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Discussion On Student Movements Held At T2F Karachi

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A film was screened on “can students spearhead democratic reforms in Pakistan and India?” at The Second Floor, better known as T2F, followed by a panel discussion in Karachi on Wednesday evening.

The event featured the documentary by Beena Sarwar and Sharjil Baloch, “Aur Niklen Ge Ushhaq Ke Qafley” (There will be more Caravans of Passion) about the history of Pakistan’s first nation-wide student movement spearheaded by the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) in Pakistan.

A more recent short video report was also screened about Indian and Pakistani students’ activism over the last few months, by Munizae Jahangir, VoiceOfPk in collaboration with The Wire.

Both films were relevant to the current scenario in which there seems to be a revival of student activism in Pakistan. November saw several thousand students come out for the massive Student Solidarity March, that was held in over 50 cities across Pakistan for the revival of student unions. In India, hundreds of thousands of students have taken to the streets to protest the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act passed by the Modi government.

Interestingly the student protestors of both countries are chanting verses of Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Habib Jalib, carrying red flags, and also providing inclusive spaces for members of all communities, genders, classes and religions.

Several students from Karachi’s public and private universities were present and participated in the discussion, moderated by T2F executive director Arieb Azhar, a well-known musician and progressive activist. Television journalist Munizae Jahangir had joined on video call from Lahore.

There was broad agreement about the importance of ideology that informs thought and action, as well as the need for student unity and keeping political parties out of campuses.

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