Local poets, writers, and members of literary community on Wednesday paid rich tributes to renowned journalist and writer Hameed Akhtar for his services for Urdu literature and journalism.
The speakers said that Akhtar’s death marks an end of an era in Pakistani journalism. He was “one of the stars of the golden age of journalism in the period just after the independence”, said one participant.
They said that he was a fearless writer committed to exposing injustices in Pakistani society.
Akhtar as a young person associated himself with the progressive political movement committed to fundamental social, cultural and political changes for the betterment of workers, peasants, students and other oppressed sections of the society, said one speaker, adding that Akhtar always remained committed to his mission and was never disappointed.
Human rights’ activist Tahira Abdullah said that throughout his life, Akhtar wrote and struggled for the emancipation of the downtrodden section of the society. “If we are really Akhtar’s admirers then we have to follow his legacy,” she added.
Another speaker said that Akhtar’s Marxist views and rational voice were a source of encouragement to all those who dreamt of a progressive, modern and egalitarian society in all parts of the world.
His death has been received with great sorrow by his friends and admirers throughout the world.
Throughout his life, Akhtar endured great deal of hardships including imprisonment, solitary confinement and restrictions on accessing jobs for living, but he continued believing that the pain being endured by the masses will one day end, said one speaker.
Akhtar was associated with some of the most important journals in Pakistan like Imroze, Lail-o-Nihar and Musawat. His incisive columns were popular and reflected progressive thoughts.
His columns on a range of issues and personalities are not just important journalistically but also part of literature and political history. He was a prolific writer and continued to pen columns till just before his death.
His many publications including “Aashnayian Kia Kia” and “Kal Kothri” have contributed in our understanding of progressive movement in Pakistan, said a participant.
Yousuf Hassan, Ashfaq Saleem Mirza, Arshad Rizvi, Manzar Naqvi, and National Language Authority’s Chairperson Dr Anwar Ahmed and others attended the reference, which was organised by the NLA.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2011.