Syed Shahabuddin, who died today at a hospital in Noida on Saturday morning due to prolong illness, was buried Punjpeeran graveyard in Nizamuddin. A large number of people, including journalists, Vice President of India, activists and religious leaders, turned up to pay their last respect to former diplomat and former Indian Foreign Services (IFS) officer and ex-president of Muslim umbrella organization Okhla-headquartered Mushawarat.
Syed Shahabuddin was born in November 4, 1935 in Ranchi.
He is survived by his wife and four daughters, including Parveen Amanullah, activist-turned-politician. His one son Nayyar Pervez, was found dead in mysterious conditions in a hotel room in the United States, where he was working as a professor in Columbia University, reported TOI in 2005.
His leading role in the Babri Mosque movement catapulted him into stardom among the Muslims who lovingly used to call him Shahabu babu. They looked at him as a fearless voice of the Muslim. However, the demolition of Babri mosque and what happened after that disillusioned many with some Muslims starting thinking that giving such hype to movement from Muslim side was not required. And with Insaaf party miserably failing, Syed Shahabuddin’s aura diminished.
All told, the community never contested his oratory and writing skills as his columns in national dailies years ago were well received.
As a diplomat, he lobbied for the creation of Bangladesh and rallied support in Latin America — where he was posted at that time — for Indian intervention in the affair, reported India Today.
Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari, who was present at the graveyard, condoled his death.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the demise of renowned political leader, scholar, diplomat and former Parliamentarian Shri Syed Shahabuddin. Syed Shahabuddin was a friend and his passing away is a personal loss. A man of deep convictions, he pursued issues that were dear to him with great tenacity and determination. He will be remembered for his tireless work towards a more inclusive, less corrupt democracy in India. I convey my sincere condolences to the bereaved members of the family and join the nation in praying for eternal peace for the departed soul,” he said in a message.
Najma Heptulla tweeted: “My condolence to the family of Syed Shahabuddin Saheb IFS and Ex-MP. May his soul rest in peace.”
Asaduddin Owaisi termed his death as great loss to nation and Muslim minorities in particular.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy tweeted: “Sorrow at my dear friend Syed Shahabuddin’s death this morning. He sacrificed a flourishing IFS career to enter politics. Giant intellectual.”