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Need to revisit progressive movement, say I.K. Gujral

Staff Reporter

"To understand its role and responsibilities in present times" Addresses seminar on Syed Sajjad Zaheer

NEW DELHI: Former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral said even today the progressive movement needs to be revisited in order to understand and better appreciate its role and responsibilities in present times.

Addressing a two-day international seminar on "Syed Sajjad Zaheer: His Literary Contribution and The Progressive Writers Movement" organised by Sahitya Akademi here over the weekend, Mr. Gujral said: "Sajjad Zaheer was a beacon of light in literature. He played a key role in building up modern sensibility. In fact, the Progressive Movement and Sajjad Zaheer are one and the same. He always endeavoured to build up society through collective effort."

Stating that had the progressive movement not been deeply involved with the freedom movement, history of the world would have been different, the former Prime Minister said the movement influenced language, art, literature and all spheres of society.

He also pointed out that the first target of the progressives was orthodoxy and conservatism prevalent in Indian society and it was through their effort that capitalism was confronted head-on.

Mr. Gujral said Sajjad Zaheer and other progressive writers had all deeply emphasised the fact that it was social oneness that could change society. He said today our society needed people of positive thinking like Sajjad Zaheer. On the occasion, Mr. Gujral also released a book on "The Life and Works of Sajjad Zaheer" compiled by Prof. Qamar Rais.

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