“He will be dearly missed.” Tributes pour in for Sayed Hyderali Shihab Thangal

The death of Panakkad Sayed Hyderali Shihab Thangal, national chairman and Kerala state president of the Indian Union Muslim League, at the age of 74 has left political and religious leaders in mourning.

Thangal who died on Sunday after fighting cancer for over a year was one of the tallest Muslim leaders in Kerala.

Chief Minister Pinarai Vijayan said, “Hyder Ali Thangal was a calm personality in Kerala politics. He worked for communal harmony. Irrespective of political differences, he maintained good relationship with all. Apart from politics he led many other charity and educational institutions. My heartfelt condolences to his family and all who are in deep pain over his demise.”

“The demise of the IUML leader is really painful. I have a close relationship with the Panakkad family. After Pookoya Thangal, I had a very good relationship with Shihab Thangal and later with Hyder Ali  Thangal. He was a sincere and powerful leader. The family stood firmly in support of the unity and integrity of the Muslim community in Kerala. He also worked hard for communal harmony in Kerala,” AK Antony, Congress veteran leader, and former defense minister said.

“He was a strong secular voice of the UDF, supporting brotherhood, respect & progress for all. He will be dearly missed,” tweeted former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

“Immense loss not just for IUML but for all of us. His contributions to Muslim political empowerment cannot be minimised,” said AIMIM chief and MP Asaduddin Owaisi.

T, Arifali, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind general secretary, tweeted: “The Kerala Muslim Community has today lost one of its prominent and outstanding leaders with the demise of Janab Hyderali Shihab Thangal, State President of IUML. He was the harbinger of humanity and brotherhood.”

According to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, Thangal was “a diminutive giant of Kerala politics.”

“His love is forever carried in our memories,” tweeted Dr. Kafeel Khan.

“He was an extremely humble person, I had close interaction with him for the past few years. It’s a personal loss for me,” said senior Congress leader and former Jammu and Kashmir CM Ghulam Nabi Azad. “His contributions for the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden will always be remembered,” tweeted Azad.

“That humble smile that comforted the poor and hapless will no longer be there with us,” tweeted Popular Front of India chairman OMA Salam.

“He was a leader accessible to the thousands of ordinary Keralites without any intermediaries. He was part of their everyday life and he guided them on their individual, spiritual and communal issues!,” historian Mahmood Kooria tweeted.

Kooria went on to say: “Above all the political and spiritual mantles he inherited, he supported the education of hundreds of Mappila students both personally and as a head of several academic institutions in and around Malabar. His guidance and leadership will be truly missed!”

Former BJP leader and current Goa Governor P.S Sreedharan Pillai tweeted: “I am deeply saddened and mourn the loss of Panakkad Sayed Hyderali Shihab Thangal, a leader who made great contributions to the country in the political and spiritual fields.”