13th All Pakistan Bilingual Declamation – A Battlefield of 60 Warriors
Come. Speak. Conquer. Let the Battle begin.
by Taroob J. Latef
I could get all academic and discuss the trappings of words that spun dramas, three-dimensional debates and debaters, a clockwork organization and not to mention a most suitably adorned hall, but I am pretty much as far as you can get from being a technical person and it’s much more vibrant to discuss this show in a layman’s terms: it held an era in itself!
I doubt anybody wouldn’t have had a heads up when they first stepped in the Library Hall. The sign and symbol that it has always been for KEMU, was even more so today.
Everything was grand, be it the magnificent banner hung down amid two streamers bearing our crest (let, how many times it was suspended before it finally assumed position or how many lemonades were drained down afterwards, be another story altogether) or be it the emblems of KEDS and KEMU on all the shelves around. Be it the wowing stage in the centre (let, how many times it was set up and then taken apart to bring it to a perfect height, be also a different tale) or be it the sounds that later echoed on it. Be it the porcelain VIP sofas or be it the rows upon rows of seats behind them. After the grueling work by the President and his Vice President, that went into making it a treat to our eyes I think it was befitting to deserve a 360 degree twirl from everybody.
With Saad Mussarat’s heartfelt recitation, the event was begun with the name of Allah. As Haris Bilal Awan opened the Urdu house for the teams, the audience was mesmerized by the power of his words. 60 debaters from schools and colleges far and wide with 2 representing each team battled with each other for the gigantic silver trophy and for a name in history of All Pakistan debates. After a tough task the adjudicators making the panel of judges Dr. Ali Hashmi (Chief-adjudicator), Dr. Saira Afzal, Dr. Khalid Idrees, Dr. Somia Iqtadar and Dr. Qasim Khan announced 6 winners from each category i.e. English and Urdu because of the tightest of competition exhibited. The top 3 from each being:
1. Best Speaker: Asad Munir – Bahria University
2. 2nd - Hamza Ishtiaq – Military College of Signals
3. 3rd - Aneesa Fatima Qadri – Lahore Grammar School, Johar Town
4. 4th - Hashim Mufti - SEECS NUST
5. 5th - Shajjar Abbas - Punjab University
6. 6th - Abdullah Jamal - Karachi University
1. Best Speaker: Ahmad Talha Wali - UET Lahore
2. 2nd - Syed Bilal Zohaib – Karachi University
3. 3rd - Muslim – FC College
4. 4th - Ahsan Raza - GCU Lahore
5. 5th - Punjab College - Hafiz Faisal
6. 6th - Garrison Academy - Danyal Nadeem
The Team Trophy
Among other notable names who revived the audience by standing out from the crowd of participators and getting a resounding applause that lasted for a long time after he left the dais was Ahsan Raza from GC University Lhr who also stood fourth in the Urdu category.
With of the presence eminent chief guests like the Vice Chancellor of GC University Prof. Khaleeq Ur Rehman, Dr. Auria Maqbool Jan who is a renowned scholar, columnist and an ex-bureaucrat and Dr. Saleema Hashmi who is a known artist, writer, nuclear activist and Dean at BNU; it can only be said that the Declamation contest grew atleast a scale bigger. After the proud distribution of shields to the winners and also to the Executive Council of KEDS by the chief guests, Dr. Samina Naeem and Dr. Asad Aslam Khan, Muhammad Bilal and Sidrah Latif tied off a ribbon on the day that had already received the widest acclaim. After a generous banquet the teams were seen off.
The pride that was bestowed on Library Hall today was neither a luckily hit jackpot nor a fluke. If it was a huge success, it was only because of months of endless hard work of first the President and Vice President and then their committees. If I have learned anything through the time I have observed KEDS put this event up, it is that glory does not come cheap. With the regular reviving meetings, countless décor sessions under Iqra Ahmed, Abeera and Iqra Zafar Tarar, the vigilant supervision of the enormous team working under them, the advertisements on every possible arena and the trouble gone through to incorporate discipline in the audience, KEDS did afford the price.
As Dr. Saleema Hashmi eloquently said in her speech:
“King Edward will probably always remember this day for what it truly was.”