2018 is turning out to be a year of losses. The year began with the departure of beloved television chef, Zubaida Tariq a.k.a Zubaida apa. This was closely followed by the demise of beloved veteran actor, Qazi Wajid sahib. On the same day Pakistan also lost one of its bravest daughters, human rights defender Asma Jahangir.
The country is once again in a state of mourning after the passing away of playwright, actor and director of social theater, Madeeha Gauhar. She left the mortal world today after battling cancer for the last three years.
Madeeha Gauhar was known for using theater as a medium to speak up against human rights violations and inspire behavioral and attitudinal change among the masses.
Gauhar founded the esteemed Ajoka Theater in 1984 and since then spearheaded dozens of powerful plays containing hard-hitting social messages. Female literacy, honour crime, health and family planning issues as well as the rights of young girls and women were among the most recurrent themes taken-up by Ajoka for production.
The news of Gauhar’s demise left many Pakistanis heartbroken who took to social media to mourn her loss.
Artist, activist, co-founder of #Ajoka Theatre Madeeha Gauhar is no more. Rest in peace dear friend. You will be sorely missed. So many memories.
“Life is but a day;
A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way
From a tree’s summit.” pic.twitter.com/rVIiCemp5x
— Raza Ahmad Rumi (@Razarumi) April 25, 2018
Madeeha Gauhar was a brave woman who used street theatre to highlight social & political issues I am proud to be part of her Ajoka Theatre during my students days from 1985 to 1987 we did street theatre during MRD movement in Lahore and many areas of Sindh pic.twitter.com/niTq9TjyBN
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) April 25, 2018
Adieu, Madeeha Gauhar!
— Kapil Dev (@KDSindhi) April 25, 2018
Sad news. Madeeha Gauhar an illustrious Pakistani, playwright, director of social theatre and women rights activist passed away after battling with deadly disease. What a powerful voice. May you RIP. #Madeeha
— Shujaat Bukhari (@bukharishujaat) April 25, 2018
Her fans and well-wishers were not restricted to Pakistan. She was equally admired in theater circles in India.
One of the most spirited women I have met, Pakistani playwright Madeeha Gauhar, who used theatre to resist violence and push for peace and change is no more. RIP https://t.co/XOzIBp55NL
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) April 25, 2018
You will be dearly missed, ma’am. Rest in eternal peace!