Published Date: Sep 24, 2019
Book on art, culture in 1980s Peshawar launched
Renowned progressive writer Ahmed Saleem, at the launch of his new book Peshawar Ki Fankar Galliyan: 1980 Kay Ashry Ki Yadain Aur Batain, criticised society and the industry for treating women like objects.
“It is unfortunate that we use women’s bodies to sell our newspapers, magazines and other products in TV commercial advertisements. This is the stark reality of our society at large, which should be denounced,” he said.
Mr Saleem was speaking in response to a question about why he interviewed more women than men as a show business reporter.
“Male artists used to ask me the same question and I had no other reply but that it was the demand of my news editor, who used to say that he wanted ‘patakha’ interviews,” he said.
The event was organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
At the launch, Mr Saleem said it is very difficult to get recognition in our society and the only thing that remains with one is their work.
Former ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel said that the first part of the book recounts Mr Saleem’s memories highlights his time in Peshawar and his relationships with writers, poets and television actors. He said Mr Saleem is no less than an institution in itself, as his literary contribution is of no match.
Peshawar Gandhara Hindko Board General Secretary Ziauddin said the book preserves the social, cultural, artistic, literary, linguistic and political aspects of Peshawar.
He said Mr Saleem rediscovered the hidden treasure of art and artists from Peshawar in his book, which is an excellent contribution to the literature.
Barrister Iftikhar Ahmed, a political activist and close friend of Mr Saleem’s, said he was no less than an artist in the way he explains and narrates stories of his time in Peshawar.
“I take pride that Ahmed Saleem is my friend, as he is a very humble and down to earth person who cares for others,” he added.
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said the book talks about evolution and development of art and culture and the television and film industry of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, especially Peshawar, since 1980s.
“The book highlights the relationship of media and society, where Ahmed Saleem, through his comprehensive interviews with PTV artists of the 1980s, tried to present the struggle and difficulties of artists,” he said.
The book has the characteristics of mystery, which hold the reader’s attention until the end, SDPI Senior Adviser Chemicals and Sustainable Industrial Development Dr Mahmood A. Khwaja said.
Writer Dr Humaira Ashfaq said the book is the social history of Peshawar, covering art, culture and the socio-political environment of the 1980s.
She said Mr Saleem is determined to keep his ideology and tradition alive through his decades of writing.