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A Tribute to Syed Mushtaq Ali Kazmi

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Syed Mushtaq Ali Kazmi left this mortal world in Hyderabad, Pakistan, on July 29, 2023. Who? How does it matter to people worldwide? Why should they learn about a man born in Alwar, Rajasthan, India, in 1930 and migrated to the newly created Pakistan 1n the 1940s, leaving behind everything his forefathers had built over the centuries?

It was not an ordinary migration. It was an 857 KM journey searching for a new world to weave new dreams in an imaginary society reconstructed on the foundation of dignity, freedom, and justice. Who otherwise leaves one's ancestral home and its rich history. It was for carving a new identity to practice one's values freely and fearlessly. It was also for raising a generation free from the stigma of political slavery. He was not alone. There were 7,226,000 Muslim men, women, and children who moved to the new country unprecedentedly.

Kazmi's story is the story of Pakistan with one difference. While he gave all he had to his new country, successfully raised five sons and two daughters, and empowered hundreds and thousands with life-changing knowledge through educational institutions he established or served, the rulers betrayed him and all those who died with their dreams.

At the age of 93, when Kazmi breathed his last, he was still hopeful of his dreams reaching maturity one day.

It is essential to know about him because he was one of many who turned thousands of students into platinum through Al-Farooq and Allama Iqbal schools equipped with modern education and moral values. For 33 years, he was the tireless educator who wanted everyone in his town to be well-educated. He had meager resources and lived a simple life, often helping the needy and poor. His vision was clear. Education coupled with moral values provides the best panacea for growth. He was a member of Jamte Islami, Pakistan. His dedication to his organization convinced his family to remain committed to dignity, freedom, and justice. His association with the Jamat did not make him prejudiced against others who did not subscribe to his ideals. He was respectful to all. There were several trial moments in his life, yet he never complained. He always saw a positive aspect in negativity.

I met him twice, in 1968 and 2004, in his hometown. I found a humble human working to live his dreams with all he had. May his family find peace and strength, and his students live the ideals he worked so tirelessly.

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