HALF a century has passed since Agha Muhammad Yakub Dadashi, a former Dawn hand, left this mortal world in 1969. Born in 1898 at Sitapur, India, he lost his parents at a very young age and was largely brought up by his elder brother Agha Muhammad Akram.
He studied at Aligarh Muslim University and also remained President of the University Students Union. Former Governor General of Pakistan Ghulam Muhammad was his contemporary at Aligarh.
Before partition in 1947, he was editor of monthly Aajkal, an official literary journal of All India Radio. Prior to his joining Aajkal, Josh Malihabadi remained editor of this journal for some time. Renowned Urdu poet Asrar Ul Haq Majaz had also worked under him at Aajkal. Dadashi Sahab had many interesting anecdotes to recall from this remarkable period in his life.
He had the honour of serving as Press Attaché in Turkey from 1950 to 1953. Upon his return from Turkey, he joined Dawn, in the later half of the 1950’s as an assistant editor and leader writer.
A memorable incident related to Dadashi Sahab’s life is the invitation received by Dawn from PIA in 1965 for the Cairo inaugural flight. Late Jamil Ansari, the then editor of Dawn, arranged a lucky draw in which names of all the sub-editors and reporters were included. Dadashi Sahab, being the eldest member of his staff, was requested to pick the name of the lucky winner.
Name of sub-editor Saghir Ahmad was picked and he went on that unfortunate flight. His grief knew no bounds after the tragic crash, as the name picked by him turned out to be the death warrant for late Saghir Ahmad.
Dadashi Sahab was an avid reader and had contributed many memorable editorials while serving Dawn.
Jaleel Bin Hamid Zubairi
Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2019