March 7th, 2022
By Hamid Riaz
“During unfavorable circumstances, people used to come up to I.A Rehman and ask him about the war forward. He used to tell them to ‘just do your part’,” said revolutionary poet, Faiz Ahmad Faz’s daughter, Salima Hashmi, while addressing a memorial dedicated to towering activist I.A Rehman, on the final day of the yearly Faiz Festival.
In addition to Salima Hashmi, the event was attended by journalists, activists & I.A Rehman’s close friend Hussain Naqi, General Secretary Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Harris Khalique and senior journalist and I.A Rehman’s son, Ashar Rehaman. The speakers, by narrating incidents from I.A Rehman’s life shed light on the man behind the legend.
While speaking to VoicePk.net after the event Harris Khalique opined that I.A Rehman’s death has left behind a deep void, one which will be extremely hard to fill if not impossible.
“Unlike Western societies our society is slow in replacing its intellectuals. But that does not mean that I am not hopeful about the future. Or that I believe that young people will not be abe to fill the void left behind by the demise of towering figures such as I.A Rehman and Asma Jahangir,” says Khalique.
During the event on the one hand Hussain Naqi highlighted Mr. Rehman’s journalistic career while on the other hand, his son Ashar Rehman introduced to the audience a side of him very few are introduced to; I.A Rehman is a kind and loving father.
While speaking to VoicePk.net Mr. Ashar Rehman pointed out that his father’s life offers many guiding principles to young activists and journalists. But asserted that every era has its new demands and trends which should not be ignored in favor of the past.
“During my father’s time when I used to go to these events and meet the same people over and over again. But these days I see a lot of new faces who are willing to fight for progressive causes. Though iit is a different type of progressivism which is more centered around the self and less around the society as a whole. I still believe that the young have potential to carry my father’s mission,” said Ashar rehman whike speaking to VoicePk.net.