Well-known for his outspoken stand against corruption and various social and political issues, Ardeshir Cowasjee, a senior columnist, writer, intellectual and philanthropist passed away at a local hospital last Saturday at the age of 86.
Known for his outspoken weekly columns in Dawn, one of Pakistan’s leading English newspapers, he has documented the country’s history for generations to come through the written word. Known for his Bohemian ways, a trait he was, in fact, proud of, Cowasjee was famous for always being ready for a debate, on any topic, with anyone.
From colourful robes to fine-tailored suits, Cowasjee’s sense of style often gave him an air of aristocracy.
Through his pen, he often opened up Pandora’s Box as he spoke relentlessly against social evils, including, but not limited to, land allotment, environment, female illiteracy, corruption, nepotism and honour killings.
But his favourite subject was Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He almost adored the Quaid and relentlessly championed his cause.
He used to project the human side of the Quaid, and, at the same time, cast him as a no-nonsense man, a man of character, straightforward, honest and, above all, a man who believed in egalitarianism and who wished to shape Pakistan as a social welfare state with every citizen, irrespective of his religion, cast, creed and race having equal and equitable rights.
In his last column on 25 December 2011, he wrote “Now, old at 85, tired, and disillusioned with a country that just cannot pull itself together in any way and get on with life in this day and age, I have decided to call it a day”.
His death was widely condoled by intellectuals, politicians, writers, his followers across the world but after all He will be missed..
Story first published: 26th November 2012