-File photo

KARACHI: Eminent scholar Obaidullah Baig’s death on Friday morning sent a shockwave across the country. As soon as the news of his death broke, friends and relatives thronged to his Clifton residence.

Speaking to Dawn, a media person and close friend of Obaidullah Baig, Ghazi Salahuddin, said: “I don’t think there was anyone else other than Baig who was so respected at the popular level in this country. It was the magic of Kasauti (quiz show). The kind of public recognition that he got was distinct. Unlike other members of Kasauti, he was multitalented. I feel his Urdu writings are yet to be acknowledged the way they merit. Then the documentaries that he made, Sailani Ke Sath, were of a rare quality. So he was a combination of unique talents.

“Baig was an extremely selfless man who never craved for anything material in his life. We were friends for 55 years. As for his knowledge and wisdom, despite not acquiring a formal education, he belonged to a cultured family and it was his upbringing that made him what he was. Apart from history, geography and literature he was also well-versed in shikariyat that these days is called environmental sciences. Add to this the fact that he was an old school patriot,” said Mr Salahuddin.

Prof Sahar Ansari said: “His death has saddened me tremendously. I’d known him for many a year. There was a time when friends would gather at his place and discuss every topic under the sun. They included the likes of Mumtaz Saeed, Ghazi Salahuddin and Jaun Elia. He was a very well-read person who had a profound interest in history and shikariyat. The two novels that he wrote too cannot be ignored or overlooked.”

PTV Karachi Centre GM Mustafa Mandokhel said: “He was a great man, a wonderful friend and an intelligent individual. He was multifaceted and had successfully worked in many fields. He wrote novels, made documentaries and hosted TV shows. When I came to PTV he taught me many things. He was our teacher. His death is a national loss.”

Actor Talat Hussain said: “I’m in shock. He was an extremely gentle human being and highly talented. He would never brag about his abilities, which is a mark of a great soul. He was one such person who could be justifiably called a role model.”

Artist and head of the National Academy of Performing Arts Zia Mohyeddin said: “He was an educated person that is a rare quality in this country. When he, Iftikhar Arif and Quresh Pur used to do that quiz show, Kasauti, he impressed me with his vivid memory.”

Poet Naseer Turabi said: “He was someone who belonged to the rare breed of book-reading people (kitab culture). What made him different was the quality of the books he used to read. He was not interested in light or trash literature. He knew the worth of pure literature.”

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Comments (31)

Imran Quraishi
June 23, 2012 3:17 pm
Can anyone please tell me how old he was at the time of his death. The standard of Dawn newspaper has gown down so much that they forgot to mention his age when he passed away and the cause and circumstances of his death. Is this the way to report his untimely death in such a crude manner. Shame on you Dawn for being so ignorant of the facts and not giving out all the details to your readers who are desperately looking for answers.
Assadullah Qureshi
June 24, 2012 12:23 pm
I am now 31 years old, when I was a child, we had only PTV on TV and the only knowledge based program coming on TV was Kasauti. I was really inspired with knowledge of Mr. Late Obaidullah Baig. He was an ocean of knowledge and very generous personality, extremely inspiring. I wish I could have met with him in my life, his death is really a sad news. God gives him place in paradise...InshaAllah. Assad
June 23, 2012 5:24 pm
Mr. Obidullah Baig no doubt you will be missed by your true fans. May God rest your soul in peace.
June 25, 2012 3:48 am
we will miss u forever.
nadeem muftee
June 25, 2012 2:43 am
The death of iftihkar baig is a big loss of the nation. such type of personal.were the proud of the nations and neaver died
Dr Waleed Khan
July 2, 2012 8:27 pm
He was my ideal, I remeber we were stroling one day and he was smoking a cigerrete, we crossed the path of a sikh, we did not know him, suddenly he hid his cigerrette, when I asked him why, he replied in a very soft and secretive tone, That he was doing it in respect of the sikh's religion .I am sure the Sikh did not even notice it and he was not at all bothered by it.That day I realised that he was on a very high plane in Humanity which I am not sure if anyone will reach. He stayed in my house for 3 weeks once and when I remembered all he had talked about, he had not found or talked about any mistake in any person at all, he could find and talk about good things about the worst of the people, I do not think he disliked or uttered a single negative word about anyone in his life.He was nearest to my heart. Apart from his knowledge, which was way out , he was the humbelest person I have ever seen or met.
Syed Ovais Hassan
June 23, 2012 1:38 pm
Let us remember once again all our heroes dead or alive.
Syed Ovais Hassan
June 23, 2012 1:23 pm
Their is no doubt what is written about Obaidullah/Baig Sahab.But one thing it always comes in my mind that please dont forget our heroes after death and give due respect to alive heroes.
Islam Khan
June 23, 2012 1:24 pm
It is a great loss to country. It is sad that government has not recognized this intellectual. May God bless his soul and give courage to his family to beer this loss
June 23, 2012 1:03 pm
Obidullah Baig reminds me the good vivid memories of my early ages in Pakistan. A rare intellect of our country, kudos to his legacy.
June 23, 2012 12:03 pm
Obidullah Baig was a literary giant and an institution in himself. A Great loss to the conuntry. He had many qulities but became widely known for his 'kasotti' TV series. S.Alam Istanbul.
June 25, 2012 2:56 am
He was 74.
June 24, 2012 11:58 am
He was such an learned and knowledgeable person, but very humble and not a hint of bragness,a rare quality sadly not seen any more. May his soul rest in peace.
Razaq Baloch
June 24, 2012 1:47 pm
I am truly saddened by Baig Saab's death. He was more than just a Guru to many; an amazing person. He was always so kind and considerate to us that never missed an opportunity to see him while visiting Pakistan. Besides a living institute, he had great sense of humor...Baig Saab your jokes will be missed. His passing will not only leave a void in our lives, but in the hearts of everyone who knew him. OB Saab's memory will always remain deep within my heart. My sincere thoughts and prayers are with all the family members. With deepest sympathy, RAZAQ BALOCH
Bilal Hashim
June 24, 2012 1:03 pm
Now I too regret not being able to meet him :(
Syed Zaidi
June 23, 2012 8:03 pm
Obaidullah Baig was a symbol of integrity and our hero, should always be remembered for his words and work.
KM Ali
June 23, 2012 8:08 pm
Obaidullah Baig was a true person. Selfless and so talented. He set the standard and the desire for a higher learning for a whole generation. Was the motivator for me to undertake the Indus River Expedition - Sailani Ke Saath! May Allah grant him a place in heaven and continue to inspire generations. K. M. Ali
S K Siddiqi
June 23, 2012 9:15 pm
Respected and honoured personality; we found in decays, great man with scope knowledge. A portable encyclopaedia with wealth of information and easy carrying person; we will miss him for ever. My sympathetic solace and condolences to his family, Allah may rest his soul in highly placed heavens.
arif vasi
June 23, 2012 9:58 pm
Obaidullah Baig was very literate person and well respected in society becasue of his sincerity and humblenessWe should always remenber our heroes and keep their memories forever in our hearts
zia khan
June 23, 2012 10:39 pm
He was a household name when Kasotti was around. An outstanding intellectual standing tall in the crowd. May God bless his soul.
June 23, 2012 11:16 pm
Mahmood Mir
June 24, 2012 2:46 am
He was a person with a knowledge of everything I will say a great loss for Pakistan I will always remember him from the program Kasouti, message from an admirer from Houston, Texas
June 24, 2012 3:13 am
When I was young, I remember my mother wanting me to attend the same schools that Obaidullah atteded. Little did she know that he did not have any formal educaton. Wow! What an amazing genius. Pakistan has truly lost an extremely valuable gem of a person.
humayun iqbal. NJ
June 24, 2012 5:37 pm
Deeply saddened by this news. May Allah rest his soul in peace. He together with iftikhar arif planted the seeds of love of knowledge in countless minds and inspired a whole generation to learn and value knowledge. A true gentleman and a scholar.
Capt. Javed Safdar
June 24, 2012 7:42 am
Obaidullah Baig will be missed by all. I remember him from my teens when I used to watch his "Kasauti" on PTV. I never missed any episode. He was a man of many talents. We Pakistanis never appreciate the talent of our own people. Men like Obaidullah should be given a place in our history. We must & I repeat MUST create some institution named after him. May Allah Rest his soul in Paradise. Aameen. Capt. Javed Safdar Dubai.
June 24, 2012 4:07 pm
May Allah SWT forgive his sins, give patience to his family members and friend and relatives, elevate him in jannah. May his soul RIP. You will long be remembered, honorable Sir.
T H Malik
June 25, 2012 10:46 am
He was a jewel of knowledge,a thorough gentleman and a man of dignity. God had bestowed upon him genuine wisdom. These kind of gem are rarely created. May Allah forgive him and grant him Jannat-ul-firdaous (ameen). "Dhoond ab un ko charagh-e-rukh-e zeba lay kar"
Mohsen Khan
June 27, 2012 9:32 am
He was a university in itself. it was shocking when i was heard his death news. We always miss you; Sir. May Allah rest him in peace. Ameen.
Ahmad Raza Qureshi
June 28, 2012 9:21 pm
He was 75. Ahmad Raza Qureshi A great fan of Great Obaidullah Baig
Engr Karim Baluch
July 26, 2012 11:47 am
I never missed his kasuti program.. what a cool and gentle personality !! May Allah grant him Jannatulfirdous and give Sabr e Jameel to his family to bear this great loss for whole nation.
August 19, 2012 7:30 am
I would miss you & your work forever Sir.
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