Students urged to respect poets as custodians of values

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The poets and writers are the protectors of social and cultural values, said Dr Rasul Jan, the vice-chancellor of University of Peshawar, here on Tuesday.

He was addressing as chief guest a bilingual — Urdu and Pashto — poetry recitation session organised by Peshawar University Teachers Association (Puta) at Agha Khan Auditorium.

Dr Rasul Jan said that young students should learn from the vision and imaginative flight of the poets. He urged students to respect and appreciate poets and writers. Poets recited poems depicting variety of emotions from romantic, serious, satiric to humorous.

About 40 Pashto and Urdu poets from Malakand, Dir, Swat, Charsadda, Mardan Swabi, Peshawar, Bannu and Fata participated in the annual event. Most poets depicted sufferings of people and political and social turmoil prevailing in the country in their poetic pieces.

Shazia Sadaf, a student, told Dawn that such events should be held frequently so that students could relieve themselves from tension and hectic study sessions. “I enjoyed this event very much along with my classmates. I suggest that female poets should also be given a chance to express themselves,” she said.

A large number of girl students living in various university hostels also attended the event.

“When I was president of Puta, I had launched this bilingual event way back in 1985 in which great literary giants like Ahmed Faraz, Ghani Khan and Amir Hamza Khan Shinwari were to be the chief guests. I want this event to be held twice a year as it triggers creative talent of the young poets,” said Dr Rasul Jan.

He recalled that earlier students had no taste for poetry and most often would hoot. “Once I threw a challenge to students if they would hoot and then invited a poet who recited a poem. The poet was Rahmat Shah Sail,” he said, adding the poem was about bomb blasts in Peshawar. There was a pin drop silence in the hall, he said.

Dr Fazl Nasir Qazi, the president of Puta, on the occasion said that Peshawar University would continue to provide such opportunities to students where they could hone their hidden talent. He said that keeping the worst situation in the country as well in the province in view, it became responsibility of the teachers to provide some moments of entertainment to young students.

Prof Abaseen Yousafzai, who presided over the function, recited an inspiring Pashto poem Ehtijaaj (protest) for which he received great applause from the participants.

Anwar Shadab, a young Pashto poet, too mesmerised the audience when he recited his poem, regretting that rest of the world preferred pens and books for advancement while Pakhtun nation was still craving for guns and bullets.

The lone woman poet Bushra Farrukh read out her beautiful Urdu poems.

Sajjad Juandoon, a young student, however, stole the show by reciting his poem. He expressed that young people should know their history, culture and national heroes.

Senior poets Dr Nazir Tabassum, Aziz Ejaz, Mushtaq Shabab, Sajjad Babar, Ghazi Sial, Abdur Rahim Roghani and Noorul Amin Yousafzai also participated in the event.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2014