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Ardeshir Cowasjee


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COLUMNISTS are a peculiar breed of writers and perhaps no one assumed the persona of a columnist as well as Ardeshir Cowasjee. His age, pedigree, wealth and chutzpah gave him a vantage point that few could ever hope for. But what made Mr Cowasjee such a beloved columnist for many readers was the mixture of gravitas and mischievousness that he brought to his writing. The Cowasjee column, spread over 22 years of writing through much wrenching change and occasional spurts of hope in this country’s history, was a testament to the power of the pen in an era much before the revolution in electronic media transformed the media landscape and minted dozens of new stars. That Mr Cowasjee was able to stay relevant even in the transformed media landscape of the last decade said much about his ability to connect with readers and act as a voice of inspiration amidst the uncertainty and chaos of history unfolding.

He was able to do it largely through a steadfast commitment to two ideas. First, the original idea of Pakistan, as conceived by Mohammad Ali Jinnah and forgotten soon after his death; and second, the idea that Karachi could be rescued from the depredations of its political, business, sectarian and ethnic leaders and turned into a thriving multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi-religion city that Karachi’s denizens could be proud of. Inherent in both ideas was the belief that the Pakistan of today — uncertain, fearful, troubled and weak — is not the only Pakistan that can be imagined, or made possible. In his last years, even the indefatigable columnist was wracked with doubt about whether a transformation — a positive, healthy one — was possible any longer for Pakistan. But he soldiered on, never abandoning the city, and country, that was his home until death came calling. And that’s why, nearly a year since he wrote his last regular column, he remains one of Pakistan’s most beloved columnists.

Comments (9) Closed

Gerry D'Cunha Nov 27, 2012 09:15am
Mr Cowasjee in his articles every sunday 'Dawn' and in talk shows on TV channels would point out the corruptions in the country after the death of quaid-e-azam . He wanted the country to be free from corruption and islamic phobia - he wanted the betterment of pakistan and its people - he loved karachi,the place of his birth.
farrukh Nov 27, 2012 07:19am
Mr Cowasjee, a true Pakistani and Karachiites. We will miss you and your articles.
kdspirited Nov 27, 2012 03:16pm
Mr. cowasjee did not give up hope on Pakistan but Pakistanis. He thought the breed of people that keep electing the same leadership and is unable to stand up for it rights and against the very elements that have been eating at its roots is hopeless. He had the courage to speak against atrocities which made him a dying breed. Sadly the last of the mohicans is gone
butseriouslyok Nov 27, 2012 11:06am
Voice of reason...a true martyr for Pakistan and he was not even a Muslim. Thanks Mr Cowasjee, for personifying and promoting all that is truly good in us human beings.
zulfiqar ali Nov 27, 2012 06:59am
No doubt he was good and honest writer who will be missed by all librals
Irshad Ali Nov 27, 2012 12:42pm
Can there be a replacement of Mr. Cowasjee? I hope so as we can raise many more personalities like him if we continue in our struggle to keep our country a secular one.
Jalaluddin S. Hussain Nov 27, 2012 04:47pm
I agree while living in this far-off corner of the world, meaning Quebec.
Iftikhar Husain Nov 27, 2012 11:40am
The editorial has pointed out the greatness of this remarkable human being correctly. We will miss him for a long time to come. I think thousand of people will miss him.
Mike Nov 28, 2012 05:41am
Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee....a true human being, a true Zoarastrian, a true citizen of Pakistan, a true Karachiate and honest straight shooter of facts will be sadly missed by all of us. I had the opportunity to meet him at his house in 1993 and was quite impressed with his knowledge, his love, and his philonthropic support for numerous causes. From far far San Francisco, sincere condelence to the Cowasjee family, to all the Zoarastrian community, and to all the people of Pakistan (in particular in Karachi) who truly and geniunely loved and respected him. And to all of you who falls in this category, please get up, take the torch that he ignited many years ago and take the Country back from criminals, murderers, corrupt political leaders, jagirdars, mullahs, socio paths, and anyone who is there to destroy this beautiful nation that Jinnah created.