LAHORE: Friends and colleagues were all praise for veteran columnist Munnu Bhai for his standards of humanity and care, during a ceremony held to mark his 80th birthday on Wednesday.
“Today I have crossed seven decades and entered eighth one,” said Munnu Bhai at the ceremony arranged by the South Asia Free Media Association (Safma) at a local hotel, while giving a brief sketch of his life.
“I have been a foster brother of a Sikh, Gurdutt Singh. His mother nursed me for 15 days or so because my own had fallen ill,” he told the audience at the ceremony titled in Punjabi, “Munnu Bhai Diyan Sattay Kharan.”
Scores of people presented bouquets to the veteran columnist who had his grandson in the lap.
Earlier, columnist Abdul Qadir Hasan said he held Munnu Bhai in high esteem though he (Hasan) belonged to an altogether different school of thought.
Senior journalist I.A Rehman said Munnu Bhai always wrote to the purpose, to create awareness among the masses and to kindle hope among them even in worst circumstances.
Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan said Munnu Bhai had been describing cruel realities in a soft tone.
Director and teacher Sheeren Pasha said she had the honour of working with Munnu Bhai on a number of documentaries and plays. The centre of Munnu Bhai’s interest had always been people, she added.
Senior journalist Hussain Naqi said Munnu Bhai always had skilfully described the truth between the lines.
Playwright Asghar Nadeem Syed said Munnu Bhai had always promoted democratic values and enlightenment.
Safma Secretary-General Imtiaz Alam said the plays written by Munnu Bhai were not only popular in Pakistan but also in India and Afghanistan.
Journalist Juggnu Mohsin, Massod Ashaar, Shahid Bokhari, Afzal Sahir and Younas Javed also spoke at the ceremony.