Sultan Ahmed was a true symbol of India’s composite culture who strived for the unity of secular forces in the country till his death, said Sharad Yadav
Special Correspondent | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — Prominent social, religious and political leaders have paid rich tributes to former union minister and Trinamool Congress MP Sultan Ahmed who passed away on September 4, 2017. At a condolence meeting held at the Constitution Club of India here on Tuesday, speakers described the late Sultan Ahmed as an embodiment of secular ethos and his death a great loss to the country.
Janata Dal (U) leader Sharad Yadav said Sultan Ahmed was a true symbol of India’s composite culture who strived for the unity of secular forces in the country till his death.
“Sultan Ahmed was a multi-faceted personality who was a popular leader and a prominent voice of secular India. His contribution to the welfare of the minority community will be remembered”.
He said India is passing through a very critical juncture of its history because of the ascendency of the communal forces and at this crucial juncture; we needed a secular leader like him. Lauding the efforts of West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Yadav said we are not concerned about the West Bengal but UP will be a challenge in the next general elections as to how to stop the communal forces?
Sharing his fond memories with Sultan Ahmed, Trinamul Congress leader in the Rajya Sabha and MP Derek O’Brien said Sultan Bhai was the true leader of poor and needy people who was always concerned for their welfare.
He was one the few leaders produced by West Bengal in the last 70 years that had made an impact and who was also equally popular in the non-political circles, O’Brien added.
I don’t want to make any political statement here but I am sorry to say that while we are paying homage to Sultan Bhai here, a raid is being conducted by the CBI at his home in Calcutta, he said.
Jamaat Islami Hind president Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari said he was well connected with the masses and had always shown concern for the community. He used to ask me what the suggestions for the betterment of the community are and to present them before the West Bengal government, Mauling Umari said.
In his homage, Navaid Hamid, president of the All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat, said his death is a great loss not only to the community but also to the country and it cannot be filled easily in near future. Hamid, who also conducted the proceedings, said Sultan Bhai had contributed in every field and was one of the founders of the TMC.
Senior NCP leader and MP Tariq Anwar said he had a long association with Sultan Ahmed since the days of the Youth Congress. He highlighted his contributions to the Muslim community through various social and charitable organizations.
Sultan Ahmed was a lover of football and the President of Paralympic Committee of India. Paying rich homage to him, Paralympics and Arjuna awardee Deepa Malik, who is India’s first woman athlete to win a medal at the Paralympic Games (in 2016), said because of his encouragement she made to the Indian contingent for Paralympic.
“He was a humble person who had gone out of his way as then president of the Paralympics Committee of India to encourage and support her and other athletes of the country’s contingent,” Deepa Malik said.
Other speakers highlighted Sultan Ahmed’s love for Urdu and sports and how he had played a key role last year in bringing Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali to Calcutta for a concert after his Mumbai show had to be canceled because of threats from the Shiv Sena.
Prof Abdul Haq, known as an authority on Allama Iqbal, said Sultan Ahmed was the true lover of Urdu and who had organized a grand function on Dr Iqbal in 2015. Sultan sahab had also invited to Calcutta Walled Irbil, grandson of Muhammad Irbil to the function, he said.
Kunwar Danish Ali, Kumari Selja, Nadimul Haque (MP), former UP minister Azam Khan and Kamal Farooqui, among other prominent community and political leaders also spoke on the occasion.
Sultan Ahmed had cut his teeth in politics in the early 1970s as a member of the Congress’s student wing. At the peak of his political career, he had served as Union minister of state for tourism in the first UPA government under Dr Manmohan Singh. Sultan Ahmed was also Vice Chairman Hajj Committee of India, President of the Mohamed Sporting Club Kolkata, and Member Working Committee of Cricket Association of West Bengal.
It is alleged that he died due to the stress after the ED and CBI started questioning him in the alleged Narada sting footage case.