Lahore: Renowned columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee has passed away after prolonged ailment at the age of 86 in Karachi.Cowasjee was suffering from chest illness and had been admitted in a Karachi hospital’s Intensive Care Unit for the past 12 days.
Cowasjee was born in 1926 in Karachi and hailed from the well-known Parsi family.He attended the Bai Virbaiji Soparivala Parsi High School and graduated from DJ Science College. He was a businessman in merchant shipping.After World War II he joined his family business – primarily merchant shipping among other interests.
He was appointed by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) in 1973
Cowasjee started writing letters to the editor of a leading English mewspaper, which led him to become a permanent columnist.
His hard-hitting and well-researched columns exposed corruption, nepotism and incompetence in different local, provincial and national governments for the last twenty years.
Pakistan has been deprived of a great columnist with the sad demise of Ardeshir Cowsjee, who no doubt was an icon of journalism in Pakistan and contributed masterpieces of literature while contributing for Daily Dawn;
Cowasjee had documented the country’s history for generations to come through his outspoken columns in daily Dawn newspaper from 1988 to 2011.In addition to his columns, Cowasjee was also known as a social activist, philanthropist, and a businessman.
He is survived by two children, his son Rustom and daughter Ava.
Some of his works could be introduced in the curriculum of journalism at masters and graduation level; one of his columns that is to be known as a piece of literature was the one he wrote after the tragic incident related to Mukhtaran Mai in Muzaffargarh in June 2002, which was a slap on the face of the male-chauvinism, wherein he compared the conduct of men in Pakistan with those of one thousand old England when a Queen agreed to take a round of the city nude on a horse to meet the condition of her cynic spouse (Chester of Ear) to withdraw a heavy tax, when all the men of the city had locked themselves in their homes on that day.
Ardeshir Cowsjee was however the man of courage who had exposed the black sheep in the judiciary too. Cowsjee is to be remembered for long in the journalist community of Pakistan while the vacuum created from his death in the field would be hardly filled.