The 27th Faiz Amn Mela concluded Sunday at the Open Air Theatre of Baagh-i-Jinnah, Lahore, marking 108th birthday of the great revolutionary poet of the Suth Asian Subcontinent with a call for promoting his message of resistance against repression, exploitation, and struggle for social justice, love and peace in the South Asian region in particular and the world in general.
The Mela, unlike the Faiz International Festival, was full of fun, enthusiasm and revolutionary fervour featuring speeches, discussion on education, poetry, music, dance and theatre interspersed with revolutionary slogans.
The festival was attended well over 10,000 Faiz lovers, including workers, peasants, women, students, youth, progressive political activists, poets and artists and family members of Faiz including his daughters, Salima Hashmi and Moneezey Hashmi, as well as grandson Ali Hashmi.
The other main attractions of the festival were stage plays based on the themes of “No revolution without women liberation” and Faiz poem Lazam hai Ki Hum Bhi Dekheingey” presented by ‘Lal Hartal’, ‘Azad Fankaar’, ‘Momen Khan Momen’, a dance performance by internationally acclaimed classical dancer and AWP member Amna Nawaz Khan as well as musical performances by Tarannum Naz, Adeel Burki, Nasir Khan and Laal Band.
Pashtun and Balochi youth danced to the their favourite folk and revolutionary tunes.
A mega mushaira (poetry recitation) was also held with 30 poets including Baba Najmi, Dr Jawad Jaffery, Tahira Sara, Azam Malik, Sarfraz Safi, Dr Khalid Javed Jan, Anjum Qureshi, Parveen Sajal, Sabir Ali Sabir, Momen Khan Momen and others reciting their poems.
The participants raised slogans for release of youth activist Asad Rahul, AWP imprisoned leader Baba Jan and Okara Farms’ tenants leader Mehr Abdul Sattar.
AWP Spokesperson Farooq Tariq, socialist thinker and writer Dr Lal Khan, journalist and peace activist Imtiaz Alam spoke on different aspect of Faiz’s poetry, struggle and its relevance in today’s scenario.
They spoke about the effects of neoliberal economic agenda of the capitalism and imperialism on working class and stressed the need for unity of the Left and progressive forces to launch a united struggle against oppression and repression and for establishing a socialist democratic and just society.
They also criticized the rising terrorism incidents in the region and condemned the war mongering and hostility in the subcontinent and called for peace dialogue to resolve Kashmir and other conflicts.
They expressed concern over the anti-people policies of the PTI government, rising inflation and staging a new theatre of proxy
war in Balochistan and KP at the behst of the US imperialism and the tyrant Middle East rulers.
“Had a fantastic time at the Faiz Aman Mela. The turnout was massive and the performances and discussions were extremely moving. What is even more impressive is that the whole event was completely funded and organized by Left activists. Congratulations to Farooq Tariq and Nasir Iqbal, for heading the entire effort,” commented by Dr Ammar Ali Jan.
This event once again shows that there is an unprecedented opening for Leftist ideas if we can present them in a popular idiom. With wisdom and courage, we can continue moving ahead, he added.
We received great response at the Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement table set up by our activists at the event. It’s further proof that people are interested in engaging with new ideas that can make our society more peaceful and just.
Students and teachers discussed “Inequality in Education” and way forward with noted teacher Dr Ammar Ali Jan and Aimen Bucha,
The festival organsing committee had made elaborate arrangements and arranged a horse carriage carrying big hoardings of the mela with the great poet’s portrait making its way from the Lahore Press Club through all old areas of Lahore, reliving the old experience.
This was how old movies were advertised as well that attracted the attention of people.
In a typical classic style of advertising events, the horse carriage advertised the Mela with two or three of the organisers sitting in the carriage, making announcements, while posters with Faiz’s portrait adorned the carriage that made stops and gave pamphlets and posters to the public.
The Faiz Amn Mela Committee, comprised of over a dozen organisations of the left such as the Awami Workers party, Communist Party of Pakistan, All Pakistan Trade Union Federation, Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party, Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign, Mazdoor Mahaz, All Pakistan Workers’ Federation, Progressive Labour Federation, Women’s Action Forum and Applied Socio-Economic Research.