Rich tributes were paid to the late BM Kutty, a scholar, political activist, author of many books and former joint director of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), at a webinar on his first death anniversary on Tuesday.
Senior economist Dr Kaiser Bengali, labour leader Haibubuddin Junaidi, Women Action Forum central and former National Commission for Human Rights members Anis Haroon, Director Aurat Foundation Mahnaz Rahman, Executive Director PILER Karamat Ali, Muhammad Usman of the IUF, senior researcher Iffat Ara, and BM Kutty’s former colleagues Zulfiqar Shah, Sharafat Ali, Sohnia, Abida Ali, Shujauddin Qureshi and Quratulain spoke on the occasion and eulogized the services of Kutty.
Dr Bengali said Kutty was a politically strong worker and his ideology about people’s struggle and democracy was very clear. “We will have to celebrate his political struggle,” he added. He recalled that Kutty had worked with veteran Balochistan politician Mir Ghaus Bukhsh Bizenjo and served as his private secretary when the latter was appointed governor of that province.
Kutty went to jail along with Bizenjo when his government was dismissed. Anis Haroon underlined the need for a joint struggle by all political forces for strengthening democracy and resolving people’s problems. She said there was an atmosphere of political suffocation and fear, and even political workers were reluctant to take to the streets against injustices and extrajudicial killings.
She asked the political leaders to learn from the legacy of political activists like the late Kutty Sahib. Mahnaz Rahman recalled that Kutty struggled for the rights of the downtrodden sections of the society. Habibuddin Junaidi said that while working for PILER, Kutty kept the workers’ rights a priority, took active part in politics and struggled for the restoration of democracy in Pakistan.