Journalist Ahmed Ali Alavi passes away
KARACHI: Journalist and trade unionist Ahmed Ali Alavi passed away at the age of 97 on Saturday. Born on September 14, 1915 in Lucknow, India, Alavi completed his undergraduate studies from Delhi University and was active in student politics. It was the leadership roles he had in multiple student unions that ultimately led him to pursue a career in journalism.
Alavi started his career as the senior sub-editor of Khilafat at Bombay in 1942. He soon started oversaw a daily newspaper, Al-Hilal, and also remained joint editor of Daily Al-Muslim for three years. He was offered the position of chief editor of famous Urdu language newspaper Inquilab, which he accepted on the condition that he will write only editorials for the paper, and will not have his name published with them.
He left India in 1956 and came to Lahore, after he was invited by Maulana Bhashani and Faiz Ahmed Faiz. He then started working as a senior sub-editor with another Urdu language newspaper, Lailun Nahar. However, he left the job a few months afterwards and shifted to Karachi, where he joined another newspaper.
Later on, he became the advertising manager at Daily Jang, and became renowned for his constant struggle for securing the rights of journalists during the time. He was the founder of the Jang workers union, and served as the body’s president till 1979. He was jailed several times, along with eminent journalist Minhaj Burna, for criticising Ziaul Haq’s martial law from the platform of the All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation.
Senior journalist Tahir Najmi said that Alavi had spent his entire professional life seeking freedom of the press. “He played a great role in [writing] progressive editorials as well as in [managing] trade unions of journalists. He was at the forefront of the movement of press movement in 1977,” said Najmi.
Alavi was also a loving father and a caring man who loved to spend time chatting with friends as well as meeting new people. “My uncle led an active social life. He was fond of meeting people and maintained this habit till the end of his life,” said Jawed Ansari, Alavi’s nephew. He is survived by his wife and daughter.