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National

Arshad Imam
January 25, 2018
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A teacher, a mentor

Human beings are physically similar in many ways; the difference can only be gauged through their way of thinking and their ideas, the ideas which can bring revolutions.

Some people are like an indelible imprint that refuses to fade away with the passage of time. Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman, the founder of the Jang group, was one such person. The first time I met Mir Saheb in person, I felt for a moment that I was standing before a man who was not an ordinary man. He was different. Admittedly, though, it was not easy for me to differentiate clearly but I could feel it quite right. When I was called in his room for an interview, I saw him seated gracefully there. Dressed in a neat and clean suit along with a decent necktie, he was sitting with two or three other men in his room. The first question he asked me was about my education and past experience (which I didn’t have at all), and why I wanted to join the Jang group. Hardly five to six minutes after this conversation, he called in the resident editor and asked him to take me along with him to assess whether I was suitable for the position of an editorial assistant or not. I am not sure if I am right or not but the impression that I took from my brief interaction with Mir Saheb was that he had a very agile mind and a quick decision power.

Wasting time was a sin to him. His clear thoughts and confidence in his work made him different from so many average people like us. This is a time-tested fact that such habits fill ordinary minds with air. They get carried away with their success so much so that it goes to their heads. A false feeling of piety, self righteousness and pride makes inroads to their head. But having worked with him for years and years, I can say with confidence that no such feeling of being ahead of others and better than them ever crossed Mir Saheb’s mind. We never felt these things in his conversation or mannerism.

However, the fact was that he was ahead of others in many things, personal or professional, but he himself did not take it that way. No self pride. No false airs. No self praise. He would lead his colleagues with personal example, his work, dedication and sense of commitment and accomplishment. He was a great man with lofty ideals. But he never wore these things on his sleeve. His greatness was not like a show piece to be displayed on a high cornice to invite the attraction of people. This was not his style. He would work all day and night. We saw him in office regularly. He believed in work, so he worked and worked hard. That was the first thing that he required from all of his employees, we never saw him talking unnecessarily, only important points and substantial facts with a guiding tip here and there. His focus on the results was incomparable- totally unwavering. Sincerity and being true to his work was the crown jewel of his professional self.

“If you are not sincere with your work then don’t do it.” This was the core philosophy of Mir Saheb. A man can appear to be hardworking but still not sincere with his work. It is because a person cannot be a real hard working and committed if he is not sincere with his work.

All other qualities deemed necessary automatically emanate from this fountainhead. Floral write ups and gem-decked stories are usually short lived. They lose their shine shortly while sincere efforts last long-rather much longer. It is a widely known fact that personality reading is a difficult task. Every one cannot do it. Normally first we hold someone very high in our eyes and then start painting him high. But on the other hand, if you start with someone with no pre-conceived image in mind and get to know that person bit by bit and keep doing this observation for an appropriately expanded span of time and then paint the picture of that personality, this will bring a truer and close-to reality image of that person.

I knew absolutely nothing about Mir Saheb when I first met him. For me, he was only a person who owned and headed the organisation that I was trying to join. He was the boss and I was an applicant for a small post in his office. I had never worked in a newspaper before and I had no degree in journalism. Indeed, a strange situation. Actually it is here that a boss, a true leader, comes to the forefront. He sees, observes, what others cannot. It is not everybody’s job. It takes a piercing eye, a fully active mind and complete and unwavering confidence in yourself to take a step forward. True leaders possess extraordinary qualities which an ordinary person lacks most of the time. And it is not only in my case that he decided to try a completely novice in the profession. There are many such examples, where his hawk eyes saw the hidden talent of people and he decided to explore their talent for the good of his organizations. Many such names who had no prior identity as journalists later emerged as the known names and became veteran journalists in this field.

A teacher’s impression is usually of a kind and skillful person, keen to convey anything valuable to his pupils and at the same time watchful, diligent and dutiful. But in reality things can be different. We usually find people getting lethargic when elevated in worldly standing. A true leader, however, is disciplined and dedicated. He never behaves like a person loftier than his colleagues and co-workers. He seldom loses sight of basic human norms and values. He never looks down upon people around him. That is how he commands true respect and reverence of his subordinates, and lives in their hearts rather than hanging heavy on their nerves. He gets best out of them and treats them all fairly and compassionately.

Bosses like Mir Saheb have no special favourites. Anybody who works honestly is close to them and enjoys their support. Undoubtedly, everyone in Jang group who has worked with Mir Saheb remembers him as a good boss. His professional skills and standing was very high but as a man, his attitude towards his workers was always full of care and sympathies.

So many years after he left this world to rest in peace, his memories are still as sweet and fresh as if it were only yesterday that he presided over a meeting of the staff and told them what to do and how to do the assigned tasks. It was because of his efforts and dedication that his newspaper ranked above its contemporaries, as Mir Saheb himself remained head and shoulders higher than those who happened to be his contemporaries.

The living proof of Mir Saheb’s love for work is before our eyes in the shape of his “Group” which is head and shoulders higher than all its contemporaries whether it is print media or electronic media.

As for my personal feelings regarding Mir Saheb, I will always feel grateful to him as he was the man who lifted me raw from the grass root level and taught me the things which I knew nothing about in this profession to which I was very new. His patronage has remained very close to my heart and will always remain so in the days to come.

-The author works at Jang

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