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In Memories (English)
Unending Memories
By E. Ahamed
What was the distinctive character in the personality of Sayyid Muhammadali Shihab Thangal, who stimulated me with love and concerns from the first sight till the last breath? A leader, who gave us guidance and tranquility in each junctures of the life. A colleague and a collaborator who influenced our hearts in the same wavelengths. Sometimes I have been thought that how others would think about Shihab Thangal.

Just after his demise, there were numerous articles and editorials in English and Malayalam newspapers expressing the condolence and respect to him. Every newspaper expressed the deep homage in his demise. The editorial of Indian Express on 3rd August, 2009 really touched my heart.

The editorial was very attractive and so striking. Its heading indicated its content: ‘The Last Prophet of the Secular Politics’. There were some enshortened words in the editorial: ‘’the modest, quiet and intellectual Panakkad Muhammadali Shihab Thangal’’. I phoned Mr. Sudarshan, my friend and Indian Express’s editor at Chennai, to inform my and my colleagues’ acknowledgment. Sudarshan told me that the editorial was written by Mr. Manoj K Das from the Cochin Unit. Then itself I called Manoj K Das to appreciate and inform our thanks for writing a heart-touching editorial about our beloved Shihab Thangal. The words of Mr. Manoj Das really astonished me: ‘I haven’t seen him and talked with him up to now. Even then, I was observing the words and activities of Shihab Thangal for years.’’ The whole country read this years-long observation, as an opinion of Indian Express.

How many people might have kept a metaphysical close-relationship with Shihab Thangal without his knowledge like this!! The expressions and words of M.T. Vasudevan Nayar, T. Padmanabhan, Yusufali Kecheri, M.G.S. Narayanan, Sukumar Azheekkod, and V.R. Krishnayyar about Shihab Thangal show the reasons and causes of the popularity of Shihab Thangal.

The heartily relationship that he kept with others, is something inexpressible through words. The thousands and lakhs of people who rushed to Panakkad and Malappuram, after his demise explain their indefinable connection with him. He became a respected personality, even to the people who were politically opposing. He was there in the minds of people beyond the barriers of politics and community. There is no word to express this hearty relationship. Hearing the news of his demise, we saw the wide silence of even one who hasn’t seen Thangal once in his life.

I have a connection with the ‘pilgrimage place’ of Kodappanakkal Tharavadu from the early days of my social and political activities. Even now I feel the hearty pat of Pookkoya Thangal in my forehead. The Party appointed me to go with Pookkoya Thangal in some Party-centers, during the parlimentary contest of Qaed-i-Millath Ismaeel Sahib in Manjeri in 1962. It was very exciting to see the respect that people gave him. They reached collectively in all centers to listen to his words. That was my first trip to the hilly-slopes of the Athavanadu.

My relationship with the Kodappanakkal Tharavadu was passed on to Pookkoya Thangal’s children too. In the early days itself, I had a close-relationship with the elder son, Shihab Thangal after his return from the higher studies of Egypt. I used to chat and converse with Shihab Thangal in the Out-house of the terrace, during my visits to Panakkad, either to meet Pookkoya Thangal for Party-affairs, or accompanying important personalities. This connection grew up in to a close-relationship.

The selfish less attachment with the common people, and the intention to listen to the sorrows of anybody – that was Shihab Thangal. That was a door anyone can knock anytime. Even now, I remember an experience of 38 years back. My relationship with Shihab Thangal increased with a journey. 1971, Pookkoya Thangal has to attend a program in Thodupuzha. He couldn’t go for that due to some incapability. It was decided to
 
 
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