Sindh’s progressive political movement is deprived of another activist and intellectual Asim Akhund on September 2, 2008, he died in Karachi after developing infection in heart having undergone a surgery. Asif was in his early 30s, father of two minor sons from his Russian born university colleague beloved wife.
He was a well known figure among political activists, writers and journalists and university folks in Hyderabad and Sindh in general. He was teaching Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, University of Sindh Jamshoro.
Beside teaching he was working with a Labour Party of Pakistan, prior to that he was associated with a left-wing party. He was student of Jawaid Bhutto, former head of Philosophy Dept and who now lives in Washington, and true disciple of Ibrahim Joyo. Joyo saheb has dedicated one of his book to this young intellectual.
Asim had done Masters from Moscow State University; he was a brilliant writer in English, Sindhi and Russian. His office at University and home in Hyderabad was always open to young students and political activists. Though belonging to a relatively affluent family he was generous, kind, humble and simple guy, An extra-ordinary reader of political history, literature and philosophy, above all he was very eloquent speaker with impressive communication skills both in English and Urdu.
Beside his political activities he started a first serious bi-monthly magazine in Sindhi which focused on literature and political issues along with university colleagues, magazine called “Adarsh” published some excellent research based articles, some thing rare to find in post 1990s literary and political discourse in Sindhi language.
His untimely death at young age is a huge of loss of Sindhi students, political activists and intellectual discourse in general. Lot of well-known intellectuals would stay away from him, would not indulge in debate with him because he was larger than many so called writers in Sindh, he was not a man of mainstream as he was never for fame or being counted, he was serious reader and a thinker, those who knew him, would either loved him or stayed away from him knowing his depth of knowledge.
Jawaid Bhutto turned him a progressive leftist thinker while Ibrahim Joyo influenced him greatly by making a man who loved Sindhi language, literature, culture and would strive for political freedom and national sovereignty of Sindh.
He was the only son of his parents, he leaves behind two sons, a wife and hundreds of political and personal friends, we learned a lot from him, Most of friends were very much impressed with his ability to comprehend complex political issues and then his skill to explain them to common people. His two historic lectures one at Karachi University’s IR dept (where after his lecture the consensus was that there was not single teacher in KU who has that much expertise on philosophy, socialism and Capitalism) and his other famous lecture he delivered was in Press Club of Shah Pur Chakar, District Sanghar.
Despite having a foreign degree in Philosophy Sindh University never confirmed him a full-fledged lecturer, he worked on contract on salary of $100 per month, he continued teaching because he loved it, it was his life, career, earning money, making material wealth was never his concern, a selfless person, we have not seen a person of his caliber and commitment in Sindh.
We will miss you my Dear Asim, and I am sure the folks who knew you and learned from you, will continue to lighten the minds of young people for a better future.