Fiction book on challenges of social injustice, gender inequality launched

Renowned poets and writer, Kishwar Naheed on Monday said due to lack of priorities, egotism and lack of positive sentiments for one another, we are pushing our society towards where there is injustice, inequality, discrimination and prejudice.

She was speaking at the book launch titled Katabon ke Darmian’ authored by Dr. Humaira Ashfaq, an acclaimed literary critic and fiction writer, organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), here at Islamabad. Kishwar said that in order to bring positive change in our society we all have to give up our arrogance, should show empathy to one another and must allow learned and educated personalities to lead the society from the front.

While commenting on the book, Kishwar said that the way societal pressing issues originally portray in the form of fictions shows the maturity of the author, which lack in our young scholars. “Dr Humaira (the author of the book) writes the stories from the point of view of a third person to avoid biases and exaggeration, which can be observed in her fictions such as Bhagbhari and Ghuggo Ghory”, she said adding the messages in the fictions shows that the author has clear thoughts and conviction to bring positive change in society. Kishwar stressed the need for educating the society, especially the young generation, on norms and values.

Executive Director, SDPI, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri in his recorded message said that the author through her fictions in her book skillfully unfolds the true face of the society. “The fiction ‘Thook’ is a story about class system in the society, which tells the suffering and exploitation of marginalised segment of the society and shows the collective societal behaviour and attitude in a society”, he said adding that the author took courageous and bold step to present the stark reality of the society.       

Hameed Shahid, an acclaimed short story writer and critic said that every fiction of the book has a different message which highlights different perspectives of the society. He said the fictions ‘Duniya Ab Bhi Khobsorat Hy’ and Bhagbhari are those stories which give hope in this world and provide the purpose of life.  The author tried to present the social realities through women perspective, he added. Renowned poet, progressive writer and senior advisor, SDPI, Ahmed Saleem said that the book is an anthology of short Urdu stories which covers social, political, judicial and economic challenges of the society. “Dr Humaira (the author) in her short stories tried to shed light on pressing issues including gender inequality, social justice and women economic empowerment”, he said adding that though the book ‘Katabon ke Darmian’ is her first collection of fictions, but the stories such as Miss Lili, Mr. Churchal and Adam Aur Main, shows author’s maturity and grip on fiction writings.

Mehboob Zafar, Poet and Literary Critic said that the collections of fictions in the book are very comprehensive which covers almost all major challenges and realities of the society. He said that the unique aspect of this book is that all fictions in it are based on the author’s own life experience which shows the originality of the work. “There is no controversy in these fictions, and the author also has taken care of East and West techniques of the fiction in her book”, he said. Qaiser Abbas, Development Professional and Literary Critic said that the author not only tried to write stories, but also provided the way forward for the issues highlighted. He said the fiction such as Ghugo Ghory tells the story of changing technologies and its negative impact on the livelihood at the local level. The author in this fiction also urged the society to adapt to the changing technologies and government to help facilitate the marginal segment of the society, he added.  Yasra Tahir, Young Scholar and Writer said that every fiction has relevance to the current realities and everyone can relate these stories with his or her life.   

Author of the book, Dr. Humaira Ashfaq, an acclaimed literary critic, fiction writer, and research fellow, SDPI while thanking the panellists said that fiction writing was her first endeavour. She said that the book ‘Katabon ke Darmian’ is a collection of stories which are purely based on human empathy, which cannot be ignored

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