Vice Chancellor - Prof. Dr. Hassan Amir Shah, Sitara-i-Imtiaz

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HISTORY NEWS 

 

 

Seminar on “Lahore: past and present”

 

Speakers at a seminar on “Lahore: Past and Present” have laid a stress on preserving and promoting both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the City, saying that without this centuries-old heritage, it would be no more Lahore. “The recent studies on Lahore stress the need for questioning the colonial representation of the city's past and the process of 'modernisation',” said eminent historian and writer Prof Dr Tahir Kamran while addressing the seminar organized by the History Department of Government College University Lahore in collaboration with the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC). The seminar was aimed at exploring the multiple ways of seeing the city by interrogating stereo-types generated as a result of political, social, cultural and religious biases and misrepresentations regarding history and culture of Lahore.

 

Punjab Higher Education Commission Prof Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin chaired the inaugural session of seminar which was also marked by the launch and deliberations upon “Lahore in the Time of the Raj”, a book by Prof Ian Talbot and Prof Tahir Kamran. Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah unveiled the book. Prof Kamran, the GCU dean faculty of social sciences and former Iqbal fellow at the University of Cambridge, said that dawn of modernity has given a new turn to pre-colonial and colonial globalized world of the City. The walled city was considered “inward-looking”, medieval, illiterate, uncivilized, while the newly developed areas in colonial Lahore, such as Model Town, Defence and Civil Lines, were considered “outward-looking”, modern, literate and civilized. “We also see such representation of Lahore in official documents, memoirs and tourist guides. Such a representation of Lahore is also reflected in our ways of seeing the city, especially by the youth,” he added.

 

Ali Usman Qasmi, historian, writer and assistant professor at LUMS, also showed his concerns, saying that “we need to discuss the logic of this new liberal model of development which is going to alter the city again, and we would not be able to retrieve what we are losing in terms of our cultural heritage.” Mr Qasmi said he was not only concerned about the physical elimination of their cultural heritage but also how thing were being intentionally eliminated from their minds. He said youth now considered the modern shopping malls as landmarks of Lahore instead Masjid Wazir Khan, which was highly unfortunate.  He said that the old Mohalla and Bradri systems were vanishing, and a new mode of living was emerging, and this change needed serious deliberations.   

 

GCU History Department Associate Professor Dr Tahir Mahmood said the due this modernization, Lahore had become fragmented as they saw an increasing class division on the basis of newly emerging wealthy classes, adding that new modes of production had substituted the traditional socio-political settings. Talking about Prof Kamran’s book, Prof Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin said he had wonderfully preserved the social, political and cultural history of Lahore. He said that the Government College Lahore had historically played a key role in promoting peace and tolerance in the society. He said strong student societies system of GCU was needed to be replicated in other educational institutions as well. Prof Nizamuddin said PHEC would fully fund the intellectual debates in the provincial universities on different issues.

 

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said that intellectual debates in academic institutions played key role in social development of the society. He said that the major objective of this seminar was to res-examine the stereotypes and assumptions conjured by meta-narratives of the colonial and post-colonial scholarships. He hoped that the historians would discuss poetry, drama, local histories, madrassa culture and the social life of the city at the seminar, and would give their insights into the relationship between pre-colonial, colonial and modern Lahore.    

 

Noted historian including Prof. Mohammad Waseem, Dr. Shahid Imtiaz, Mr. Iqbal Qaisar, Dr. Umber Bin Ibad and Mushtaq Soofi also addressed the seminar.

 

(11-05-2017)

 

GCU HISTORY DEPARTMENT ORGANISES SEMINAR TO MARK PAKISTAN DAY

Speakers at a seminar at the Government College University Lahore said that history should not be distorted to develop a national narrative, adding that “we could be ideological about our future, but we must be realistic about the past.” Human Rights Commission of Pakistan General Secretary I. A. Rehman chaired the seminar which was organized by the university’s History Department in connection with the Pakistan Day celebrations.

In his inaugural address, Prof Dr Muhammad Waseem, an eminent social scientist from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), said that Lahore resolution had no doubt played a role of Magna Carta in the political struggle of Muslims for Pakistan. He said that the British gradually gave the provinces in India autonomy with an aim to slow down the independence movement.

I.A Rehman called upon the students to remain always skeptical about past especially the history of Pakistan. He asked the students to critically analyze the historical events before reaching at any conclusion. He believed it was Pakistan which had made them a nation from a minority.  

GCU Dean of Arts and Social Sciences Prof Dr Tahir Kamran shed light on the national discourse of telling history. How the history has been compromised for developing national narrative which represents the collectivity and suppressed the individuals points of view. He opined not study history with only ideological perspective but critically analyses it.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah expressed gratitude to speakers for enlightening his students. He said that Pakistan was a blessing of the Almighty Allah for the Muslims of subcontinent and they must all collectively work for its prosperity and progress. He paid tribute to the armed and law enforcement forces of the country for their sacrifices for peace.   

A large number faculty member and students attended the seminar. 

(28-03-2016)

 

 

DEANS APPOINTED AT GCU

 

The Punjab government appointed renowned historian Prof Dr Tahir Kamran Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and eminent physicist Prof Dr Raiz Ahmad Dean, Faculty of Engineering at the Government College University Lahore for a period of three years on the recommendations of Vice Chancellor Prof Hassan Amir Shah against the posts that were lying vacant since their inception in 2002 and 2009 respectively.

 

“It’s a great satisfying moment; the university which was dean-less just few months ago, has now deans in all its four faculties,” said Prof Shah while expressing gratitude to Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and Punjab Governor Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana on the appointments.

Prof Dr Raiz Ahmad is currently serving as Chairman, GCU Physics Department and has around 80 international research papers to his credit. He is a PhD from the Imperial College, UK. He was instrumental in establishment of XRD Laboratory at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Physics. 

 

Prof. Dr. Tahir Kamran

Prof. Dr. Riaz Ahmad

Prof Dr Tahir Kamran is currently serving as Chairman, GCU Department of History. He also served on the prestigious post of Iqbal Fellow at the University of Cambridge UK. He authored several international publications specifically on the history of the Punjab, sectarianism, democracy, and governance. The post of Dean of Arts and Social Sciences has been lying vacant for the last 14 years. 

 

The Vice Chancellor said he had empowered his deans in all academic and research matters contrary the previous precedents when it was just considered a ceremonial post. He hoped that the deans would play a key role in the academic uplift of the University.

(03-03-2016)

 

 


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