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Gohar Ali Khan

Dawn

Published Date: Aug 28, 2017

Impacts of Russian revolution on literature discussed at conference

HYDERABAD: Progressive writers and scholars at a conference held at the Sindhi Language Authority here on Sunday urged writers to produce creative and appealing literature to bring about a change in society while expatiating on impacts of Russian revolution on the world literature.
“If there is no knowledge about the society, no social and political movement for changing the state and the society, then mere creative literature at best serves as a painkiller,” Progressive Writers Association Pakistan (PWAP) secretary general and University of Karachi’s Pakistan Study Centre former director Prof Dr Syed Jaffer Ahmed said while reading out his paper during a well-attended conference titled ‘Impacts of Russian revolution on the world literature’ organised by the PWAP.
The conference was divided into two sessions and moderated by PWAP Sindh secretary Comrade Iqbal.
Dr Ahmed said that a real revolution brought about significant changes in society, including behavioural changes in human beings, and clearly changed a man in the society.
He quoted Karl Marx as saying that there was no history of art, literature or even music, but history of the man. He said that William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and others writers were more studied in Russia as against that of the UK, the US and European countries.
The former Soviet Union or Russia spread thoughts to change the society through socialist revolution, he added. He said that a series of events could be defined as a revolution. He categorically said that no line from Communist Party of India was given to Progressive Writers Association.
He said that writings of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and others left deep impacts on society as this literature permeated almost all level of society. He said that women education was not encouraged in the past, but there was a clear-cut change now in the society.
He quoted Karl Marx as saying that “religion is like opium,” which he said was misunderstood as opium was used as medicine or painkiller at that time. He said religion gives peace and relief to people.
PWAP president Saleem Raaz said that people of Sindh were fortunate as they had freedom of expression to a great extent while such freedom and liberty was not seen in other provinces of the country.
He said that people of Sindh should knuckle down some serious work for change as Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’s Urs was celebrated every year with many literary sessions and conferences, but it did not create any impact on people.
He said that Sindhi writers must cash in on the message of Bhittai as a weapon.
He said progressive writers could not fulfil their responsibilities by only producing literature. He said that there was a big difference between a photographer and an artist as an artist explains each and every aspect of a situation while photographer just captures a photo of a scene.
“We say proudly that we write impartially, but writers should write with partiality so that people could understand him without any doubt. Impartiality is the name of hypocrisy,” he said.
He added that it was sad that only five per cent people devoured literature in the country.
He said that Nawaz Sharif was disqualified and was not tolerated as he was speaking about liberal thoughts. He said no political party and parliament raised voice for him.
Scholar and writer Manzoor Thaheem said that socialist revolution had effects on Sindhi literature and this revolution compelled people to think about each and every corner of the society. He said that every revolution produced its own vocabulary.
Researcher and writer Ahmed Saleem highlighted tremendous services of Sadat Hassan Manto in view of socialist revolution. He said that Manto’s writings had deep impression of Russian literature as short essays were main feature of Russian literature. He said that Manto was the first person who introduced Russian revolution “we should admit it”. He contributed to Urdu literature by translating Russian literature and this gave him confidence a lot.
The writers who spoke included Prof Mir Munawwar Talpur, Sanaullah Shamim, Zahida Hina, Prof Mirza Saleem Baig, Amar Sindhu, Zaibunnisa Zaibi, Sikandar Bakhtiar Khoso and Dr Humaira Ashfaq.
 
Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1354316/impacts-of-russian-revolution-on-literature-discussed-at-conference