Sait Sahib: Thunderbolt for Minority’s Rights

Sayyed Shihab Thangal’s essay on the demise of Ibrahim Sulaiman Sait. Translated by Jaihoon

Ibrahim Sulaiman Sait had become popular in Indian politics for his purity in social life. A politician who upheld the high morals in life. He was different from rest of the politicians as he stood firm in his convictions. I have had the opportunity to associate with him for the last quarter century since my introduction to him almost four decades ago. Two decades of this period was of very close relationship.

Sait sahib was a parliamentarian during my return from Egypt after completing my studies in 1960. By then he was a leader of Muslim League at the national level and I could establish good ties with him. Later we met at different functions. He offered me strong support for me as I became president of Muslim League in 1975. He was then the All India president of the party. Kerala politics was passing through a very critical and complicated era in those days.

In 1977 as he ran for election from the Manjeri constituency, the frequency of our meetings increased and held frank discussions with each other deepening our relationship. Although he won with a super majority, his and CH Mohammed Koya’s victory was overshadowed by a High Court ruling. However, later the verdict turned in their favor and both returned victorious.Shiihab Thangal & Ibrahim Sulaiman Sait

In 1975 when my father PMSA Pookoya Thangal passed away, Sait sahib was in the forefront actively involved in every ritual, controlling the crowd and consoling the relatives.

Although the unfortunate differences which divided us in two different sides for past one decade, the relationship has been evergreen. He was a leader who captured the love of the people. He fought for the common rights of the community within and outside the Parliament. He was a thunderbolt against the sufferings of the minority be it in any part of the country who served as national president of the Muslim League for two decades.

He also became party’s general secretary along with Qaid-e-Millet Muhammad Ismail Sahib and Syed Abdur Rahman Bafaqi Thangal.

Muslim League organized the Muslims of post-partition India and united them under a single banner securing them a political future in the country. Sait Sahib traveled across the nation preaching this message of unity.

He succeeded in winning the hearts of league’s followers by his character filled with humility and love. Even while suffering from bad health, he rushed everywhere so as to not disappoint the followers. He delivered his speeches eloquently piercing each word into the heart of the listeners.

With his demise ends an eventful era. It was an exciting period for the minorities. Sait sahib spent the most of his life in the sphere of Muslim League. There are no words to describe the loss of such a well-wisher of minorities. I recall those bygone era and scenes of our friendship. The heart bleeds… and I share the pain of loss suffered by his relatives and friends. May Allah bestow blessings and forgiveness upon our dear Sait Sahib.

Originally published in Middle East Chandrika on April 28 2005.

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