr Roshan Kalim Sarhindi hailing from Malakand.

She said that though her poetry did not follow the conventional rules of rhyme scheme in Pashto poetry, but poured out her emotions and thoughts. She said Ms Kalim’s poetry sounded a strong voice for the rights of Pakhtun women and touched a number of other social issues prevailing in the society.

Prof Yar Mohammad Maghmoom Khattak pointed out that the new Pashto poetry collection could be termed a reflection of typical Pakhtun society which was still reluctant to give women their due place and rights. He said her poetry was a resistance against injustice and misconduct being meted out to womenfolk everywhere.

“The poetry is autobiographical sketch of the hard time she might have been through during struggle for women rights as she is also a rights activist and an advocate of humanism,” Mr Khattak added.

Prof Abaseen Yousafzai while appreciating the new title stated that woman poets and writers had achieved big milestone in KP by bringing out their literary works over the last decade. He said Ms Kalim was one of those poets who advocated rights of women, including education, healthcare and role in decision making alongside men in the society. “Dr Roshan Kalim is brave enough to say everything she has come across in her life in a straightforward manner using simple diction so that her cries could be heard,” he maintained.

Prof Sher Zaman Seemab in his paper said that Ms Kalim belonged to a respectable family in Malakand having a scholastic and literary background while she being a highly educated woman struggled hard to bring out her poetry to pave way for other young writers of her area and women at large.

On this occasion, Dr Roshan Kalim said that she had got inspiration from her two poet brothers – Hasham Khan and Noorul Haq who had authored several books. She said the basic objective of publication of her poetry was to raise a befitting voice for the women rights. “I gift my maiden title to all those women whose rights have been usurped and their services not being recognised,” she said.

Senior Urdu writer Syeda Atiya Hidayat, Tahira Kalim, Afsar Afghan, Sohail Jan and Nasim Mandokhel also shed light on the new Pashto title, while young poets ,including Asma Ikhlas, Shaukat Swati and Rashid Khan, rendered a few poems of Ms Kalim.

Originally published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2019

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