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Pakistan: Tributes paid to communist Sobho Gayanchandani - Media Reports

27 January 2015

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Tributes to Shobo Gyanchandani Select Media Reports from Pakistan (26 Jan 2015)

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Daily Times (Pakistan)

Glowing tributes paid to communist Sobho Gayanchandani

Press Release
January 26, 2015

KARACHI: Well wishers, comrades, poets, writers, intellectuals, human rights activists and politicians here on Sunday paid rich tributes to the noted Communist leader, writer and intellectual of the country Sobho Gayanchandani at a reference, jointly organized by many civil society organizations under the banner of Comrade Sobho Gayanchandani Memorial Committee Karachi in collaboration with Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi at its Auditorium.

On the occasion, Urdu translation of a Sindhi book “Roshni Jo Safar”, an autobiography of Sobho Gayanchandani was also launched.

Abid Hasan Manto, President of Pakistan Workers Party; I. A. Rehman of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP); Nirmal Gayanchandani (son of Sobho); Karamat Ali, Chief Executive of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER); Prof. Dr Jafar Ahmed, Director of Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi; writer Amanullah Shaikh; Fatah Malik, Advocate General of Sindh; Secretary General of Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) Imdad Qazij; Prof. Dr. Ghazala Rehman from Szabist; Muslim Shamim, advocate; Qadir Bukhsh Soomro from Academy of Letters Sindh; author Syed Mazhar Jameel; Comrade Rochi Ram, advocate; Vice President of National Party Senator Tahir Bizenjo; Monis Ayaz, son of Shaikh Ayaz; Abdul Razzaq Soomro, advocate and others spoke about various aspects of Comrade Sobho and his struggle for poor and downtrodden people.

Senior labour leader Abid Hasan Manto, who is also President of Pakistan Workers’ Party said a befitting tribute to Comrade Sobho Gayanchandani can be the unity of the workers and making the workers movements stronger in Pakistan.

He dispelled the notion that the socialists’ movement in the world has been defeated. Actually the capitalist world is decaying because of its exploitative nature and neoliberal economic policies. “There are a lot of economic and social unrest among the workers of the first world despite the fact the capitalism has made itself stronger in these developed countries,” he said adding that the socialism had achieved a lot of successes in the past and can regain its strength once again. “It can regain strength with unity only,” he added.

Manto recalled the trade union movement was quite stronger in Karachi and workers had launched a number of successful movements in the past, but, later they were divided on the linguistic and sectarian lines, which has weakened the labour movement. He asked the educated people and intellectuals to come forward and help unite the workers for a stronger movement.

I. A. Rahman, Secretary General of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said the land of SIndh has a specialty, which has been absent in other parts of Pakistan. Sindh has given birth to many great leaders and struggling people like Sobho Gayanchandani. “This land has also a credit that its own people had created the key educational institutions and its people played key roles in many movements.” Sindh has produced a world class literature, Rehman added.

He said Sobho had spent a major portion of his life in jails because he was a communist and was struggling for rights of the workers. Talking about Sobho’s life, he recalled that the former had some regrets like his son did not get a job because their family belonged to Hindus. Sobho lost his elections in Larkana and despite the fact he received many Muslim votes, he was defeated.

The noted historian Dr. Mubarak Ali via Skype addressed the gathering. He said last time he met with late Sobho Gayanchandani in May 2014 when he came in Karachi to attend a conference by PILER on Labour and People. PILER had initiated the Sobho Gayanchandi Award and first recipient of the award was Dr. Mubarak Ali in the May Day in 2014.

Sobho adopted socialism because his family was educated and studied in Shangi Negan. “Sobho’s decision to stay in Pakistan at the time partition was actually his defiance of the two-nations theory,” he remarked.

Dr. Mubarak Ali said in Pakistan sometimes it is felt that there is a perpetual struggle between secular or liberal force and fundamentalists we feel that fundamental forces have become stronger. Sobho was like a twinkling star who tried to remove darkness from the society, he said adding that Sobho was a symbol of hope. “We need to move forward for creation of a society where every person has a liberty,” Dr. Mubarak said.

Karamat Ali, Chief Executive of PILER said although Sobho was born in a Hindu family, his actual religion was humanity. The Communist Party of India had asked all its Muslim and Hindu members to go to Pakistan and India respectively at the time of partition in 1947, but Sobo refused to go to India and preferred to stay in his homeland, Sindh. “He was punished by Pakistani establishment for that action as he suffered a lot of persecution as other Hindu community members are facing.” Ali asked the progressive and secular elements of Pakistan to join hands for a strong progressive and democratic movement.

Prof. Dr. Jafar Ahmed, Director of Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi said late Sobho Gayanchandani was a creative writer, who had written stories, and articles on variety of subjects.

There is need to work and conduct research on the writings of Sobho Gayanchandani. He presented a reference from the autobiography of Sobho and said he (Sobho) studied in Shantiniketan established by Rabindranath Tagore. Sobho wanted to set up an institution like Shantiniketan in Sindh as well.

Writer and intellectual Amanullah Shaikh said he spent a major portion of life with Sobho as he himself belonged to Larkana. He underlined the need to revisit Sobho’s life and struggle. “We need to study the reason why Sobho had refused to migrate at the time of partition.” He loved his motherland Sindh and his family. It was Sobho’s right decision not to migrate to India as he is now known as a great leader in the entire Asia.

Shaikh said three pictures of Lenin, Tagore and Vivekananda were put on walls of Sobho’s home, which is a summary of his lifelong struggle.

On the occasion messages from Communist Party India (CPI) and CPI Marxist were read out. An audio message by peasants’ leader Jam Saqi was also played on the occasion.

Senior artist and choreographer Sheema Kermani of Tahrik-e-Niswan presented performance on the poetry of Shaikh Ayaz, Rabindranath Taigore. A labour singer Sahir Ahmed also presented songs in Pushto and Urdu. A large number of participants attended the reference.

see also other reports attached below