New Delhi— Syed Shahabuddin an outstanding Indian Muslim’s voice took his last breath today morning at a hospital in Noida. The diplomat-turned-politician Syed Shahabuddin died at the age of 82. He was the leader of the Babri Masjid Action Committee and a vociferous voice of Babri Masjid demolition and Shah Bano case.
He was born in 1935 at Ranchi and received his education at Gaya, Ranchi and Patna. He had a brilliant academic career. He received gold medals from Matriculation examination in 1950 to M.Sc. 1956 and Bachelor of Law. He started his professional career as a teacher of Physics in 1956 at Patna University. He joined Indian Foreign Service in 1958 and served in various capacities from vice-consul to the Ambassador. He took voluntary retirement from the IFS in the year 1978 to enter public life and joined the national politics. He was nominated as a Permanent Invitee to the Janata Party’s National Executive body. Shahabuddin served as a Parliamentarian in 1979-84, 1985-89 and 1991-96. In 1989, he floated its own political outfit “Insaf Party”, which was dissolved after the formation of Janta Dal.
He edited a monthly research journal entitled “Muslim India” from 1983 to 2002 and again from July 2006 till 2009. He wrote numerous articles on the issues pertaining to the Muslim issues and current affairs in various national and international periodicals.
A successful diplomat and a parliamentarian Syed Shabuddin was associated with various Muslim’s organisations. He revamped All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), a Muslim advocacy group to raise the voice of Muslims and served the body as working president from 1981 to 1990. He gave his contribution to the Aligarh Muslim University, Hajj Committee of India, Dargah Khwaja Saheb Committee and other organisations in various capacities.
Shahabuddin was criticized for writing an open letter to the then Gujarat’s Chief Minister Narendra Modi in 1992, in which he demanded a public apology for the infamous Muslim’s Massacre of 2002.
He also questioned the Shahi Imam Ahmad Bukhari’s move to anoint son as his successor.