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International Seminar on “Ismat Chughtai and Her Footprints: Fiction Writers of Aligarh”

Aligarh, April 29: The Progressive Writers’ Association (PWA) of Aligarh recently organized an International Seminar on “Ismat Chughtai and Her Footprints: Fiction Writers of Aligarh” at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Aligarh Muslim University.

While delivering the inaugural address, renowned Urdu writer, Professor Qazi Abdus Sattar spoke on the opposition faced by Progressive Writers’ Association in his time.

He further spoke on the legacy of Ismat Chughtai and declared her as the First Lady of Urdu Literature who with her unbridled passion and bold unapologetic ideology paved the way for the Progressive Writers’ Association.

In the Welcome address, Prof Mohammad Asim Siddiqui, Secretary, PWA talked about the relevance and changing role of PWA in the present context. Alluding to the past when PWA engaged with the politics of the margins, the gathering threw light on the responsibility of literature and aesthetics towards society.

He also introduced the movement of the Progressive Writers’ Association and discussed the importance of analyzing the works of Ismat Chughtai and the other fiction writers of Aligarh.

Crticially acclaimed Hindi writer, Dr Namita Singh, questioned whether there is a need these days for writers to come together in a movement like the Progressive Writers’ Association. She stressed the importance of carrying on the work of the Progressive Writers’ Association.

Prof Sami Rafiq, a writer and translator from Aligarh Muslim University discussed the process of writing and the importance of listening to one’s subconscious and inner voice while writing.

Delivering presidential remarks, Prof Iftikhar Alam, President, PWA reiterated the importance of writers to speak up when the democratic institutions of the country are attacked.

Kathleen Marie Longwaters from the University of Texas in the plenary session of the seminar chaired by Prof Seemin Hasan discussed the topography of change of the Progressive Writers’ movement. She recalled Chughtai’s fierce political writings, and gave a clarion call for change and action by reminding the audience that Ismat Chughtai would never have kept quiet in times of adversity and unrest.

While delivering the vote of thanks, Dr Tasadduq Husain spoke of earlier days of PWA and how literature became the medium and platform for a number of ideologies and intellectuals to come together and will continue to do so through seminars and academic gatherings like these.

(Zeeshan Ahmad)

Asst. PRO


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