The writer’s art is to put his thoughts into words and to extend these thoughts to the wider population. Yet, there are very few of such writers, writers who could reach the altitudes of prophesying tribulations from a humanistic, social, academic and philosophical point of view — all in one stance in order to provide a holistic frame of reference to those who lack exposure, intuition, analytical abilities and courageous expression. Professor Waris Mir was such a contributor in the field of journalism. Using the past tense for a person of such an intellectual posture would be misleading. An intellectual whose writings are not merely writings of a particular era, but to a certain extent, prophecies and philosophical reflections, cannot belong to the past, especially when the issues he talked about are very much relevant in the present world. To make a pagan out of one’s profession is not a trait that can be attributed to many people. There are, but a very few in our society who reach the altitudes of perfection and idealism with both dignity and by adhering to their composure, commitment and principles. When this trait is adjoined with journalism, it means a completely rounded outlook towards expression, responsibility and character, which is easier said than done. Waris Mir spoke what the people of Pakistan needed to hear at the time. He related specific knowledge to the masses which was hidden from them because of the cowardice of the feeble men in the corridors of power Waris Mir, a professor at the Mass Communication Department of the Punjab University, Lahore although a beacon known and valued highly for his contribution to the field of journalism, has yet many facets to his professional personality that are worth idealization. To start with, Waris Mir, who breathed his last on July 9, 1987 at the young age of 48, was a Seer, who wrote not only for the generation that was reading his columns on multi-dimensional issues, but also for the posterity that was yet to open its eyes in this social setup. “While a writer is penning down his concerns, he is not only writing for that particular day or era — he is rather putting together pieces of history for the posterity. But in this age, when the journalist or writer is not ‘allowed’ to put into black and white what the truth is, what element of precision or accuracy is he going to secure through writings?…. with enchained expression, it is not only the voice of the writer that is muffled but of that entire generation…”, so wrote Waris Mir in one of his articles during Zia era in 1985. To be prophetic in the writings does require a brainy disposition. But more than that, it requires a holistic approach. Even more importantly, it requires a sincere heart that is not tilted towards a political party, a particular ruler or a specific desire. Being a prophetic contributor, Waris Mir had concerns for the masses in general. The concerns extend out to those who form the nation and the body of the country. Although being a teacher who wanted to educate the common person of the situations beyond comprehension, Mir was a devotee of true journalistic ideals and delivered the ends with sincere motives. Proud to call himself a “student with an open mind” and assertive to defy that he was working for particular and personal ideals, Waris Mir had amalgamated historical orientation, international references and national situations in order to talk about issues pertaining to various sectors. These included the political chaos in Pakistan, the repeated military intervention by power hungry generals, uneasy relationship between the country’s political and military leadership, ludicrous referendums of wannabe presidents-cum-army chiefs, formation of the so-called security councils, rigged polls, sham democracy, suspension of the constitution and the like. Probably, the tragedy of the situation is not that the writings of Prof. Waris Mir stopped to flow. The real tragedy is that despite having great connectivity to the present world, his writings are not available to the new generation. If Waris Mir were alive, he would have relived the very circumstances when still the military establishment wants to have an upper hand in national decision making instead of doing justice to their profession. His concerns for the posterity make him a timeless writer and it is only due to this characteristic of his writings that today, in the form of three volumes, Waris Mir ka Fikri Asasa (The intellectual assets of Waris Mir) is an excellent source of reference material for journalistic writings, intellectual inquisitions, historical references, national issues, political dilemmas, religious and cultural tribulations, scholarly ponderings and a perfect guideline for those who wish to practice journalism in its true sense. If today he lived physically, he would be satisfied with the fact that at least he did not “play with facts to misguide the new generation”. Waris Mir’s contribution to the society was not confined to his writings alone. Being a teacher and chairman of the Department of Journalism he also had a very benign and scholarly approach in his professional attitude. More than anything else, he was an educationist. He was a teacher in the true sense of the word who was concerned not only to become a voice for the people but also their educator. It was in this very process that Mir became a mentor and guide for those very people who read him, heard him and followed him. He was aware of the fact that he was addressing those problems and issues that were and still are the concern of the common man, be it democracy, justice, religion, the polity, freedom of speech and expression, gender discrimination, the army intervention into politics, debates related to the constitution issue, national and bilateral problems, international disputes and so much more that still persists. It is this perennial aspect of his writings that keep him significant today. The dilemma that Mir faced in his journalistic life was the undue, unacademic and unscholarly reaction from the pseudo-intellectuals of our society who could not get themselves out of the cliché labels. For these ‘critics’, it was indigestible to think that a man of courage and philosophical ponderings could also come up with original ideas that were not motivated by politics or a yearning for attention. Waris Mir spoke what the people of Pakistan needed to hear at the time. He related specific knowledge to the masses which was hidden from them because of the cowardice of the feeble men in the corridors of power. Though he is no more, those who have been following his writings may wonder what happened to the causes he championed. Today, the problems he wrote about persist, sadly we have few, if any, people to bring attention to them as vigorously as Prof Waris Mir. The writer is a Executive Content Writer for electronic media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, July 9th 2018.