Our Struggle: ‘My parents sacrificed everything so that I could go to university’

Our Struggle: ‘My parents sacrificed everything so that I could go to university’

Haider Butt

I was born in a poor household in a working class neighbourhood. It is adjacent to an industrial area so our neighbours were mostly factory workers and their families. My father was a trade unionist and a labour leader. We didn’t have a lot of money in our house, but my father’s social and political life earned us respect and dignity among the people in our town. Still, respect does not put food on the table and I never really experienced financial stability in my home. My mother is a housewife: her unpaid, unrecognised and uncelebrated labour was perhaps the only thing that made our home liveable. Continue reading “Our Struggle: ‘My parents sacrificed everything so that I could go to university’”

Commemorating Hobsbawm

Commemorating Hobsbawm

Fatima Shahzad

On June 9, 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution, Eric J. Hobsbawm was born and he went on to contribute more to the study of the 20th century than perhaps any other historian. The main feature of his writings that set him apart from other historians was the fact that he did not feign neutrality and wrote of the subject matter from his own socio-political perspective. A lifelong Marxist, he brought a new approach to writing history, and became one of the most renowned labour historians and explored topics such as industrialization, working class struggles and nationalism among others. To those with an interest in history, there is much to learn from his work which remains as relevant to our times as it were to his own. Continue reading “Commemorating Hobsbawm”

Book Review: A Case of Exploding Mangoes

Book Review: A Case of Exploding Mangoes

Hamza Waqas

Mohammad Hannif is a critically acclaimed Pakistani author and journalist. His first novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes (2008), was followed by Our Lady of Alice Bhatti (2011) and Red Birds (2018). All three novels were well received by both local and international audiences, and are testament to the author’s ability to address various controversial socio-political issues in an entertaining and thought provoking manner. For his contribution to Pakistani literary fiction, he received the ‘Sitara-e-Imtiaz’ in 2018; the third highest civilian honour in Pakistan. Although “A Case of Exploding Mangoes” deals with subject matter that is rather dated, the book has undoubtedly aged well in the past ten years. The issues it addresses are arguably relevant to this day. Continue reading “Book Review: A Case of Exploding Mangoes”

Drama and Dissent

Drama and Dissent

Hamza Waqas and Amna Khan

The past few years have witnessed a consistent rise in student activism across Pakistan. Engagement and expressions of solidarity with existing social movements have made student groups more inclusive and influential, gaining widespread support in the mainland as well as the peripheries. As a result, various independent pockets of resistance have found a new home under the umbrella of organizations like the Progressive Students Collective. The collective has welcomed students from different academic backgrounds, helping them explore and share various nuanced ways through which they can engage in politics. Continue reading “Drama and Dissent”

Students-Worker Solidarity: Resisting Subcontracting at LUMS

Student-Worker Solidarity: Resisting Subcontracting at LUMS

Kumail Haider Jafri

In April 2019 a protest was organized at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) where workers demanded salaries to be handed over to them before the Easter holiday. Students soon joined the protest and workers were able to get their salaries before day’s end. Having been successful, the protest laid essential ground for a previously absent bond between the students and the workers. This solidarity soon turned into a fight against the system of subcontracting. The workers demanded that they be directly hired by the university, instead of having to work for a subcontractor and the students stood alongside their fellow workers in this demand. A year on, the struggle continues. Continue reading “Student-Worker Solidarity: Resisting Subcontracting at LUMS”

Exposed Outright: A Poem

Exposed Outright: A Poem

By Monal Murtaza

We live in a world where the idea of Heaven and Hell still holds great sway among believes of various faiths. Legends and myths have instilled the fear of Hell in people, and everyone looks forward to their own version of Heaven. But we don’t have to imagine Heaven or Hell – both of them exist in the world that we live in. The capitalist mafia has already divided our world into its hell and heaven by creating divisions of two classes: those earn profits and those from which profit is earned.

Continue reading “Exposed Outright: A Poem”