Jashn-e-Faiz: Targeting A Culture of Revival – By K. Nazish

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Jashn-e-Faiz is a proposal for citizens to come out, and re-live the life of a free civilian. The magnitude of its impact depends on your support and participation.

109 cities around the world celebrate Faiz Centenary. The largest celebration in Karachi called Jashn-e-Faiz, will be held this Sunday (17th April 2011), organized by Citizens For Democracy (a coalition of or over 80 professional groups, NGOs, trade unions, student unions, political parties and individuals committed to work against abuse of religion in politics).

The purpose of this event (Jashn-e-Faiz, a cultural mega family event) is to reach out to citizens of Karachi on a larger scale and the rest of the country through media. “CFD is now holding another major public event to assert the space for progressive, non-violent, democratic ideas,” says Farieha Aziz a Journalist and member of CFD.

The event that consists of “art shows, theatre, seminars, documentary films, folk dances, a concert and a mushaira…may not be a protest, but it is a bid to reclaim space, and in the most constructive way possible. It’s important, if not crucial, for there to be inclusive events such as these in the environment of intolerance” says, ex-News Anchor, Founder of Gawahi and member of CFD, Naveen Naqvi.

Another CFD member and host of a progressive TV show called ‘Policy Matters’, Nasim Zehra explains why CFD has made efforts to devote this humongous celebration for Faiz as he was “Asia’s great Voice for peoples’ rights and humanism. Essentially it is a dedication by the citizens of Pakistan to a Constitutional, law-abiding, people-centered and pluralistic Pakistan. More importantly it is an act to write a new Pakistan narrative which reflects the commitment that millions of Pakistani have to humanism and to a tolerant Pakistan.”

Activist and journalist Beena Sarwer who is also one of the founding members of CFD, conveys that Jashn e Faiz is “not just about celebrating poetry, art, and culture, or about Faiz as a poet who is so popular all over Pakistan, India and around the world, but it is more about what Faiz stood for – which is what CFD stands for. That is, progressive politics, a humane, peaceful society, standing against exploitation and violence.”

This event yearns to initiate a culture of friendligence, channelized ideology, spirit of union and fear-less citizenry. Jashn-e-Faiz will mingle people from all walks of life, all social classes and sects to come together and indulge into a collective delight. Attendees can choose from theatre performances of Danka Art to mushairas by country’s popular celebrity poets. “I think that such events should take place regularly in Karachi where people can come with their families to not only be entertained but to take back social messages and to provoke a dialogue and debate,” says a famous Performing Arts celebrity Sheema Kermani, also a CDF member.

Naziha Syed Ali, a freelance Journalist and member of Team CFD clears up that, “JF is certainly not a Mela. Our intention is to retrieve the liberty that right wing society has taken from us. We want to reach out and tell the citizen that they can still come out in huge crowds and feel safe in Karachi, this is their own city.”

Niilofur Farrukh, an independent artist, Art supporter and member CFD urges everyone to come to the event and banish their fears of huge public crowds, “we have definitely done our best with security” which is taken care of by the CPLC and Rangers, apart from regular police. “We have made this collective effort to re-collect citizens of Karachi and help re-gather once again, people who are facing problems, activists who find it hard to fight and citizens who feel their voice will not be heard.”

Jashn-e-Faiz is a proposal for citizens to come out, and re-live the life of a free civilian. The magnitude of its impact depends on your support and participation.

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