By Professor Dr Fazal Ghani
We recently heard about the sad demise of Professor Bashir Ahmad Yazdanie. A condolence meeting was held at Peshawar Dental College (PDC) to offer “Dua e Maghferat” for him and to highlight his professional life.
The Dean PG Dental Studies, Principal PDC, all senior faculty members, teaching staff, postgraduate students and senior BDS students at the Peshawar Dental College attended the meeting. The Dean, Principal, all senior faculty members, teachers and students at the Peshawar Dental College offered blessings to his soul and prayed for the bereaved family members to have strength to bear the enormous loss (Aameen).Professor Dr. Fazal Ghani, Department of Prosthodontics and Dean Postgraduate Dental Studies and Coordinator International at PDC Peshawar also narrated a brief citation related to Professor Dr. B.A. Yazdanie as:
“Prosthodontists are the scientists and artists that give people new quality of life by restoring their masticatory function, pleasing esthetics, acceptable appearance, intelligible speech, confidence and ensuring their social re-integration. I have received many letters of appreciation from my patients with oro-dental & maxillofacial prosthetic appliances which have improved their Quality of Life and have boosted their morale & confidence. “By the grace of Almighty Allah, in this country, I am the senior most Prosthodontics Teacher & Specialist. AND as such; I have seen dentistry blossomed & flourished from infancy to the present day status which is comparable to international standards”. These were the common phrases we often heard from our most beloved Professor Bashir Ahmad Yazdanie (1923 – 2015).
Professor Dr. B.A. Yazdanie was born in the city of Jalundher (India) on 01 March 1923. He got his early schooling in the cities of Attock & Sialkot. Then he took dentistry on the advice of his father and did his BDS from De’Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore (Pakistan) in 1945. He then started private dental practice in Sialkot before moving to Lahore in 1947. Subsequently, he started his long-lasting teaching career in the specialty of prosthodontics by holding various teaching positions including; Assistant Demonstrator, Demonstrator, Assistant Professor till he was elevated to the position of full Professor of Prosthodontics in 1969. He worked at this position till his retirement in 1983 from De’Montmorency College of Dentistry Lahore. He has the credit of training hundreds of BDS students who are spread globally. He is remembered with fond memories and was regarded as a person immensely liked, loved & respected by all.
Prof. Dr. B.A Yazdanie had several academic distinctions to his credit. He had been the recipient of most prestigious award of the Nuffield Foundation Fellowship (UK) in 1958. He completed his advanced education in Prosthodontics from London University (UK). He was also awarded WHO Fellowship for studies in Denmark in 1969. He was the Life Member of the Pakistan Prosthodontics Association (PPA) and the Founder Patron of the First International Conference the PPA that was held in Lahore in 2012 with his daughter Professor Nazia Yazdanie as the Founder President of the PPA. The PPA, in recognition of his life-long commitment to the specialty conferred on Professor Dr. BA Yazdanie “Life-Time Achievement Award”. This award was given to him by his daughter Professor Nazia Yazdanie who was then the Chairman Organizing Committee of the PPA Conference 2012 and the Founder President of the PPA.
After Retirement, he established two private dental colleges named as; Fatima Jinnah Dental College Karachi in 1995 and Fatima Memorial Dental College & Hospital in 2000. He remained Professor Emeritus in these institutions. Professor BA Yazdanie will always be remembered as dedicated teacher who excelled in teaching of both the clinical practice & dental technology and as a person with excellent clinical diagnostic acumen. He never felt tired in explaining, anywhere & to anyone, how to best provide excellent prostheses to patients. He loved his profession and thus practiced dentistry till his very last active days.
Whenever, I met him, I learnt tremendously from him. Thus the Japanese proverb: “Better than 1000-days of diligent study is the one day with a great teacher” hold very true for Professor BA Yazdanie. He would always make his students to think and thus very much followed the Socrates philosophical wisdom and saying; “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think”. He acted as a role model in making good doctors. He believed in quality rather than quantity and very much believed in the kind of medical education that could establish a friendship relationship rather than facilitating an industry like mass production of doctors. He always advised medical teachers to be “Great Teacher”, and to not only be the benefactors of their students & communities, but to also be the benefactors of humanity and that every medical teacher should see the obvious positive effect of their “Great Teaching” as a “Great Health-Care” delivered by “Great Doctors” who are trained by “Great Medical Teachers” known as the “Great Faculty” of “Great Medical Institutions.
The teachers, Dean and Principal Peshawar Dental College not only admired his services to the profession but they also felt that the gap created by this loss will take long time to fill. All of us will remember Professor Dr. B A Yazdanie’s as the most humble, humane and noble person who had a glorious legendary era of service to the humanity. We wish and pray that his characteristics and qualities are adopted by all dental professionals and continue his legacy. We all here at the PDC solidly believe that he practically followed and implemented the theme in this Hadith in Abu-Dawood; “Khair-un-Naas Man-Yanfa-un-Naas” meaning that “The Best Mankind is The One With The Most Benefit to Mankind”.
Professor Bashir Ahmad Yazdanie will be sorely missed by his wife, five children (4 Daughters & 1 Son), 12 Grandchildren, nine Great Grandchildren and Hundreds of His Students, Prosthodontists & Thousands of His Patients. The reason for living so long (93 years age) and remaining so competent active clinician was surely a gift from Almighty Allah but all this was also because he truly believed in family values with the company of all his family members including his great grandchildren was always available to him. He thus never felt lonely and deprived of the care he deserved till the last sigh.