AN ICON OF JOURNALISM
- 21 Jan - 27 Jan, 2023
It is not unusual in academia to find some way to honour the memory of a deceased scholar whose work has offered much to a given field. Sometimes it suffices to cite some of the person’s studies in an appropriate context, such as an article, thus recognising in a sense the immortality that work affords; sometimes dedicating an article to the individual is appropriate: sometimes a formal obituary is in order, sometimes, however, more seems to be called for. This issue marks just that kind of situation, in that there was a desire to honour a departed giant in our field, Mir Javed Rahman, but these usual measures alone seemed to fall short of the mark.
Javed Sahib passed away on 31st March 2020 and almost exactly two years later, here we are writing these words, remembering him and his life of purpose with fond memories.
Every year as we celebrate his death anniversary, it raises a practical question of how to honour this man who was legendary for his journalistic accomplishments. But what better way to honour the man in a special way than in words in his own journal?
Mir Javed Rahman, eldest son to Mir Khalil-Ur-Rahman, was a man who carried forward his father’s legacy, upheld its values, and played a huge part in revolutionising Urdu journalism with Pakistan’s oldest weekly magazine Akhbar-e-Jehan and gave many years of his life to English journalism with Pakistan’s first fashion and lifestyle magazine MAG The Weekly. Immaculate and a precisionist, Mir Javed Rahman was a journalist who wanted to come as close as possible to the heart of the world. For budding journalists like us, Javed Sahib is a role model who inspires us towards greatness. Javed Sahib’s death weighs heavy on the fashion world, which has lost a true trailblazer in every sense of the world. The influential journalist used his platform to pioneer change and promote diversity in an industry that has not been known for giving everyone a seat at the table. With a childlike joy around all things fashion, an exceptional knowledge of history, and a knack for delivering deliciously good bon mots, he was a larger-than-life character like no other.
Mir Javed Rahman ascended the ranks of the fashion industry and journalism. His astute knowledge coupled with his endless wheelhouse of creativity marked Javed Sahib as an irrefutable innovator and an usher of possibility. Under his leadership, MAG has pursued high standards of perfection for decades which has been a teaching moment for each one of us who has had the honour of working under him.
In the wake of his death anniversary, fashion editors who had been graced with Mir Javed Rahman’s presence shared heartfelt memories and tributes to the fashion giant.
Former editor to MAG, Tehmina Khaled shares, “Javed Sahib was one publisher so sincerely involved in every aspect of his publications; he would take keen interest in editorials, layouts, graphics, marketing, printing and distribution. He was a true journalist at heart, well-trained by his late father, the honourable Mir Khalil-Ur-Rahman and knew the pulse of his readers.”
Lamenting the loss of his former boss, Muhammad Rahat Hussain shares, “He was more of a mentor for me, than just my boss. Twice in the last decade, I left the organisation, for other pursuits, only to be brought back by Javed Sahib into the fold. Sharing his wisdom and insights every chance he got, for me to absorb, learn and apply. Many life lessons that I have learnt from him, experiences that have shaped the way I look at life now.” He continued, “Even though Javed Sahib is no longer with us, his words of wisdom will always stay with us throughout our lives. His demise has left a vacuum for the journalistic fraternity in Pakistan, and an invaluable loss that will take years to overcome.”
Talking about the indomitable fashion journalist, former acting editor to MAG, Mariam Khan shares, “Javed Sahib was a print media institution. All those who signed up for his school of journalism, know his infatuation for the field. He had a charisma; one that was unmatched. There was not a single meeting with him that I left without learning. He housed knowledge within him, and was always sharing it with those around him. Journalism lost one of its purest gems.”