• Three-day Sargodha Literary Festival kicks off at UOS

Three-day Sargodha Literary Festival kicks off at UOS

To explore and promote the literary and cultural aspects of the society, three-day Sargodha Literary Festival has been kick-started at University of Sargodha. 

As part of this festival, a talk on ‘Literature, Culture and Peace’ held to discuss the possible role of culture and literature in maintaining peace and tranquility.

Renowned academicians, writers and journalists including Dr Tabassam Kashmiri, Dr Nasir Abbas and Wajahat Masood participated in the discussion while Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed Vice Chancellor UOS was also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed stated that status quo power structure always try to influence culture and literature produced by a society; war is the expression of power while knowledge, or more correctly, peace is the negation of power. Knowledge, creative and analytical thinking help promoting progressive thought and hence play vital role in social as well as political growth which ultimately lead to the overall development of a society, he added.

He was of the opinion that Pakistani nation faces identity crisis especially its diaspora in Europe. “We are confused about our identity that who we are? But we should not be confused nor should we be ashamed of our identity. We are beautiful people blessed with diversity and we have to reclaim our past and history to get us out from this confusion”, Dr Ishtiaq added further.

In his view, Pakistan is going through a transitional period and there is the need to understand that this transition would last longer because of certain factors and would turn Pakistan in a developed state. “One of these factors is youth bulge which can either be a demographical dividend or a ticking bomb and when voices of the youth would prevail through literature and art, the society would flourish. Therefore, one can hope that Pakistan is future as it is changing positively and huge opportunities are there”, the Vice Chancellor concluded.

Veteran columnist and political analyst Wajahat Masood, while delivering his talk, opined that although religion has significant impressions over culture, yet both terms should not be confused with each other because beliefs and traditions are one of the many components of culture.

He expressed that history and geographical facts affect culture of a society but it should be remembered that there is no good or bad, rich or poor culture, therefore, no nation should ever feel shame on its culture.

Dr Nasir Abbas contended that these three terms, culture, peace and literature are interlinked and have equal impacts on one another. Literature promotes peace and peace is the thing necessary for any culture to flourish and progress.

Dr Tabassam Kashmiri, a veteran academician who served a Japanese university for almost thirty years, stated that ruling power exerts great influence on culture of the subject state and its impacts on thinking of artists and writers cannot be ignored.

Later in the day, an art exhibition on the theme of literature and culture, was organized by Department of Fine Arts at Jinnah Hall. Ayesha Ishtiaq, spouse of Vice Chancellor UOS, Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed, inaugurated the exhibition while Member Punjab Assembly Dr Nadia Aziz participated as chief guest.

Moreover, a book fair was also held at the Hockey Ground. Book publishers across the country set up their stalls to provide books to students on subsidies rates. The purpose of the book fair was to cultivate book reading habit among youth.

Launching ceremony of three books in three different languages was also held. Book in English “Pakistan’s Demographical Transition: Change and Persistence”, edited by Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed and Adnan Rafique, book in Urdu “Neeli Baar”, authored by Dr Tahira Iqbal and book in Punjabi “Tasi Dharti”, written by Zahid Hasan were launched whereas Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed, Adnan Rafique, Dr Liaquat, Dr Manzoor Watto and Dr Munir Bhatti reviewed these books.

In the evening, veteran artists and musicians enthralled audiences with their stunning performances. Zack Group Lahore performed Dance of Whirling Dervishes (Roomi Rung), Bashir Dhamali and his companions from Multan performed Puppet Show while Lalu Bhel and his companions from Cholistan presented Marvarhi performance. Vice Chancellor, Dean faculties, heads of departments, faculty members, staffers and students in large participated in the event.