RIP Asim Butt (1978-2010)

Posted on January 15, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Art & Literature, People
17 Comments
Total Views: 37261

Adil Najam

I did not know Asim Butt.

Except through the excellent review of his art done by Raza Rumi and carried by us at ATP in July 2008, and through the ‘Eject’ sign graffiti that because popular in many civil society circles during the last days of Gen Musharraf’s government. But hearing today that he has died in what may be a suicide has left me down and dejected.

It is partly because a person of such obvious talent and great potential, someone with a strong political conscience and a desire and the ability to act on that conscience, and someone so young (“in the prime of his life” as we Pakistanis say) is no more. But it is also the way he has departed. Or chosen to depart. All death leaves one speechless for a minute. Suicide leaves one even more dumbstruck.

If it was a case of suicide, I do not know why he would do so. Frankly, I am not very eager to find out either. I have no interest in the morbid voyerism of digging into potentially scandalous stories that lurk in the shadows of human tragedy.

I just know that a young man who could have done so much and had real impact, has chosen to end his life.

That, I know, is a tragedy. A tragedy not only for the family and friends of Asim Butt – to whom we offer our condolences and prayers of strength in this time of trial. It is a tragedy, also, for all of us.

How can the needless loss of a 31 year old man not be a tragedy? No matter who the person was and no matter what the circumstances.



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P.S. A wonderful tribute to the activism of Asim Butt has also been written by Teeth Maestro at his blog (here).

17 responses to “RIP Asim Butt (1978-2010)”

  1. Humaira says:

    Thank you for a kind and caring post. Thank you also for the sensitivity of with which you have written it.

    He led a short but purposeful life. Let us celebrate his life and achievements.

  2. ylh says:

    Are you sure you are not confusing Asim Butt the artist with Asim Butt the cricketer who died in November?

    Besides 2010 – 1967 = 43 not 31.

  3. AKS says:

    Hi Adil,

    Thank you for the post. We’re all just coming to term with Asim’s untimely demise and all we can say is that may his soul rest in peace. I fell in love with his work when I was still a teenager and over the years his work continued to grow on me. It is wonderful to see so many people speak affectionately about Asim and appreciate his immeasurable talent .

    The suddenness of his death has left us all shattered. His family and friends are still coming to terms with the shock his death has brought. Articles and posts that celebrate Asim’s work allow us to celebrate Asim’s life and all that he achieved in such a short time.

    As someone who grew up watching Asim paint and saw first hand the immense dedication Asim had for his work I can tell you Pakistan lost a great artist today.

    We will never forget you my friend, my brother.

    Please say a little prayer for him.

    Adil, if it is possible please amend the title of this post, it would be much appreciated if you didnt reference the nature of his death.

  4. Raheel says:

    Sad case. He was really talented. RIP!

  5. N.Saeed says:

    zindagi-ki-diary-what is the point of asking about his personal life?all you can do is pray for his soul

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