IOS on-line Condolence Meet on Ahmad Patel, Dr. Kalbe Sadiq, Prof. A.R. Momin
New Delhi: An on-line condolence meeting was organised by the Institute of Objective Studies here on December 3, 2020 to pay tribute to prominent Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ahmad Patel; vice-president of All India Muslim Personal Law Board and founder member of the All India Milli Council, Dr Syed Kalbe Sadiq, and Prof. AR Momin, ex-professor of sociology, Bombay University, member of general assembly, IOS and editor of the IOS Minaret. They passed away recently.
The meeting was preceded by the recitation of a Quranic verse by Hafiz Athar Husain Nadwi. Sheikh Nizamuddin, member, general assembly, IOS, briefly spoke about all of them and observed that the void created by their death in the community was difficult to fill.
Faisal Patel, son of the late Ahmad Patel and managing trustee of AP Foundation, while speaking about his father, said that he shared the grief with everyone who knew him. He had a unique relationship with his father. His father was pious and religious, and led a simple life. He did a lot for the educational development of the community in Gujarat.
Former Union minister K Rahman Khan held that Ahmad Patel had a unique personality, which was rare among politicians. He said that he did not come across a person with humility like him in the past 60 years of his public life. He strictly followed sunnah in his life. He had a charismatic and loving personality and whosoever came into contact with him became his admirer.
Rahman Khan said that he never saw him asking for anything from society, party, community or government in return. Recognising his services to society, The Indian Express once described him as a “political fakir”. He was a silent social worker who had a sincere concern for the uplift of Muslim community. While praying for his place in Jannah, he called upon his son to fulfill the mission left by his father.
Senior journalist and chief editor of Chauthi Duniya, Santosh Bhartiya, described Ahmad Patel as an unassuming leader who patiently listened to everyone who came to him. He never denied an audience even to his detractors who were mostly from his home state, Gujarat. He was soft-spoken and suave and nobody ever saw him express anger. He never disappointed anyone who visited him for help. He said that not many people knew that Ahmad Patel acted behind the scene and solved many tricky issues with the sharpness of mind and personal-level equation within and outside the Congress party.
Several crises facing the party blew over due to his intervention. He was down to earth, loyal to the party and changed the course of history in the country with his acumen. With his passing away, desolation descended over the country. Mr. Bharitya said that he planned a book on Ahmad Patel in which several aspects of his life and work would be mentioned. He also urged the IOS chairman to bring out book on Ahmad Patel in which 100 important persons closely associated with him should be asked to share their memories.
Najmul Hasan Rizvi, vice-chairman of Tauhidul Muslimeen Trust, Lucknow, and son-in-law of Dr Syed Kalbe Sadiq, described the condolence meet as a great gesture to the bereaved families. While condoling the death of Ahmad Patel and Prof. AR Momin, he said that both of them carried deen and duniya together. Prof. Momin occupied a prominent place in an institution in Mumbai. Mr. Rizvi said that he was a part of Dr Sadiq’s extended family. Dr. Sadiq was associated with so many people and educational as well as philanthropic institutions.
He observed that Dr Sadiq always laid emphasis on discipline and education. He was of the opinion that education was a tool to eradicate poverty and help root out corruption. He always helped the under privileged irrespective of their caste or creed.
Director, University School of Law and Legal Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi and vice-chairman, IOS, Prof. Afzal Wani, described Ahmad Patel as a seasoned politician who carved out a niche for himself. Prof. AR Momin was a brilliant academic and scholar. Sociology, which he taught at Bombay University, was an emerging discipline. He used to speak of equalisation in his lectures. He said that he met Dr. Sadiq at AMU, Aligarh several times. He was well versed in religion as also science and technology. He gave much value to education.
Paying his tribute to Ahmad Patel, he said that he was a talented politician and his death caused a vacuum in politics. All three were big personalities, he said. He prayed for long life to those who had a long association with the IOS.
Finance secretary, IOS, Prof. Ishtiyaque Danish, pointed out that Ahmad Patel had a versatile personality. He was a prominent leader of the Congress party and acted as an important link between party and the government. Despite enjoying great clout in the party, he never held a press conference, nor did he grant an interview to a newspaper. His importance as a politician could be understood by the fact that his entry into the Rajya Sabha was soughed to be blocked by the RSS and the BJP, though unsuccessfully.
Recalling the valuable services of Dr. Kalbe Sadiq who played an important role in Shia-Sunni amity, he said that his efforts bore fruit as no conflict between the two sects took place for a long time. He remarked that though the differences between Shias and Sunnis could be seen in historical perspective, they were not irresolvable.
Dr. Sadiq was also an institution builder and believed that educational empowerment of Muslims was key to their success. Social service was his passion which made no difference between caste and community. In reference to Prof. AR Momin, he said that as a member of the governing council of the IOS he contributed a lot to its development.
He had a deep insight into the current political situation in the country and used to comment on it in newspapers, including The Times of India. He explained multi-cultural Europe in Islamic perspective. He had a deep understanding of Indian federalism which was expressed in his writings. He was gifted with extra ordinary style of expressing his ideas. His book Islam and Promotion of Knowledge published by the IOS, was considered to be a masterpiece, Prof. Danish concluded.
Senior journalist and Delhi-based representative of Voice of America (Urdu service) Suhail Anjum remembered the services of Dr Kalbe Sadiq in bringing Shias and Sunnis together. He was of the opinion that it was neither Allah nor the Prophet (PBUH), but Satan who made the two sects fights with each other. Speaking about Ahamd Patel, he said that nobody knew about his family and its business. It was only after his son Faisal’s announcement of his father’s death that the people came to know about his passing away.
Ahmad Patel was deeply religious and performed his job without making a fuss about it. He suggested that a book in his memory should be prepared.
Business journalist-researcher-writer-filmmaker Raju Mansukhani, observed that being actively associated with the IOS, he had an opportunity to work with Prof. AR Momin during the 10th anniversary celebrations of the institute. He had an illustrious academic career and worked at a prestigious university in Vienna. He was a giver and gave much to society, Mansukhani remarked.
Former professor of geography in Jamia Millia Islamia and assistant secretary general, IOS, Prof. Haseena Hashia, described Prof. AR Momin as a renowned sociologist and anthropologist. Paying her tribute to Dr. Kalbe Sadiq, she said that he was an educationist and a social reformer. He did a lot for the community’s educational and social empowerment by establishing a number of educational and charitable institutions. He was a true symbol of Shia-Sunni unity.
Referring to Ahmad Patel, she said that he was a bridge between Indian Muslims and the Indian National Congress. He was an astute politician and a power centre in the Congress party, she added.
Secretary General, IOS, Prof. ZM Khan said that he had a long association with Prof. AR Momin. Besides being a researcher, he was a fine human being. Commenting on Ahmad Patel, he observed that he was a good communicator. He had the opportunity to visit him several times along with the IOS chairman. He was against the CAA. The unfinished work left by him should be completed, he remarked.
Chairman IOS Dr. M Manzoor Alam held that all the three personalities left for their heavenly abode to meet their Master, the Almighty Allah. The common thread that ran through the lives of all the three was their mastery over the field they worked in. While Dr. Kalbe Sadiq worked for the well-being of humanity by promoting inter-community unity and amity, Prof. AR Momin did everything possible for the enrichment of knowledge. Prof. Momin used to say that the solution to all problems lay in knowledge. He was not socialising type and restricted himself to meetings attended by scholars.
Referring to his association with Ahmad Patel, he said that the latter was pious and God-fearing. He was unique in the sense that he used to help people in need without bragging. His love for knowledge could be illustrated by the fact that he used to say that something tangible should be done to promote knowledge.
He assured the participants that the suggestion of Mr. Bhartiya would be placed before the IOS general assembly meet for a decision. While stressing the need for a book on all the three personalities, he sought the cooperation of the family of Ahmad Patel and Santosh Bhartiya. He said that the new generation would take an inspiration from the proposed book. He exhorted the younger generation to fill the vacuum created by the departure of older ones.
Presiding over the condolence meet, vice-chancellor Maulana Azad University Jodhpur, Prof. Akhtarul Wasey, observed that Ahmad Patel entered parliament as an MP for the first time in 1977. He was like a sufi who spent sleepless nights to help others in need without having regard to caste and creed. He was a Congress pointsman who always played the role of a saviour for the party. He never misused his position to promote his family.
Tracing his association with Dr. Kalbe Sadiq, he said that he met him for the first time in Aligarh Muslim University. He was a symbol of humility, but very forthright in calling a spade a spade. He stood for Shia-Sunni unity and his efforts in that direction continued till his death. He was so popular among the two sects of Islam that both Shias and Sunnis of Lucknow offered his funeral prayers.
Recalling the contribution of Prof. AR Momin, he said that his work was of extra-ordinary nature. He urged the IOS to consider publishing a monograph on him so that budding scholars emulated him. He also supported Mr. Bhartiya’s suggestion to publish a book on Ahmad Patel.
At the end, the IOS Chairman led a dua for the departed souls.