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The symbolic death of Pakistan’s mastermind

Published Jun 23, 2012 04:37pm


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The show that was to make unparalleled history. The show of 20 questions that gained such mass appeal that it redefined the word Kasauti in the Urdu lughat (dictionary). The show that started off in the Radio Pakistan building with three friends with beautiful minds teeming with information quizzing each other with 20 questions about any and every topic under the sun. Kasauti is part of our national heritage. As was Obaidullah Baig whom we lost on June 22, 2012.

The genius of Baig lies in a number of facts. The fact that he did not have scholarly education and was actually the product of Maktab based education in UP, yet so accepted was his status as a man of knowledge that a majority not just assumed that he was a trained scholar but revered him as one.

It is fascinating that a single man could have tapped into so many areas of his brain that he had simultaneous grip over subjects as varied as wildlife, ancient mythology, anthropology, scientific discoveries or simply the people of the world. And was also a writer, a prolific documentary film maker and one of the most well-known faces of the Pakistani intelligentsia. The fact that he did this in an era when search engines did not exist, he could have easily put many a google to shame. And most importantly, that Baig did this all in the most pleasant of ways. Winning humility, undisputed finesse, articulate speech and that amiable smile. It is no small wonder that there was no street of Pakistan on which he would walk and go unrecognised.

Rumana Husain, an artist, says, “We knew him as a living encyclopedia but his other loves were nature, the environment, heritage. He had the answers on his finger tips for such diverse subjects, and that never ceased to amaze me. He was such a gentle and patient listener too. In my opinion he connected well with the masses because of his humility.”

Kasauti had a monumental and lasting impact on the nation. It was a program that was intellectually stimulating, yet had mass appeal. Usually, the packaging of intelligent information in media lacks the quality that makes people relate to it. Brainy shows for thinkers are always a bit boring to the average person. Too academic, lacking the outreach quality. Often, if not always, the best brains are happy in their comfort zone bubbles of academia, research and like-minded people. They’d rather not venture into the common-brain zone. And the common man is happy not having to tax their brains too much. Polarisation in effect.  But Obaidullah Baig, Iftikhar Arif and Quraishpur’s trio changed all of that with this show that started in 1967. They made knowledge trendy. They made history, literature and the effects of these on society interesting. In a country that has sadly maintained its dismal rate of literacy; the show not only educated the masses but got the common man thinking.

Ghazi Salahuddin, Baig’s friend and comrade of 55 years and renowned journalist, anchored the second phase of Kasauti in the ‘90s. He thinks the same Kasauti would be obsolete today. “People’s attention spans are much shorter. Their interests have moved on to sports, technology and fashion. If today a quiz show like Kasauti were to be produced, the questions would be different, as would be the audience,” says Salahuddin, with a hint of disillusionment in his words.

Baig’s loss becomes much more profound when we realise the truth in Salahuddin’s words when he says’ “the real crisis in this country is the intellectual and moral decline.” With fewer and fewer people reading books in Pakistan, Baig as an archetypical role model becomes even rarer. With lesser people like him being churned out with each subsequent generation, his shadow looms large over the world of knowledge in Pakistan – an irreplaceable shadow. Here was a man who taught by example that even without formal higher education, a person could develop his mental faculties and build his reservoir of knowledge if he chooses to. Baig set precedents; precedents that need to be followed if we want a better society of thinking, well-rounded individuals.

Digressing a little, when I asked Salahuddin on what he blames this love lost for reading in Pakistan, he vehemently rejects the theory that it is due to the internet. “World over, people have access to the net. More than Pakistan. They tweet and facebook and still read. The bookshops maybe in danger, as is the romance of the hard copy of books with the advent of Amazon and the Kindle. But fact remains that more books are being authored globally than ever before,” he says. In his eyes, Pakistan’s reasons are illiteracy, the loss of our grip over both Urdu and English languages and misunderstood religiosity that discourages free thought.

In losing the man called Obaidullah Baig, Pakistan lost more than a beautiful mind. The juncture at which we have lost him is ironic. His death, in the words of Salahuddin, is “symbolic”. Symbolic of a nation’s intellectual decline.


Farahnaz Zahidi Moazzam is a freelance writer, activist and blogger who blogs at 

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (115) Closed

MOHAMMAD Jun 23, 2012 03:13pm
In Obaidulla Baig we have lost a genius. He was a man of great integrity and respect. I think the writer has written the best blog but feel that enough space has not be given to Iftikhar Arif who was his partner in Kasauti, another genious. To revive the memory of Obaidullah Baig, I suggest PTV should air one or two programmes of the past Kasuati so that people can again have a chance of having a glimpse of him.
Zia Jun 23, 2012 03:10pm
May Allah bless him with Jannah and all the best in the eternal life. I grew up watching Kasuti. It was so much popular at our home that everyone would be glued to TV for that time. Remarkable personality. They gave us knowledge not just information. Irony of Pakistan that good minds are leaving as they have to but no new ones to fill their shoes unlike most of the world.
gul Jun 24, 2012 03:02pm
Lets all of us together appeal to PTV to put all programs of KASUTI on youtube.
ifte990111 Jun 23, 2012 03:34pm
can you plz name his novels and name of their publishers?
Riz Jun 24, 2012 08:56am
I am a great fan of Sir Obaidullah Baig. I watched Kasauti as a kid and idealising him adopted reading as a hobby. In Spain you find a book in everyone’s hands. Will our nation develop that craze? Present trends are not very encouraging. Lets build the youngsters’ curiosity to attain knowledge, in line with saying of Sheikh Saadi “learning from cradle to grave” and inspire them to make library their favourite place. Please join hands to make our nation knowledgeable by lighting candles in our abode's surroundings and respective communities...
innohunter Jun 24, 2012 10:30am
Can't describe how unlucky and ashamed i feel for not following him. My heart weeps The intellectual brain drain has been one of the only few consistent things happening Pakistan. Today we lost another gem, a man who defined an era. We as nation are forever indebted to him. His name will be right there at the top with the likes of mirza ghalib, allama iqbal and others
zafar iqbal Jun 24, 2012 11:35am
A huge loss to a nation which is directionles and have scarcity of intellectuals.Rather Iwould say that intellectuals have lost their values among so called moderen society and as a result such big loss have yet not been recognised by our media(both print and electronic).Any how I pray for him and his family and request the same from every reader of this blog.
Irfan Hussain Jun 23, 2012 06:18pm
Thanks for Farah and Dawn newspaper for remembering one of the finest people of our era. Alas, none of our so called free media power houses have covered him - they are all busy in search of spicy news May God give this nation few Baig's who can take us out of the current crisis....
Shah Jun 24, 2012 03:27pm
Intellectual! RIP.. a great personality with unique way to deliver and cultivation of his ideas! we have one great loss...
Tariq K Sami Jun 23, 2012 04:28pm
He made a big impact on his TV audiences. May he rest in peace.
Gerry D'Cunha Jun 24, 2012 03:19pm
No doubt, Obaidullah Baig was a genius person. I used to love seeing his programme 'Kasauti' started in 1967 and used to wonder as a teenager what a genius person Pakistan has created. May God Rest his soul in peace.
Javaid Jun 23, 2012 04:53pm
No one talked about his documentry "Saylani" -- of course Kasuti was a no match program but Saylani is also someting I remmember - showing history of interior Sind -- just wish could get hold of these to show them to Kids No doubt he will be a Hero to most from that period of time May allah Bless his soul
Abdullah Jun 23, 2012 05:13pm
Mr.baig will be missed by pakistanis throughout the world. kasauti is still in the minds of tv watchers and this was a show no one could miss. may his soul rest in peace amin
Hasanalirana Jun 23, 2012 05:08pm
we really need to sit down and think 'why program like Kasoti will fail today' ?
Halima Jun 23, 2012 05:09pm
yes indeed. !!
Raja Jun 23, 2012 05:28pm
Mr. Obaidullah Baig no doubt you will be missed by your true fans. May God rest your soul in peace.
Shamshad Jun 23, 2012 05:30pm
Pakistan has lost a great man - a man of immense knowledge. While I really liked the article, it primarily focuses on Kasauti only. Obaidullah Baig was much bigger than Kasauti. While there is brief mention in the article, he was a quality documentary film maker on wildlife, travel and history, and his documentaries were of a very high standard.
Obaid Qureshi Jun 23, 2012 05:47pm
He was a rare commodity in Pakistan. Will be sadly missed by people of my generation particularly (born prior to creation of Pakistan). Thank you Farah Zaidi and thank you DAWN for this coverage. Obaidullah Baig earned it.
Khalid Iqbal Jun 23, 2012 05:47pm
Great Loss of Pakistan, friends, viewers and readers. MAY ALLAH FORGIVE HIS SINS (IF ANY) and GIVE HIS ETERNAL SOUL A SPACE IN "JANNATUL FIRDOUS". Ameen!
amer Jun 24, 2012 10:50pm
A well written and thoughtful brief on OB. He was indeed a genious. And what we need to learn that acquring knowledge, as no once can take that way. So, pls learn new things in life and your will succeed in making formed decisions in real life professionally and personally. May Allah grant his soul eternal peace. Ameen
amer Jun 24, 2012 10:51pm
Pls share the name of some or all of his books. Will be very obliged.
Atta Mateen Jun 24, 2012 06:33pm
I was a kid those days when Kasuti was a hit on PTV. We didn't have TV but would go to our neighbor's house and our entire family would then watch the most watched program on PTV. After the show, we would then imitate the trio of Kasuti to solve the puzzle. It stimulated our brain and we had so much fun regardless of our ages and gained the knowledge. God bless his soul. He will always be missed.
MA Qadeer Jun 24, 2012 06:24pm
I play Kasauti with my 12 yr old son here in California as I was motivated as young person watching Obaidullah Baig s Kasauti while growing up in Karachi.We should never stop this great tradition .Our generation will always be thankful to Obaidullah Baig & Kasauti team for making us knowledge seekers.
Ali110 Jun 25, 2012 03:30pm
“the real crisis in this country is the intellectual and moral decline.” Very true. The moral decline is because of the Media showing immoral stuff all the time.
Zahiruddin Jun 25, 2012 03:26am
Really a great intellectual loss to the nation.
A Khalid Jun 25, 2012 12:33pm
With the passing of Obaidullah Baig we have lost a truly great person. An interview of Iftikhar Arif, Quraish Pur his companions in Kasuti shown on DAWN will be a fitting tribute to the great man. DAWN has the resources to make this a memorable event for us all who as some one earlier said grew up watching Kausti. If Aslam Azhar sahib is available he will also share his memories about this self taught genius.
M k s Jun 23, 2012 06:25pm
Yes, I am 34. Followed the show and was mesmerized by their intellect, wit and wisdom when I watched the revamped version in 1990s. Truly an irreplaceable loss to the nation. May Allah be with his family in this difficult times and grant him eternal happiness. Ameen.
AHMET ABDULAZIZ Jun 24, 2012 10:16am
very good idea indeed. I think a replay of old Kasauti programs may be helpful in shifting the minds of our young generation from time wasting Indian TV serials, useless politically motivated discussions, etc etc. Let something be done to raise the standard and quest for knowledge, of your youth.
rk singh Jun 24, 2012 09:43am
And who is he?
Ajamal Jun 24, 2012 11:11am
I think a lot of credit should also be given to persons like Aslam Azhar for bringing out geniuses of Obaidullah Baig, Iftikhar Arif, Qureshpur and later Ghazi Salahuddin onto tv screens for all of us to learn and appreciate. May Allah bless him and grant jannatul firdous to his soul, Ameen.
Dr. Zahid Ali Khan Jul 22, 2012 08:44am
Obedullah baig was a king of knowledge and greatest of Pakistan, his polite dealing nice mannar of disscusion was highly intalectual. There were hardly anyboday who left unsatisfied after discussion with him. I had enoumus meetings with him and with lots of questions, but always he had a very simple and well balanced answer. I firmly say that I have learned a lot from him. He was beloved of everybody and a friend in need. Pakistan has lost a prominant scholar and a patriot. It is a hard luck of our countriy that we never keep these kinds of valuable people as a pattren for prpogressive development of the country.
haris Jun 23, 2012 02:56pm
Obaidullah baig, true intellectual prodigy has made us realized that formal education differs from intellectual awareness. He has surely left a gap that no other entertainment quiz show can fill. May his soul rest in peace!
Owais Mughal Jun 23, 2012 02:54pm
Indeed a great loss. I vaguely remember watching Kassauti in my childhood but I do remember how people in our home were hooked to kassauti and it also created an early likeness of this program in me. It was also when i first got to know about Obaidullah Baig and I used to wonder about how a man can have so much knowledge on so many different topics.
Moazzam Amin Jun 23, 2012 02:50pm
Very well written and an emotional piece, Pakistan has lost a mastermind whom we all know him through our early days program KASUTI. He was an intelligent and humble and will always be remembered. RIP Obaidullah Baig.
Naveed Ali Baig Jun 23, 2012 02:11pm
Very well written Farah! When Kasauti started in 1967 in the Ayub era, it instantly gained such popularity that it evoked the interest in the Field Marshall. When he saw the program he didn't believe that Baig and Arif could actually do this this with their knowledge and intelligence. Hence he dispatched Qudratullah Shahab to attend the program and check it for himself whether it is setup or these people for real. Gen Ayub was in disbelief about their acumen, and today I am in disbelief because of Obaidullah Baig's sudden death. Baig has also written novels and stories specially on 'shikariat'. Some of documentaries were simply outstanding. The man is no more, but his legacy lives on.. Naveed Ali Baig
Ali Jun 23, 2012 01:58pm
I am a working professional and a student also, I always admired Sir Obaidullah Baig as a great teacher and a humble person . whenever he was him on TV I postpone all my plan and listen to him. Me and my friends till this day play Kasauti sometimes among ourselves and I am sure there would be at least few more if not much groups like us who appreciates the intelligent minds of Pakistan. It is a great loss to all of us. I don’t not have words to express my feeling. People like Mr. Baig are very rare to find “ONE IN A MILLION YEARS”. Today when I came to know about this tragic loss to the nation I am very sad but with it my heart felt another pain which compelled me to express my feelings. I could not find any comments? what happens to us guys …………………….. I have never ever before posted any comment not even on face book but to read about such a great loss and still be silence. Where are we going Nation…….. ???
another Baig Fan Jun 23, 2012 01:56pm
I am amazed and happy that still we have few ( like Farah) who adores Jems who have casted a life long imprint in our mind and our society for better tomorrow. Farah, your article regarding this jem( Mr. Baig) is a testiment of your interest and committment to pakistan society and it's well being. excellent article!!!
bmash Jun 23, 2012 01:53pm
Pakistan has lost a shining star. But all is not lost yet. As parents of the future generation it is our duty to inculcate the importance of reading and free thought so that our future generation are freed from the chains of bigotry and fanaticism.
Ahmed Zeeshan Jun 23, 2012 01:47pm
Hats off to this Great Person... May Allah Bless his Soul in Peace.... and Thanks to you maa'm for writting such a wonderful piece of article...
AHA Jun 23, 2012 01:33pm
I was a kid when I first started watching kasoti. The program ignited in me a curiosity and a desire to acquire knowledge. My father, sensing my curiosity, started taking me to ‘Khori Garden’ – second hand books was all we could afford at that time. That curiosity has helped me throughout my life. Obaidullah Baig and Iftikhar Arif were my heroes when I was a kid. I am forever indebted to them. May Allah grant the best to the soul of Obaidullah Baig.
Nasiroski Jun 23, 2012 01:28pm
I still remember Kasauti and yes it did have a profound effect on my generation. The loss of Obaid Ullah Baig is big and even bigger in Pakistan's case as there are none replacing him and the likes.
Jamal Najmi Jun 23, 2012 01:28pm
I vaguely remember Kasuiti in the 70's and watched it with great delight when it was launched again later on. Mr. Baig's knowledge, his way of expression, and humility definitely made who he was. May his soul rest in peace! I totally agree with the writer about dearth of reading amongst Pakistanis. Jamal
@TarekFatah Jun 23, 2012 01:22pm
It's sad day for me. He was a colleague in PTV, but a giant of a man who was role model, yet humble and caring. Our paths crossed one night when I was asked to appear on Kasauti in January 1972 by the then head of PTV, Aslam Azhar as part of the interview selection process as the national network opened its doors to working journalists to fill its newsrooms. "Rousseau", i wrote down and to my astonishment, neither Baig nor Arif Iftikhar could guess the name in 20 questions, and I got the job as a reporter in PTV until driven out in 1978 after the Zia Martial Law. Decades later when the show was reintroduced a few years ago, one of the guests wrote down my name as "shaksseeyat" and Baig sahib had zeroed in to the target in less than the 20 questions. I have stopped praying, but for Obaidullah Baig, I will say a dua. God bless you 'sirji', you will always be remembered.
Zulekha Soorma Jun 23, 2012 01:16pm
My family and I were keen viewers of Kasuati. Obaidullah Baig, Qureshpur, Iftikhar Arif and later on Ghazi Salahudin provided knowledge, impeccable Urdu and an aura of scholarly presence. The pleasnt way in which the programme was conducted unlike the present day anchors who leave no stone unturned to turn on the heat on its guests and make them feel uncomfortable. With Obaidullah Baig's passing away, an era has ended where there was mutual respect, love for subjects of interest and general bonhomie.
faiza ghulam rasool Jun 23, 2012 01:09pm
his program Kasauti was the only attraction for what we thought was made for our parents that we also found interesting other than the imported children TV programs that we all grew up watching. what a personality Mr. Baig was? we will all miss him. may Allah bless him with a highest muqam in jannat simply on the basis of his spreading knowledge alone. thank you for sharing the thoughts of so many Pakistanis.
Hussain Haideri Jun 23, 2012 01:04pm
A true loss that cannot be paraphrased in words. The decline of intellect in Pakistan is tremendous, and while lamentations about the bankrupt status of the country is alomst generic talk, most people overlook the paucity the country has when educations, morality, character and intellect are parameters.
AHA Jun 23, 2012 12:56pm
I was a kid when I first started watching kasoti. The program ignited in me a curiosity and a desire to acquire knowledge. My father, sensing my curiosity, started taking me to ‘Khori Garden’ – second hand books was all we could afford at that time. That curiosity has helped me throughout my life. Obaidullah Baig and Iftikhar Arif were my heroes when I was a kid. I am forever indebted to them. May Allah grant the best to the soul of Obaidullah Baig.
freethinker Jun 25, 2012 02:54pm
People like the late Obaidullah Beg should be designated as international treasures. The whole world has so much to learn from such wonderful human beings. The demise of such intellectual giants is a blow to a fast disappearing world of ethics, living one's culture and a desire for all round knowledge which makes for a better and tolerant world.
Maham Umer Jun 24, 2012 08:31pm
Have never seen Kasoti... :(( but i am a gr8 fan of Mr. Obaid-ulla Baig =) lost precious Gem!!
Mohanmmad Jun 25, 2012 01:42pm
i fail to understand why do we make people larger than life when they are dead. During their life time we dont even acknowledge .......
Qadoos Jun 25, 2012 01:41pm
May Allah forgive his sins, and the place in jannah.
Naseema Perveen Jun 24, 2012 01:33pm
Hazaaron saal nargis apni benoori pe roti hai Bari mushkil se hota hai chaman mein deedawar paida
Talat H Malik Jun 25, 2012 01:51pm
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"
Nasr Jun 25, 2012 05:31pm
I now at 50 was in 4th grade when I first saw the program on TV Kasauti and immediately became a fan. I revisited some of the programs available on Ytube and thoroughly enjoyed. In fact program Kasauti was a kind of face of PTV at that time in early 70s. Obaidullah Baig was a man of many talents. He was an intellectual, his work on wildlife in Pakistan was one of his greatest achievements for himself and his country. To offer my heartfelt condolences to his family I would say: We share your undoubted grievances and sad loss and so pray that Allah will bring him to rest through his mercy in his heaven and to alleviate the hearts of you and your dear family to Allah we belong and to him is our return.
Owais Jun 25, 2012 04:59pm
He was a true gentleman...i wish and pray to God to hold him in high esteem on the day of judgement. May God Bless him......
Tahir Naveed Jun 25, 2012 04:28pm
yes I agree his death is symbolic ,symbolic of an intellectual decline of a nation .May ALLAH Bless his soul Aamin
Nishat Suleman Afzal Jun 24, 2012 06:31am
A great intellectual loss, Baig Saheb was a symbol of knowledge, learning and intellectual awareness, a rare commodity in Pakistan today, may his soul rest in peace, and hopefully, since he was an inspiration for so many of us, the fire that he lighted in our hearts and minds would keep alight.
amjad durrani Jun 24, 2012 08:57am
A true legendry figure .you can easily relate to the childhood dreams of the ideal personality once used to be in Obaid ullah Baig.A Pakistani who should be remembered not only as a compare but also a researcher. I still remember "Sailany key Saath "when he took us to remote areas of Pakistan.May Almighty rest his soul in peace Aamin.
Feroze Akhter Jun 25, 2012 02:11pm
He was a brilliant and intelligent person. I and my father used to wait for Kasauti the day it was telecast from PTV. We have lost a asset. May his his soul rest in paradise. and Al Mighty Allah grant his family to bear this irrepairable loss, Amin. Feroze Akhter
Abdul Munim GILANI Jun 24, 2012 11:07am
He set a unique example for all ages through his Kassoti , how to dig out hidden facts with smiles, consistency & passions based on updated knowledge. In fact we loosed another genious who are formed in centuries. May allah bless him.
Salman Jun 24, 2012 12:18pm
No doubt he was an asset to this nation. We hardly remember such people in our ruling class.
Naseema Perveen Jun 24, 2012 01:16pm
an another loss of the nation of Pakistan...he will always b missed...may his soul rest in eternal peace!...ameen
DR. Nikhat Jun 24, 2012 04:29pm
Such a saddening news. I have no words to describe the grief I am feeling after hearing this shocking news. Just loved the man eternally...He was a role Model.The aura of grace, intellect, honesty and humility sparks every thing and every one around him. Though everyone has to go one day but when some people r gone for this unknown voyage one just cannot absorb this departure.
Abdul Aziz Ramjoo Jun 24, 2012 08:11pm
Loss of a noble soul, full of modesty and grace, not to mention his wealth of knowledge. I had the good fortune of meeting him few years back and found his impeccable grace overwhelming. May God in His goodness and mercy bless his soul and offer him a place in heaven.
Abdul Aziz Ramjoo Jun 24, 2012 07:46pm
I was glued to Kasauti without any shadow of doubt and also had the opportunity to meet the genius, Obaidullah Baig. His grace and modesty was par excellence. The entire Pakistan will miss him for years and years to come.May God in His goodness and mercy bless his noble soul and offer him a place in Heaven.
fnzee Jun 23, 2012 07:16pm
Thank you
Kamran Jun 23, 2012 07:18pm
I am fortunate to grow up with Kasuti quiz program and watch great intellect of Obaidullah Baig, i also watched his second round of Kasuti started recently and rekindle and watch Obaidullah Baigs sea of knowkedge, I think with all his intellect he was an institution who i can compare to great scholars like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, his demise is a great loss to all not just Pakistan.
Riz Jun 23, 2012 07:38pm
I am a great fan of Sir Obaidullah Baig. I watched Kasauti as a kid and idealising him adopted reading as a hobby. For inspiring me, I thank you Sir from the bottom of my heart. At the age of 43, having read thousands of books, I'm still curious to build knowledge every day, in line with saying of Sheikh Saadi 'learning from cradle to grave'. Recently I visited Spain and was mused to find a book in every person's hands everywhere. Will our nation develop that craze? Present trends are not very encouraging. On my part, I inspire the youngsters to make library their favourite place. I have plans to build one library soon. Please join hands to make our nation knowledgeable by lighting candles in our abode's surroundings and respective communities...
Riz Jun 23, 2012 07:48pm
Sir, please don't stop praying. It's Allah's one of the Greatest Blessings... May Allah Rest Obaidullah Baig's soul in eternal peace and Grant us fortitude to continue his good work and inspire our nation... Sir, please continue praying for all.
abdul Jabbar Jun 23, 2012 07:51pm
He made a big impact on his TV audiences. He will be remembered for long time, May allah rest his soul in peace.An award should be announced as given to waheed murad.
Hamid Hameed Jun 23, 2012 07:58pm
Dear Young Pakistan...Do you find a legend as original, as unique and as thorough a gentleman as Sir Obaidullah Baig among yourself? If you do, let me know. If you don't, then remember him and Pakistan. Today, we have lost a great part of civilization.
sohaib Jun 23, 2012 08:03pm
I was truly, truly saddened. Baig sahib was type of person who seemed immortal to me. His knowledge, his intellect and his style of presentation in pure urdu without any mixture of english showed the depth of his knowledge and grasp on the subjects. We have lost an icon of great intellectual status. The moral and intellectual decline we see in our talk shows and other TV hosts makes it extremely sad day for Pakistan. May Allah give you the highest place in jannah, ameen.
Hamid Hameed Jun 23, 2012 08:04pm
Sir Ji was indeed a rare gem. May God rest him in peace.
@hasanarshad_ Jun 23, 2012 08:05pm
He died the same day when we got a new prime minister, and it's the extreme of decline
Khawaja Javaid Jun 23, 2012 08:11pm
Within few days Pakistan have lost three most brilliant people. Dr Afaq Siddiqui. Ustad Mehdi Hassan Khan, Ubaid Ullah Baig. Surprisingly all three were from Karachi. Unfortunately the electronic media(product of yellow journalism) is only worried about these corrupt politicians and their activities. "AHLE ILM O DANISH" have no respect in Pakistan. Pakistani's have no clue these people can't be replaced with trillions of dollars. Thanks to DAWN for putting Farah Zaidi blog
ali Jun 23, 2012 09:08pm
We grew up in Pakistan watching this fantastic show of three highly qualified gentlemen with excellent memory.There was hardly a question that they would be unable to answer.I am sorry to note that MR Obaidullah Baig has passed away may his soul rest in peace. Ameen. I am not sure where the other two gentlemen are.
Raza Jun 23, 2012 09:18pm
What we need to observe today is that he is remembered for his humlity. Hard work and pursuit of excellence with humility is what we need to develop and train younger generation on. May Allah grant you Maghfirat Mr. Baig. Hope we had thanked you for your services.
Muneeb Khan Jun 23, 2012 10:34pm
Governmenyt should make a civil award or honor or at least a university after Obaid Ullah Baig Sahib's name.
Saif ul Huk Jun 23, 2012 10:48pm
Obaidullah Baig was a living encyclopedia, a great intellect, yet a very humble man. In the last 1-2 years I saw a new quiz programme like Kasauti, called Kasauti Mastermind, on TV One, a Pakistani channel, compered by Quresh Pur with Obaidullah Baig as doing the guessing. It might be beneficial if Quresh Pur, Salahuddin & Iftikhar Arif could continue this or start a similar quiz on any suitable channel, or if PTV could re-telecast the old Kasauti. It may inspire young viewers to read more & acquire knowledge, and serve as a sort of tribute Obaidullah Baig.
bubby Jun 23, 2012 11:19pm
Just hats of to him,may Allah rest him in peace and tranquility.He was my hero, a very few who impressed me and left their imprints.
hasan Jun 24, 2012 01:20am
Mr Baig was Masha Allah, nothing but a pure genius. Regretfully we hardly have anyone that can replace such masterminds in Pakistan. Whether we talk about intellectuals or performing ...and even sports... Such a sad day..
mahesh kumar passa Jun 24, 2012 01:29am
mr baig and mr.arif as friends whom i met at radio pakistan karachi invited me to participate in kasauti on ptv in late 60s. ibn insha i and another lady were guests.with mr obaidullah it was an unforgetable experience of lifetime.i learned more from him than the other way round. he attended a couple of gatherings with me at closeby swami narain temple. he was kind enough to introduce me to abunch of par excelance scholars in every conceivable subject 'especialy languages and religions .he will be missed by one and all!
Syed Jun 24, 2012 01:48am
Baig sb. you were one of the few jewels Pakistan has had and will never be able to replace. You were the icons of "golden times" for Pakistan. Hope for such revival is too dim, given the facts what the Country has changed into.
IFTIKHAR Jun 24, 2012 02:16am
Waqas Shaikh Jun 24, 2012 02:32am
It is hard to find words to express my sorrow for the great legend of Pakistan,Obaidullah Baig. I was a kid when I started watching Kasauti in late sixties. The show has a profound impact in my life. I still love to explore things and read books, watch national geographic and google internet to increase my general knowledge about the life and universe. I have two grown up boys and I used to play with them ," Thinking Game" every night on their bed and they still ask me some time about it. May God bless his soul in Jannah.
Yousuf Nazar Jun 24, 2012 03:01am
It is sad... free media is spreading illiteracy, bigotry, and intolerance. The era of gentle, humble, and enlightened souls like Baig is sadly over
hanif Jun 24, 2012 03:49am
Shahid Mansoor Jun 24, 2012 04:38am
We lost a fine person. I met him at his home in Rawalpindi and I still remember how easily he explained me world geography. May Allah bless his soul.
Wajid Ali Khan Jun 24, 2012 04:50am
Innalilah-e-hay wa inaa alahay rajoon! Sad news for us to passedaway Mr. Obaidullah Baig sahib(late). Allah will give him paradise.(Ameen). He had such a good knowlege for all subject. He is multi talented person. He had good relatioship with different kindof department like electronic media, newspaper, writers, poets, etc. He was so famous on his program like "kasauti". He is good poet, He wrote many column in the newspapers. I watched a lot of programs on PTV during when I was child age until few years a go. May Allah forgive his sins , maghfirat and sent his eternal soul in Jto the annat ul firrous. Ameen Allah will give "Sabr" to their own family and give him blessing and showering to his grave. (ameen). I pray and duaa for him. Wajid Ali Khan Toronto-Canada
zain i. syed Jun 24, 2012 05:00am
I was always mesmerized by Kasauti in the 70's. Lo and behold, I had the pleasure of meeting Obaidullah Baig for 90 minutes in the 90's. He was stuck with me on a flt. from Karachi to Islamabad. I have never met anyone with this unique combination of humility, intelligence and knowledge ever in my life. Pakistan has lost one of its greatest son! May Allah bless him with Jannah and all the best in the eternal life.
Anjum A.Bilgrami Jun 24, 2012 05:55pm
There is still hope for Pakistan, if this is what you earn when you are not a real estate tycoon, a businessman, a politician, or a feudal / tribal head. What a continuum of accolades......
Tahir Razvi Jun 24, 2012 05:39am
Sad news Uncle Obaid was my family friend, I remember when he shifted to Karachi he use to come to our house everyday,I use to have long discussions with him I always considered him a great intellectual, I am lucky to have known him and called him Unce Obaid, Met him last time in 1996 after that I moved out of Pakistan and now I hear this sad infact very sad news of his demise.
Muneeza Aamir Sami Jun 24, 2012 05:44am
It is indeed a great loss for our nation. We desperately need more intellectual people like Mr Obaid ullah Baig. May his soul rest in peace and may asllah give him the highest place in Jannah.(Amen)
ZaHK Jun 24, 2012 05:54am
haris Jun 25, 2012 11:06am
"...why program like Kasauti will fail today?" Because the attitude of our younger generation has changed so rapidly with the introduction of Indian and other Foreign Channels that we have lost all interest in our own plays and programs. Now Pakistani Dramas who were once a gem of a stone until few years back, lost all their credibility. A recent hit "humsafer" is not a match to any of our old Dramas.
AHMET ABDULAZIZ Jun 24, 2012 07:14am
Yes it is a big loss. I was in school when i first started watching Kasauti, and indeed it became one of my favourite programes. I remember, in 1968, i was in class ninth , at the Government Boys Secondary School No. 1, Nazimabad , when one day our school had invited Mr. Obaidullah Baig to our school. I still see that moment in memory, when the boys were just pushing one other, just to have his autograph. He was simply a celebrity. Those were the days, when the Government schools used to be considered as GOOD schools, and the position holders used to be the students of Government schools. I remember, how our teachers had started playing Kasauti in our class, during the free periods. Indeed those were the days when the teachers were respected by the students, and the teachers used to love the students. Their mutual relationship was never biased on the basis of religion, cast, political affiliation, languages, etc etc etc. Indeed we do need people like Obaidullah Baig and others of the like if we want to rebuild our nation.
Faraz Jun 24, 2012 07:51am
I agre with Ghazi Salhuddin's analysis that Pakistan has lost somebody who cant be replaced simply because our education, intellectual and moral systems have declined signifincantly, reasons for which are illiteracy, the loss of our grip over both Urdu and English languages and misunderstood religiosity that discourages free thought.
Salman Kidwai Jun 25, 2012 04:23am
I barely remember kasuti of the 70s. Growing up in Pakistan we used to play Kasuti with our friends and today after leaving the country for around 15 years or so the legacy continued. It threw me back in time when today my son (born and raised in a foreign land) asked me to play the same 20 question game. He asked me about Burj Khalifa and challenged me to guess it in 20 questions.
Zeeshan Noor Jun 25, 2012 04:35am
A great loss...Obaidullah Baig was one of the true treasure of our country. I wish as a tribute TV channels should re-run "Kasauti". May Allah rest his soul in peace and give higher place in Heaven. Ameen.
Ali Jun 25, 2012 04:56am
I have had the great pleasure of meeting him twice in 2004 and 2005 when we had invited him to a conference. I was required to brief him on his role and what he was supposed to talk on. With youngsters having an attention span of a goldfish and their need to be engaged, Baig sb's style was most inappropriate or was it? The youth tired and actively disengaged did not know who Baig Sb was. But when he came on minus any theatrics, he captivated them. He weaved such great stories, embellished with details and imagery that I could see his audience losing sense of time and space. The session ran much longer than scheduled and by the end Baig sb's humility, genius and his disregard for approval had won everyone over. 7 years down the road and I still remember his narrative.
Farook uz ZAMAN Jun 25, 2012 04:59am
An institution by himself. May Allah Subhana wo Ta'ala give him a special position in the Jannah of the wise . To whom Allah SWT gives wisdom, He gives a Gift overflowing. Obaidullah is one of those. A khyaban and many aught to be named after wise one. ameen, ya Rabb
AFZAL KHAN Jun 25, 2012 05:16am
I fully endorse your ideas, he was a true scholar and genius indeed and very humble. He was the most cultured and civilized person among us.
Syed Imran Younus Jun 25, 2012 09:17am
I am deeply sadden with the demise of the affectionate Obaidullah Baig. My father Syed Younus Ali, knew him and he has inspired me and my family members. We were all impressed with his TV serial Kasuati. Sir Baig has inspired us, due to his high intellectual capacity and his humane capability. His reasoning of facts and circumstances in giving simple explanation is something which has led me to understand his work immensely. May Allah Bless him. Syed Imran Younus United Kingdom
Amir Khan Jun 25, 2012 08:45am
May Allah protect him in his grave, on the day of judgement and bless him with Jannat Al-Firdaus.
Mudassir Hussain Jun 25, 2012 08:46am
Very sad indeed. May God Almighty grant him best place in Jannah (amen)
azhar masood Jun 26, 2012 02:01am
Baig has died, there was hardly any worthwhile coverage on electronic media.
Syed Imran Ali Jun 26, 2012 11:45am
No,mr Azhar unfortunately we only give coverage to people like Salman Butt,Amir,Asif etc nothing else........
Rizwanul Huda Jun 26, 2012 03:51am
In today's world life is becoming fast and technology dependent and at the same time we are moving away from culture, tradition, literature and value of life. We should try to remind our new generation the value and importance of these elements and let them know that Obaidullah Baig was one of such giant who had a deep impact on the generation of that time.
Nahmed Jun 26, 2012 05:59am
What a luck. A creature of Almighty Allah went back to his Creator with so much knowledge. Think how happy the Creator would be to have the soul of such nice person back to him. May his soul rest in peace
Sibte Habib Jun 26, 2012 06:46am
Inna lillahi wa inna alai rajoon May Allah grant him JAANTUL FIRDOUS - AMEEN
KSH Jun 26, 2012 02:50pm
A very well written piece on some one who was revered and idealised by many.
Naz Jun 26, 2012 07:14am
Sir, Please don't stop preying for hem.
Naz Jun 26, 2012 07:17am
You are right Mr. Haris . Actually that's reason of crisis.
Syed Imran Ali Jun 27, 2012 11:21am
Sir ji go and get a survey who wants to watch Kasuti...time wasting Indian TV serials, useless politically motivated discussions, etc etc have been injected in our young generations looking no soln..
khalid_humayun Jun 28, 2012 06:04am
All that cometh from Him shalt return to Him. But some departing souls leave behind their memories of wonders they produced in their life times. Obaidullah Baig was one of them. He was as idolized by all class of people - kids, teens, old ones and not to mention the academia class - all revered him. These small things make a differrence in life. He was adored in his life time. He produced wonders when there were no internet domains, there were no search engines. He proved human intelligence is superior than artificial intelligence.__Who says he head. He is alive in everyone's heart.