Veteran journalist remembered on first death anniversary
The late Abul Hasanat, who had also served as the city editor of Dawn in his long journalistic career, was remembered on Saturday evening at the Karachi Press Club, where a programme was held in connection with his first death anniversary.
He was remembered as a well-read person with great insights into history, journalism, linguistics and political matters. Some speakers also talked about his eccentric personality, due to which it was difficult for many to develop intimacy with him, but once they had befriended him, he turned out to be a very interesting person.
Many speakers also spoke about the journalistic integrity of Hasanat, who never accepted gifts and always sided with the truth. Journalist Humair Ishtiaq, who had worked with him for Dawn, remarked that no one could deny that he had an interesting personality.
Discussing Hasanat’s eccentric sides on a lighter note, Ishtiaq said that after reading some of the obituaries for the late journalist by people who had worked with him in his later years at The Express Tribune, he thought that Hasanat might have reincarnated by then because the person he found in those obituaries was not the one whom he had worked with at Dawn.
Another journalist, Rafay Mahmood, said that although he had never worked directly under Hasanat at The Express Tribune, he still sought advice from him when he was to write about culture or poetry.
He remembered once asking him what could be the translation of ‘Panjtan Paak’ into English, and after some deliberation, Hasanat came up with ‘the Elevated Five’. University of Karachi’s former vice chancellor Dr Pirzada Qasim also discussed the literary acumen of Hasanat, and specifically pointed out the great skills of the late journalist for translating English poetry into Urdu and similarly, Urdu verses into English.
He presented the example of the Rubaiyats of Sadequain that Hasanat had beautifully translated. Dr Qasim also spoke about Hasanat’s father Abul Akhyar, a journalist who spent many years working for the Business Recorder, saying that Hasanat had inherited many traits from his erudite father.
IBA Centre for Excellence in Journalism Director Kamal Siddiqi, who was The Express Tribune’s editor when Hasanat had joined the newspaper, remembered the late journalist for being outspoken to the extent that during his interview, he said he did not read The Express Tribune.
Siddiqi later praised Hasanat for adapting to the different culture of the new workplace and mentoring many of his juniors. Karachi’s former commissioner Shafiq-ur-Rahman Paracha, Rizwan Siddiqui and others also spoke about the veteran journalist and shared interesting anecdotes about him.
Newspaper: The News