On November 23, 2010 Lahore Press club arranged an exhibition in the name of famous cartoonist Anwar Ali, popularly known as Nanna. Exhibition was held in a small hall of press club at Shimla Pahari in Lahore. Many journalistic personalities and cartoonists were invited. Many channels like, Geo and Aaj, were giving coverage to it. This whole effort of displaying Nanna`s portrayals was made by Anwar Ali`s son, Aurangzeb. This exhibition was made to pay tribute to the ever shinning personality in the field of cartoons that is Anwar Ali and to assimilate the importance this field to young generation.
How did I become a part of this exhibition? Actually I am a student at Government College University (GCU), Lahore. GCU students were especially invited to attend the exhibition. We have Young Journalist Society (YJS) here at GCU. This society made the whole arrangements to go there. I am one of the members of this society. This was my time to attend any cartoon exhibition. I have personally no taste for cartoons but at that time the case was different andi really felt its taste; i really felt the mesage whiich those cartooons wer trying to convey and here i openly claim that anybody in that exhibition, if present , would have the same opinion as i have now because those cartoons were really representing feelings of that time.
While exhibition, it dawned on us that Nanna, the ever shinning name in the field of cartoons, remained attached to the Pakistan Times as a Cartoonist from 1947 to 1992. He started his career as a cartoonist before 1947. In the exhibition many cartoonists paid homage to his services. According to one of the famous cartoonists of the Nations, Nanna sense in Anwar Ali was stimulated due to beginning of Martial law. According to him, Nanna was although silent looking in observance but carried much in himself especially in terms of feelings. He felt what people felt. He knew what people wanted; thus, he, unlike others, did not remain silent, but broke the ice and expressed peoples` feelings in the language of cartoons which will be giving message to the following generations about feelings of the people of that time.
According to Aziz-ud-din, Nanna tried to depict democracy, peace and justice. He was very sincere to his profession although it was not so much valued, but it did not affect his passion and he did it. According to him, present day is the replica of the past, but it is sorry to say that no Nanna is present at present in any field. He was of the view that time has come to repeat the history and give birth to another Nanna. According to him, Anwar Ali`s career gives us one message; one can do any thing if one has courage and adeptness in the concerned field.
Many were of the view that young generation is oblivious to his services. There is a need to stimulate their feelings so that they, like Nanna, feel and make it feel to the people in any field of life. According to them, the purpose of this exhibition is to revive the sense of sensitivity in the young generation.
What I, personally, felt after attending that exhibition that either we have become senseless; i mean; we have lost sense of feeling something or we have devalued expression of feelings. After deep thinking, I reached at this point that we, although, feel but do not try to translate it to other forms; I mean; we do not try to depict it. This is not because that we fear, but we do not express it because we consider it valueless. This is the big difference between the ones who lived in Past and the ones who are living in present i-e for example what used to be in the past is happening in the present; like anarchy, corruption and nepotism etc, like the past, still prevails in our society but difference is that in the past people felt these things and instead of remaining silent they gave it mouth and expressed it in one way or another; showed responsiveness to the prevailing situation; showed interest in bringing change i-e for example Nanna did it in the form of cartoons; Habib Jalib did it in the form of poetry, but today we have reached to such an extent of pessimism that we do not consider small effort a step towards change. Everyone of us has a perception that there is nothing going out concrete if he gives mouth to his feelings, and raises voice against prevailing chaos like Nanna.
Nanna and many others like him were far better than us because they did not accept oppression and tried to expose injustice taking place in society. They believed that journry of thousand miles begin from a single step.The message that Nanna wants to convey us is that if you feel what is happening around you; then, give it mouth and make it feel to people; show responsiveness. This is the step to bring change. The need of the hour at present is to give birth to Nanna in every field of life.