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June 28, 2015

Labour leader Wahid Bashir remembered


June 28, 2015

Warm and affectionate tributes were heaped on labour leader, journalist and socialist activist Wahid Bashir, who passed away in town recently at a reference for him at the Karachi Arts Council on Saturday evening.
Eulogies were heaped on him for the service he rendered for the cause of the peasants, the workers, the oppressed and the marginalised.
The function was presided over by Dr Jaffer Ahmed, director, Area Study Centre for Pakistan, University of Karachi.
Eulogising his services, Ahmed said that Wahid Bashir never veered away from the socialist path and was a committed socialist. Unlike so many others who abandoned the socialist road owing to global changes or for power and pelf, Wahid Bashir was true to his convictions to the very end and was not at all influenced by the changes.
Ayub Qureshi said, “Wahid Bashir was our tutor in socialism”, recapped his valuable services to the cause of the workers, the peasants and the oppressed.
Manzoor Razi, former president of the Railway Workers’ Union, praised the departed for his qualities of head and heart, and said that we
should all emulate his example.
Kavish Abbasi lauded the departed’s poetry skills and said his verse was so profound and carried such a lot of depth. He said even when the era of creativity was wiped out by undemocratic regimes his prowess flourished Anees Zaidi paid tributes to Bashir’s humility.
Zaidi cited his pivotal role in the teachers’ strike of 1969. He said that Wahid Bashir lived in a very tiny house and even his children went to a very ordinary school in the locality and yet the daughter who is a doctor had shone out internationally for academic brilliance.
Dr Tauseef Ahmed of the Federal Urdu University recalled the time in January 1981 when, during the Zia era, police raided the offices of Al-Fatah and Wahid Bashir was arrested for his sympathy with the oppressed workers and peasantry, to be released after two years.

He said that, come what may, Bashir never compromised on principles.
Noted trade union leader Habibuddin Junaidi said that Wahid Bashir was a beacon to society and, and, as a tribute to his simplicity, said that the departed led a real hermit’s life.
Rahat Saeed recapped his association of 58 years with the departed and referred to him as the lover of truth.
Advocate Muslim Shamim referred to Bashir as a commited socialist and recited his verses in that context. “He was a beautiful person. He wanted a system where peasants could get their land, workers their factories and children their schools,” said noted communist academic Dr Aliya Imam.
Others who spoke were Dr Riaz Shaikh of SZABIST, noted Urdu scholar Sehar Ansari, Ali Jaffery, Saleemuddin Sheikh, Wali Rizvi, Hassan Elia, and journalist Nazir Leghari.
Wahid Bashir’s daughter, Dr Nida, was invited to speak but being totally overcome with emotion, couldn’t speak.
The event was jointly organised by the Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences and the Progressive Writers Association.

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