New Delhi: There is no doubt that Taslimuddin did extensive developmental work but the most remarkable work he did was that he upheld social harmony and spoke fearlessly against social and political injustice. These views were expressed by speakers at an obituary meeting organized to pay tribute to three prominent Muslim leaders – former Union Ministers and sitting Members of Parliament Mohammad Taslimuddin and Sultan Ahmed and, former Karnataka Cabinet Minister and sitting Gulbarga-North MLA Qamarul Islam – who died recently.

The programme, jointly organized by Muslim Political Council of India and Seemanchal Media Manch, was held on Saturday, 23 September 2017 at Hotel River View, Jamia Nagar.

Speaking on this occasion, Member of Parliament Maulana Mohammad Asrarul Haque Qasmi termed the passing away of the three leaders as a “national tragedy”.

He said that Taslimuddin began his political career as a Sarpanch, served the nation for about five decades and died as a Member of Parliament. His services for the development of Seemanchal are unforgettable.

Mentioning the overall condition of Muslims Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar Ansari said that the actual reason behind the backwardness of Muslims was the insensitivity of Muslim political leaders of higher stature.

He said that most leaders were bound by party considerations but Taslimuddin opposed his own party leaders.

He described the death of Taslimuddin, Sultan Ahmed and Qamrul Islam as loss of three sincere leaders.

Ansari further said, “Muslims need to forget sectarian and internal differences and also learn from other communities”.

A. Saeed, National President of Social Democratic Party of India, said that Muslim leadership had suffered three more losses and urged people to carry forward their unfinished work. We should take lessons from their long experiences and work for a better future.

Dr Shakeeluzzaman Ansari remembered them as “great politicians” of three different States from where they were elected and served the nation and the community for several decades. He also asked Muslims to stand with political leaders to fight for rights.

Dr Tasleem Ahmad Rahmani, president of MCPI and convener of the programme maintained that Taslimuddin, Sultan Ahmed and Qamarul Islam occupied prominent position among Muslim political figures of India and the void left by their demise would be hard to fill.

He further said that our leaders had fought for India’s freedom. Today again we need to fight for freedom from mental slavery and for safeguarding the country’s composite culture.

SDPI’s Vice President Advocate Sharfuddin Ahmad said, “Post-Partition Muslim leadership was suppressed and those who spoke about the welfare of Muslims were not liked”. This continues even today. Referring to the three leaders, Ahmad said that there was one thing common among them. “They were bold.”

Maulana Ataur Rahman Qasmi described Taslimuddin, the former Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, as a fearless leader who had to pay a heavy price for his truthfulness. Taslimuddin, Sultan Ahmed and Qamarul Islam figured among those leaders who encouraged people, he added.

Research scholar and member of Seemanchal Media Manch, Manzar Imam condemned the media’s poor coverage of news of demise of these and other leaders stating that even Urdu media had failed to highlight the services and achievements of these leaders who had considerable contribution to the uplift of Muslims.

He said that Taslimuddin was a true torch-bearer of Hindu-Muslim unity in whose presence people walked fearlessly and felt empowered. He enjoyed huge respect and love.

Attended by leaders, intellectuals and important personalities the programme was coordinated by Abdul Qaiyoom.