PROF R. A. KHAN In the worlds broad field of battle, In the bivouac of life, Be not like dumb driven cattle, Be a hero in the strife. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, A psalm of life Who was Muhammad Rafi Butt? What is his claim to fame? Even if we discount all other dimensions of his brilliant career, we would find it hard to overlook his profound loyalty to the Quaid, his economic vision of Pakistan, and his share in the Pakistan Movement under Jinnahs electrifying leadership. An enterprising industrialist of his time, Rafi Butt was also a staunch supporter of Muslim League, and an eminent social figure. Rafi came into contact with the Quaid in the early forties. He immediately outlined his vision to the great leader for the uplift of the Muslims, rapid industrialisation of Pakistan areas, and establishment of a modern progressive state. Rafi remained an ardent disciple of the Quaid till the very end. He was, however, not destined to live long and died in an air crash. Although Rafi was only 39, but within the short spell granted to him on earth he compressed the energies of a lifetime and left an indelible mark on the turbulent history of Pakistan. Mere longevity, says Gabriel Heather, is a good thing for those who watch life from the sidelines. For those who play the game, an hour may be a year; a single days work an achievement for eternity. So, Rafi was not a man to watch life from the sidelines. He played the game and played it well. Rafi was just 16 when he had to assume the reins of his fathers business. Although the Hindus held a monopoly in trade and industry in those days, yet he broke all barriers by dint of hard work, grit and shrewd business sense. He became a business tycoon by the age of 24. Rafi was well aware of the British psyche and their deep-seated prejudice against the Muslims. To him, industrial development was a sine qua non for the newly emerging State of Pakistan. His speeches and statements testify his passion to strengthen the economic and industrial base of Pakistan. After the attainment of the cherished goal of Pakistan, he said, we should devote more of our energy and time to solve our economic problems, rather than indulge in power politics. We should follow the American motto of producing more things for more people.this is how we can raise the standard of the common man. These words uttered 62 years ago are still relevant and apply with uncanny urgency to our present situation. Power politics has, indeed, deflected us from the huge challenges facing the nation. Rafi combined travel with serious pursuit. In 1936, he left England for advanced studies in steel industry at Cannings Chrome and Chemical Factory in Birmingham. On return, he built a new factory on Ferozepur Road, Lahore, which was considered one of the most modern and well equipped of its kind in the subcontinent. The factory was visited by the Quaid in 1942. In the winter of 1945-46, he left for the US to study how that country had acquired its position as the industrial leader of the world. On return, he said: Let the Muslims of India, prepare themselves to take their proper place in the economic reconstruction of the country. If they do not wake up now, they will miss the bus again. Rafi was a man teeming with ideas and he also had the talent to turn them into reality. He offered the Quaid timely suggestions on many issues of national importance. Are such examples of devotion and uprightness anywhere in evidence today? Rafi Butts unflinching faith in the leadership of the Quaid, his pioneering role as an industrialist, his perseverance in the face of hardship will not be forgotten and go down in the annals of our freedom movement. As an act of devotion, Rafis son, Imtiaz Rafi Butt, a well known estate developer and Consul for Malaysia in Lahore, founded the Jinnah-Rafi Foundation to promote the ideals that were so dear to the Quaid and Rafi Butt. With his one act he joined the memory of his father and also of Quaid-i-Azam and hence paid tribute to both. (M. Rafi Butts death anniversary falls in November) The writer is a freelance columnist.