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February 4, 2020

‘Social acceptance of literature declining’

Lahore

February 4, 2020

LAHORE:A two-day international Urdu conference “Literature and Social Acceptance” started at Government College University (GCU) here Monday.

In his key note address at the inaugural session Prof Dr Khurshid Rizvi, an eminent multifaceted scholar of oriental languages, said the overall social acceptance and popularity of literature had declined in the last one and a half centuries and it was gradually getting limited to literary circles only. And, one of the major reasons for this change was that after industrial revolution we started evaluating everything, including knowledge, on the basis of its materialistic or monetary gains instead of its spiritual benefits, he added.

GCU VC Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi chaired the opening session of the conference organised by the GCU in collaboration with the Ankara University, Turkey. More than 50 eminent writers and academicians from Turkey, Iran and different universities of Pakistan are attending the conference.

Prof Rizvi believed that depression, drug addiction and other negative trends had increased in the society since the decline in the study of literature. He said this conference would critically evaluate whether literature should be subjected to social acceptance or not. However, he believed that literature was a genuine expression of writer’s personality and if it's not genuine, it could be termed propaganda.

Poet and playwright Amjad Islam Amjad shared a speech of Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong in which he said all the literature was propaganda but all the propaganda was not literature. He also presented his poetry on the request of participants.

Ankara University Urdu Department Chairperson Dr Assman Belan said that society needed popular literature because it promoted debate, critical thinking and reading culture. However, she said that, it was not necessary that popular literature was widely accepted or appreciated every time.

Prof Asghar Zaidi laid stress on importance of such conferences for debate on crucial topics, saying that a university was not only a teaching centre rather it was also a place for research, innovation and creativity where they didn’t only transfer the academic traditions but also created new traditions. In her opening speech, GCU Urdu Department Chairperson Dr Saima Iram welcomed the guest speakers and highlighted the role of Government College Lahore and its alumni in promotion of quality Urdu literature in the sub-continent. She said not only the promotion of Urdu language and literature but also the creation of new knowledge was a tradition of GCU. GCU Dean Faculty of Languages Prof Dr Sultan Shah, Prof Dr Khalid Sanjrani also addressed the inaugural session.