GC University Lahore
An ‘Old versus Young Ravians’ debate was held here on Tuesday at the Government College University Lahore where a team of highly respected, sagacious and learned Old Ravians defended the acts of their generations against fierce arguments of stentorian orators of the university’s Debating Society.
The motion of the debate, organized by the Old Ravians Union, was “the old generation has failed the nation”. The team Old Ravians was comprised of eminent English poet and Rhodes Scholar Mr. Irshad Ullah-Khan, noted women rights activist Dr. Arifa Sayyeda Zehra and Mr. Nasir Muneef Qureshi, the former President of GCU Debating Society.
The President of the Union, Mr. Kazi Afaq Hossain, chaired the British House of Commons style debate that lasted for more than two hours at the university’s jam-packed Bukhari Auditorium, while Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah was the chief guest.
A team of Young Ravians comprising GCU DS President Mohiba Ahmed, Zahid Ali and Raza Aftab Gillani, debated with fire, wit and humor, and lamented that the biggest crime of their older generation was that they remained silent at the time that required radical action. “They didn’t question the oppression, and failed through and through to come out of their abstractions and opened their eyes to the ground realities of time and also stopped everyone who did so”, the young speakers said.
Mohiba Ahmed said that the older generation remained silent when women were being veiled and secluded against their will, when their bodies were being sensationalized while their minds were trivialized.
The young speakers were going strong till the end when the final thought-provoking arguments by Mr. Irshad Ullah-Khan and Dr. Arifa Sayyeda Zehra turned the tables around and audience eventually gave their verdict in favor of Old Ravians.
In his final arguments, Mr. Irshad Ullah-Khan, who also taught at Oxford University for six years, said that the older generation had not failed the nation; rather they had protected Pakistan against the foreign conspiracies, and ensured that it stayed stable. “When you say the old generation has failed the nation, did you mean that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ai Jinnah had failed the nation or the great old Ravians like Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Prof Dr Abdus Salam, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Dr Samar Mubarikmand had failed the nation or your parents or teachers who had nurtured you and make you able to speak at this stage had failed the nation?” he asked the young speakers.
In reply to other arguments, Mr. Irshad Ullah-Khan said that they had not remained silent, they questioned every act to the best of their abilities and knowledge but they didn’t had online platforms like social media and independent electronic media.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Prof Hassan Amir Shah expressed gratitude to the Old Ravians Union for reviving the tradition of ‘Old versus Young Ravians debate, which had not been held for the last many years. He congratulated the Old Ravians on winning the debates. However, he said, his personal sympathies were with the younger generation.