Zauq-e-Aagahi, Quresh Pur and PTV’s role in Inspiring a Generation of Knowledge Seekers

Once upon a time on PTV we used to have quiz competitions of the highest order. I grew up with many such programs that made me look up to the contestants as the wizards of knowledge. Unfortunately today on TV we find nothing except crass, gross, coarse and vulgar competitions like programs where they are competing on everything except knowledge. These so called competitions have promoted lust for money and has encouraged people to perform any wild and vulgar act just to gain a gift for which begging and stooping low becomes the order of the day. They have any thing except inspiration for pursuit of knowledge.

I remember during my school days in 1960s-70s diligently following quiz and knowledge based competitions on our black and white TV while growing up in Islamabad. These programs encouraged me to be reflect and ponder on the knowledge prowess of the participants. I would often wonder whether I would ever be able to measure up to these wizards? Would I ever be able to reach their level of knowledge? We heard names of great personalities and great events in history and would make mental note of them and would take extra care to follow up on them later whenever we got the opportunity. 

As described below Zauq-e-Aagahi ran for several time later. I don’t think we have such programs anymore.  Here is the story of two extremely knowledgeable brothers from the PTV Quiz Competition Zauq e Aagahi whose compere and anchor-person was no other than the legendary Quraish Pur [1]. 
  • See a more detailed post on Kasauti where I first saw Quraish Pur. The famous series “Kasauti”, had a unique format with which people are engaged event today. I have successfully engaged my children during my long road trips using the format. What a wonderful exercise in logic and deduction. 
Back to Zauq-e-Aagahi. The following is a recollection of Ahmad Safi son of Ibn-e-Safi who was my batch mate (NED 1980-85):
آج ہم جماعت دوستوں سے اطلاع ملی کہ سترہ ستمبر کو جامعہ این ای ڈی کے مشہور طالبعلم اور ستر اور اسی کی دہائی کے کئی بڑے کوئز مقابلے جیتنے والے جناب یاسین گاڈت اللہ کو پیارے ہؤے۔انا للہ و انا الیہ راجعون
یاسین گاڈت اور متین گاڈت، دونوں برادران جامعہ این ای ڈی میں ہمارے سینئیر ہوا کرتے تھے۔ انتہائی ذہین اور کوئز مقابلوں کی جان۔
مجھے پی ٹی وی کا ایک پاکستان کوئز یاد ہے جس میں قریش پور صاحب کوئز ماسٹر تھے اور متین اور یاسین نے فائنل میں ٹائی کیا تھا۔۔ ناک آؤٹ راؤنڈ تھا اور دونوں جواب دیے جارہے تھے آخر کار ایک وقت آیا جب ایک بھائی قریش پور کے سوال کرنے کے بعد مسکراتے ہؤے انتظار کرتا رہا حتیٰ کہ گھنٹی بج گئی۔ دوسرا بھائی جیت گیا۔ مجھے یاد نہیں کہ متین تھا یا یاسین جس نے جواب نہیں دیا تھا اس سے قریش پور نے دو سوال اور پوچھے۔۔۔ آپ کو جواب آتا تھا نا؟ وہ مسکرا دیا اور خاموش رہا۔۔۔ دوسرا سوال آپ چھوٹے ہیں یا بڑے۔۔۔ اس نے چھوٹا بھائی کہہ کر ہنسنا شروع کر دیا۔ میرا خیال ہے قریش پور مرحوم کو ایسا مقابلہ پھر دیکھنے کو نہ ملا ہو گا۔۔۔ اللہ یاسین گاڈت کو اپنی رحمت کے سائے میں رکھے آمین
The following is the recollection from the third position holder Syed Arif Mustafa and I am copying this from FB: 

یہ پروگرام جشن آزادی 14 اگست کے حوالے سے پی ٹی وی کا نیشنل نیٹ ورک پروگرام ذوق آگہی تھا اس کا ابتدائی مرحلہ پی ٹی وی کے ہر اسٹیشن پہ ہوتا تھا پھر گرینڈ فنالے اسلام آباد میں ہوتا تھا میں نے اس پروگرام میں تیسری پوزیشن لی تھی جبکہ اؤل دوم پہ یہی دو بھائی تھے ،،، میں نے کچھ عرصے بعد پہلے کراچی اسٹیشن پھر پنڈی اسٹیشن کے گرینڈ فنالے منعقدہ 12 اگست 1983 میں پہلی پوزیشن پائی تھی

Another former colleague of mine Professor Manzoor Khalidi (NED 1979-84) had the following rememberances about the two brothers: 

Yaseen was the younger brother. Both the brothers were senior to me [Manzoor Khalidi]; their eldest brother Aslam Gadit was my colleague at HBL. According to Aslam his father who was an international trader in plant and machinery said that all his 4 sons have become too educated and have lost the business acumen!

The last comment indicates the perennial trade off where quest of knowledge comes into a conflict for quest of money. The challenge had always been to go after the real purpose of knowledge which is to be able to differentiate between truth and falsehood, and also differentiate between good and bad.

The distinctive part of this quiz competition was that college and universities teams contested, and from them the winners were brought together at the city level and then at the national level. The national level competition was a treat to watch. It was such a great inspiration for all of us. May Allah enable us to go for the real knowledge that would enable us to live a happy and productive life that is a source of comfort to those around us and our community and humanity.


[1] Kasauti-fame TV host Quraishpur passes away

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