Book Reviews

Collection of Prof Waris Mir columns published

LAHORE: The Waris Mir Foundation has published a new book titled “Falsafa-e-khushamad” (The Philosophy of Flattery) to mark the 30th death anniversary of legendary scholar and journalist, Prof Waris Mir, who had breathed his last on July 9, 1987.

The subtitle of the book, “Pakistan’s laudatory Politics and Journalism”, makes it clearer as to what and who the book addresses. While giving instance of undue toadyism in the Pakistani media and politics, Waris Mir has described flattery as a fatal ailment of the heart.

The 370-paged book is an anthology of columns/essays written by Prof Waris Mir during his lifetime. The foreword of the book, written by Mohammad Fateh Pur, a noted scholar and a former rector of the International Islamic University (IIU), Islamabad, explores different theories Prof Waris Mir had floated in some of these essays. Prof Malik writes in his foreword that there have been merely a handful of journalists in the 68-year history of print journalism in Pakistan who had preserved the sanctity of their pen and profession by writing the truth even during the dark days of Martial Law regimes that were clamped on Pakistan by power hungry dictators. And Prof Waris Mir tops the list of those gutsy intellectuals. The book begins with a preface by Hamid Mir, son and senior journalist.

While Waris Mir was engaged in an intellectual duel with his contemporaries in the writing field, he had additional responsibilities such as those of being a family man as well as the pressure of being the chairperson of the Department of Mass Communication at the government-controlled University of the Punjab. At the time of his sudden death in July 1987, Waris Mir was at the peak of his professional career as a writer.

The other books authored by Prof Waris Mir in Urdu language include “Hurriyat-e-Fikar kai Mujahid” (The warriors of the intellectual freedom), “Kaya Aurat Aadhi Hai” (Is woman half the human?), and “Fauj Ki Sayasat” (The politics of the Army).

He was laid to rest in the Punjab University Lahore graveyard close to New Campus Underpass which has already been renamed as the Waris Mir Underpass. He was decorated with Pakistan’s highest civil award – “the Hilal-e-Imtiaz” or the Crescent of Excellence (posthumous) on March 23, 2013 by the state of Pakistan in recognition of his meritorious services in the field of journalism and for furthering the cause of democracy and press freedom through his thoughtful writings.