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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

International Conference of Writers & Intellectuals, Islamabad - Nov. 30 - Dec. 3,1995

An International Conference on Literature, Culture and Democracy will be held in Islamabad in November 30 -December 3, 1995 under the auspices of the National Commission on History and Culture to exchange views on the way these crucial aspects of humanity influence one another.
Particular emphasize will be given to the contribution of Literature and Culture in restoring and strengthening the democratic institutions. It will be attended by delegates from all over the world.
Democracy is backbone of any society that claims to be civilized. Whereas there is a long history of the struggle in evolving meaningful democratic institutions in some of the Western countries, the development of such institutions in the Third World countries is a recent phenomenon and by no means could be considered as embodying the essential ingredients of democracy.
However, within a comparatively short period, the countries like Pakistan have indeed achieved commendable strides in strengthening the foundations of democracy. In this regard, the contribution of our literature and culture has been considerable. This struggle dates back to the colonial times when a culture of resistance emerged defying the British onslaught on indigenous institutions. This culture gave birth to new forms of literature which though influenced by our contact with the western literacy works, yet had an unmistakable impact of yearning for freedom and democracy. Our journey towards freedom would not have been easy without the consciousness created by our writers, poets, short-story writers and novelists.
Similarly, during the post-independence period, various attempts to undermine the democratic institutions were challenged by our literary figures which sought expression in different political movements aimed at restoring democracy.
Since literature mirrors the aspirations of the society as well as resentments against imposed socio-political systems, it essentially assumes the role of a mouthpiece for cultural manifestations. Democracy embodies these aspirations and creates an environment for wider participation of the people in their social, cultural and economic growth, therefore this triangle of democracy, culture and literature represents not only the ultimate triumph of the people but also in the event of a crisis strengthens one another.
It is hoped that the delegates will reflect on this crucial relationship between societies and their political institutions which invariably reflect their literary and cultural genius.
To commemorate the occasion Pakistan Post is issuing a commemorative postage stamp of Rs. 1.25 value on November 30, 1995.