'With Hyderali Shihab Thangal's demise, we have lost an advocate of religious harmony'

P K Kunhalikutty
IUML General Secretary P K Kunhalikutty. File photo

PK Kunhalikutty, the Vengara MLA and the National General Secretary of the Indian Union Muslim League, here pays tribute to the party's Kerala chief Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal, 74, who passed away on Sunday.

All of us used to address Hyderali Shihab Thangal as "Attapoovu", which means an enchanting flower. Now, we have lost a lovable leader who literally led a life true to the spirit of this epithet.

Though Thangal held many high positions and mediated many disputes, he remained non-controversial and revered by all throughout his life, never entering into any kind of controversies or factional bouts. This is a unique honour that no other leading social or political leader can claim. In the conciliation meetings chaired by him, even those who got a raw deal used to accept the conditions by saying that we are agreeing to it solely because Thangal has said it.

He toiled hard to promote unity in the Muslim community.

The party registered many colourful victories after he became the Muslim League's Malappuram district president and later the Kerala State president.

With his demise, we have lost a real messenger of religious harmony.

The influence wielded by the Panakkad Syed family in Kerala society has been deep-rooted.

People mooted the name of Hyderali Shihab Thangal in a single voice when we were pondering over ways to overcome the void caused due to the demise of Syed Mohammed Ali Shihab Thangal, the former IUML State president.

Now, we have lost a leading light who showed us the path of goodness.  Personally, I lost an elder brother who gave me a lot of care and affection.

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