Tribute : Adhil Bakeer Markar | Sunday Observer

Tribute : Adhil Bakeer Markar

Four Bakeer Markar  brothers
Four Bakeer Markar brothers

According to Astrology, a child whose zodiac sign and planetary positions align perfectly is said to bring immense fame and glory to all those related to him. His reputation, virtuousness are a distinction to his forefathers and an honour to the future generation.

Adhil Bakeer Markar, whose 28th Birth Anniversary falls today (11), was the epitome of the highly principled, humane and well-respected Bakeer Markar generation. He was in the truest sense of the word, the quintessential young man. Blessed with multiple talents, his knowledge demonstrated a maturity far beyond his young age. He served as the Head of the International Division of the National Youth Council and together with his brother made a significant contribution to the Youth Parliament of the United Nations.

Adhil had the rare opportunity of winning a prestigious Chevening scholarship awarded to young men with the potential of becoming a future leader. Well versed in English, Sinhala and Tamil languages, Adhil like his father, was an eloquent speaker with excellent communication skills.

Every word he spoke was filled with love, care and compassion. He never lost his temper, anger and hatred were emotions unknown to him, he only knew how to love people. Conversations with him were such a pleasant experience because of the soothing effect his words had on others.

He always used friendly terms such as, ayya, malli, akka, nangi to address those around him. I vividly remember how resplendently smart he looked in the traditional Kandyan ‘Nilame’ attire when he was bestman at the wedding of the Chairman, National Youth Council, Attorney-at-Law, Eranda Weliange.

Everyone who congratulated the newly married couple also congratulated Adhil rather teasingly on his good looks. Though he was the butt of many a joke that day, Adhil just flashed his disarming smile. His knowledge on domestic as well as global politics was comprehensive.

Among his peers were children of contemporary world political leaders. But he saw no difference among such exalted company and the ordinary village youth.

He was willing to listen to all and sundry and ensured that no one was left unheard. Even at the busiest of times, Adhil, like his father, had at least a few minutes for everyone.

It is no secret that Senior Bakeer Markar endeared himself to anyone within a few minutes of meeting him for the first time, and it is no exaggeration to say that Adhil needed just a few seconds. Adhil was well aware that his father’s promising political career was cut short because of his unquestionable integrity and unshakable principles.

Rather than be in the shadow of his more illustrious father and grandfather, Adhil had the courage and was willing to accept the challenge of carving a niche for himself.

Many are the lessons to be learnt from Adhil, for the progeny of seasoned politicians intoxicated with power. When the shocking news of his demise was conveyed to us, we were in Shanghai, China, having breakfast.

It was the sombre looking Hon. Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya, a close associate of the Markar family who broke the tragic news. I personally knew of his deep attachment to Adhil.

Minister Gayantha Karunatilake, seated beside to us seemed shell shocked and took more than a few minutes to regain his composure. After a long silence he managed to say, “Minister Imthiyaz is such a sensitive person. If this is so shattering for us, how is he going to take this? I just can’t imagine.” We felt utterly helpless and saddened for not being able to be closer to the grieving Bakeer Markar family. We found some comfort recalling the boundless humility and humanity of Adhil and his father.

The following Sunday, at the burial grounds of Jawatta Mosque, Adhil who touched the lives of everyone he met, left us forever. Adhil means honesty, the word that symbolizes the Bakeer Markar family.

At the Jawatta burial grounds, I was in the company of Navaratne Gamage, Saman Wagaarachchi, Lal Hemantha Mawalage and several others and as we were talking about the promising career of Adhil so tragically cut short by his most untimely death, a question posed by emotionally charged Lal Ayya rendered me speechless. “Malli, when people want to pick flowers they choose the most beautiful, why does God also pick the most beautiful flower?” Adhil no doubt was the most beautiful flower of the Bakeer Markar family.

An enchantingly beautiful flower that was to bloom in the field of politics with the love of young men and women, the Muslim society and the people of all walks of life of the Kalutara district.

The fragrance of that flower will remain with us until we depart from this world. Dear Adhil, with that glint in your eyes and radiant smile you will live in our memory forever.

- Chaminda Gamage
(Media Secretary of the Speaker.)