By Kazy Javed
Remembering a passionate socialist
The people of Lahore have probably forgotten Abdullah Malik. Only a decade ago, he was one of the most sought-after intellectuals of the city. Primarily he was a journalist whose association with newspapers spanned some sixty long years. However, the 30plus books that he authored overshadowed his journalistic achievements. The topics of his books varied from the Bangali Muslims’ struggle for freedom to his travelogue on Hajj.
Abdullah Malik’s book on the political movements of the early 20th century Punjab was read more than his other volumes but his most important books were on the political role of the army in the developing countries. Four or five in number, the books were published during the 1970s. Not a single book of any importance has been published on this subject in Urdu language since then. With the passage of time, the importance of Malik’s books has increased and I am of the view that they are more useful for the present generation than for their first readers.
A steadfast communist, Abdullah Malik’s lifelong commitment with Marxist philosophy remained intact even after the so-called death of Marxism near the end of the last century. I remember our discussions that usually took place on Friday evenings at his residence on the outskirts of Model Town in Lahore. He remained devoted to communism throughout his life.
The Pakistan Academy of Letters recently organized a seminar in Islamabad to pay homage to Malik on his fifth death anniversary. The event was chaired by Professor Khawaja Masud and there were some noted left-leaning intellectuals and writers to speak. They included Hameed Akhtar, I.A. Rehman, Iftikhar Arif, Kishwar Naheed and Ishfaq Saleem Mirza. They all had been friends of Abdullah Malik and had some amusing anecdotes about him to share with the audience.
Malik’s eldest son Dr. Kausar Abdullah Malik, grandson Umar Kausar Malik and Sajida Iqbal were also there to pay homage to him. The proceedings were conducted by Tariq Warsi.
They all praised Abdullah Malik for his lifelong commitment to democracy, civil liberties, enlightenment and a just socio-economic order.
Courtesy the NEWS