Eminent intellectual Obaidullah Baig passes away

Eminent intellectual Obaidullah Baig passes away

Karāchi : Pakistan | Jun 24, 2012 at 1:15 AM PDT
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Obaidullah Baig

Distinguished scholar, documentary filmmaker, media person and novelist Obaidullah Baig died of cancer on Friday at 5.30am. He was 76.

The scholar is survived by his wife, Salma Baig, a television host, and three daughters, Maryam Baig, Fatima Baig and Amina Baig, the last being a staffer at The News.

In the 1960s Baig produced and presented on Pakistan Television a series of documentaries titled Sailani Ke Saath. It was one of the most watched and critically acclaimed programmes on television at the time. He would visit far-off and culturally rich areas of the country and introduce them to TV viewers. Some of the most successful of the episodes were on the Khirthar Range and the Lahut Valley in Balochistan.

The year was 1967; the man that brought him to the forefront was Aslam Azhar, and the brilliant question-answer show was christened “Kasauti”. All of Pakistan became obsessed with its mastermind, Obaidullah Baig.. The show of 20 questions that gained such mass appeal that it redefined the word Kasauti in the Urdu lughat (dictionary). Kasauti is part of our national heritage

Kasauti in which he teamed up with Iftikhar Arif in 1970s and then with Ghazi Salahuddin and Quraish Pur in 1990s.

It may come as a surprise that Baig had no formal education after his intermediate education,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.

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.

Baig’s namaz-i-janaza held at Sultan Masjid in Defence after Friday prayers was attended by a large number of people and he was laid to rest in the Defence Graveyard. Among those who took part in the funeral procession were actor Rahat Kazmi, TV producers Zaheer Khan and Zafar Akbar, writer Anwar Maqsood, music composer Arshad Mahmood, media persons Farhad Zaidi and Ghazi Salahuddin, poet Naseer Turabi and scholar Quraish Pur. Moving scenes were witnessed as some of his close relatives and friends couldn’t control themselves and became teary-eyed.

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Obaidullah Baig passes away in Karachi
nazish7 is based in Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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  • The symbolic death of Pakistan's mastermind

    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...





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