Tributes paid to Khwaja Masud
By Jonaid Iqbal
ISLAMABAD: The celebration of 88 glorious years of educationist, intellectual, thinker and writer Prof Khwaja Masud may give new lease of life to the dormant socialist movement.
The meeting to honour his memory was convened by a host of cultural and social organisations of the city held on the premises of the Human Rights Commission on Thursday.
Activist Tahira Abdullah, the coordinator of the meeting, wore a red dupatta to steer the proceedings in her desired socialist direction. In addition, Hasil Khan Bizenjo of the ANP and Jamil Umar, belonging to Awami Jamhoor Forum, averred that times were never better as present bring back the spark of socialism (and by implication, communism) in the national mainstream.
Young speakers, such as Shahram and Sikandar, freely addressed discussants as ‘comrades’. They concluded the meeting with a revolutionary song Lo Yaro Sanoo nahin bhoolni. Prof. Masud also remembered as Che Guevara of Pakistan.
However, the late Professor was a multi-dimensional person, as sharply enunciated by Prof Pervez Hoodbhoy who while admiring his many forward-looking ideas also wondered at the great reverence Prof Masud had for Iqbal, the National poet.
He received a mild reply from National Language Chairman Iftikhar Arif who said that great minds had likings for other great minds. In this connection, Arif remarked that the left had not published a good volume on the history of the Pakistan left movement in Pakistan. He suggested such a volume incorporating the published essays and writings of Prof Khwaja Masud. Both books were long overdue, he said.
His son Khwaja Sarmad then informed the gathering that to produce a collection of his own writings were very much on the late educationists thought and he had commissioned the task to him. He said he had already created a website containing his essays and reprints of his newspaper articles, to which any one could add. He said hopefully, he would be able to publish the collection within ten years, after editing them.
His long time friend Prof Enayetullah, who had received wonderful cooperation from Khwaja Sahib in establishing a number of think-tanks such as the Islamabad Cultural Forum, the Council of Social Sciences, the Islamabad Philosophic Society, spoke with sincerity calling the late Professor a great man who showed great respect for humanity in general.
Friend Ashfaq Saleem Mirza spoke about his concise newspaper columns in which he would marshal lively thoughts all within the space of 1000 words. His writings showed that he was both a man of enlightenment as well as of renaissance.
Journalist Munir Ahmad described the encouragement he would receive from the late Professor since 1994, he would send handwritten critique of the journalist’s dispatches.