Tuesday, November 13, 2007

LUMS Hunger Strike Week commences..

Lahore, 12.11.2007: This is the beginning of the Hunger Strike Week at LUMS. As it is final exam week at the university, it is impossible for a significant number of students to hold a rally or a demonstration to protest the continuing injustices in Pakistan, caused by the harsh policies brought about by the imposition of Emergency rule in thecountry. The students continue to be outraged by the incarceration of judges, lawyers, human rights activists, student protesters andmembers of the intelligentsia, in addition to the callous treatment being meted out to any and every individual, whether it be an elderly man or woman, who even very peacefully demonstrates against these unconstitutional and unjust acts of the government.
Wishing to show support for their principled stance but constricted by the scheduling of exams at various times throughout the day, student protesters at LUMS have announced a hunger strike all week. For many, the hunger strike is less a test of physical and psychological endurance than a symbolic gesture, having historical associations in subcontinental history as a method of political resistance through non-violent means. A small number of students are to take out the time between exams everyday to sit in a designated area in front of the cafeteria, marked by placards proclaiming their cause. Today, a total of around twenty-five students religiously maintained their position on the designated patch of grass in the busy lane between the cafeteria and the academic block. They posed an interesting - and even rather poignant- sight, sitting cross-legged on the ground with their coursebooks and laptops on their laps, determinedly trying to study among the consistent chatter in an effort to fulfill both their academic and civil responsibilities. The sit-in/strike ended for the day at 4:30 with gifts of garlands for the student protesters on strike frombystanders, a tradition which the protestors were clearly reluctant toobserve but in the end, not very stoically endured for the sake of thecultural traditions of hunger strikes in the subcontinent.
Among all this, the small group of protesters did seem to make an impact upon the regular stream of spectators and passerbys in that it underlined the seriousness and importance of the issue of country's entire judicial structure being compromised and virtually shattered under the impact of the emergency laws. The students clearly seem to consider it vital enough to spend precious time from their study schedule to observe a collective hunger strike in protest, a fact which should prove interesting for many who considered the lasting power of students' surprising dedication to the cause as potentially weak.

1 comment:

fariha said...

Hats off to the LUMS students.it is a moment of pride for all pakistanis to witness the impact of our protesting students all over the country.if only other factions of society could be brought into participating in this struggle against oppression.