The overall social acceptance and popularity of literature has declined in the last one and a half centuries and it is gradually getting limited to literary circles only.
And, one of the major reasons for this change is that after industrial revolution we started evaluating everything including knowledge on the basis of its materialistic or monetary gains instead of its spiritual benefits.
It was said by Prof Dr Khurshid Rizvi, an eminent multifaceted scholar of oriental languages, in his key note address at the inaugural session of international Urdu conference on “literature and social acceptance”.
The two-day international was organized by the Government College University Lahore in collaboration with the Ankara University, Turkey. Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi chaired the opening session of the conference to be addressed by more than 50 eminent writers and academicians from Turkey, Iran and different universities of Pakistan.
Prof Rizvi believed that depression, drug addiction and other negative trends have increased in the society since the decline in the study of literature. He said that this conference would critically evaluate whether literature should be subjected to social acceptance or not. However, Rizvi believed that literature was a genuine expression of writer’s personality and if it’s not genuine, it could be termed as propaganda.
Poet and drama writer 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 needs popular literature because it promotes debate, critical thinking and reading culture. However, she said that, it was not necessary that popular was widely accepted or appreciated every time.
Vice Chancellor Prof Asghar Zaidi laid stress on importance of such conferences for debate on crucial topics, saying that a university was not only a teaching center rather but it’s also a place for research, innovation and creativity; where they didn’t only transfer the academic traditions but also create 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 that 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 Urdu critic Prof Dr Khalid Sanjrani also addressed the inaugural session of the conference spread over five technical sessions.