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October 14, 2019

Rights activists, politicians call for studying BM Kutty’s works and struggle


October 14, 2019

Rich tributes were paid to the late BM Kutty, an author, intellectual and campaigner for democracy, social justice, peace and labour rights, at a memorial reference for him held at the Arts Council of Pakistan on Saturday.

Politicians, trade union leaders, student leaders and rights activists eulogised Kutty's struggle for restoration and sustenance of democracy in Pakistan.

Kutty remained at the forefront of many major democratic movements, including the students movement and labourers’ struggle against military dictator Ayub Khan, the movement against the military operation in Balochistan launched by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) during the martial law of another military dictator Ziaul Haq. Journalist and rights activist IA Rahman underscored the need for studying political struggle of the late intellectual.

Kutty worked for many political parties, Rahman informed the gathering. The speaker named some of the political parties with which the late author was affiliated at some or other point in his life, including the Awami League and the National Party.

Rahman also remembered Kutty as an extremely positive person who had not lost hope for a better future of the country. Senator Hasil Khan Bizenjo of the National Party said there was a shortage of committed people in the country like Kutty. He recalled that when Bhutto dismissed the Balochistan government, Kutty was among the first who were arrested. He asked youth students and researchers of Balochistan to do PhD on the life and achievements of Kutty.

Dr Masooma Hassan of the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) said Kutty had played a pivotal role during the MRD and faced jail for his commitment to democracy. Karamat Ali, the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) executive director, who remained Kutty's close associate in politics and labour movements, said the late rights activist was a man of great wisdom and many political parties used to hire his services for writing speeches and press releases.

Mazhar Hussain said a large number of Indian journalists and authors wrote articles in Indian newspapers on Kutty after his death, which was an unusual thing. The speaker added that Kutty was a strong advocate for regional peace.

Former leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan Dr Farooq Sattar praised Kutty for the services he rendered for the development of civil society in Pakistan. He was a supporter of participatory democracy in Pakistan, Dr Sattar said.

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