NEW DELHI — The news of the passing away of veteran politician and founder of Samajwadi Party Mulayam Singh Yadav, on October 10, had sent shock waves among the political and social circles in the country. Tributes started pouring in from across the country cutting across the party lines including President and the Prime Minister, former prime ministers and other senior leaders.
Known as the icon of the socialist movement in the country, the deceased leader served the nation and the country in different capacities. The void created after the death of Mulayam Singh is hard to be filled, and Muslim community, the principal minority feel they have lost their well-wisher as the veteran leader stood for them many a times.
Mulayam Singh had never shied from taking up the cause of the Muslim community. With his demise, the Muslim community feels they have lost their most credible ‘voice’.
The saffron politics was at its peak during the Ram Mandir movement, leaving the Muslim community at a crossroads as no political leader was willing to lend them their voice. It was then the Samajwadi Party patriarch, Mulayam Singh Yadav, who became the community’s voice, writes Hindustan Times.
Hindustan Times spoke to different Muslim community leaders and Islamic scholars to know their feelings on the death of the veteran leader who had earned great admiration among senior politicians irrespective of party affiliation.
“The demise of Mulayam Singh Yadav is a great loss for the entire country. He always took a stand and was a great socialist leader,” said Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahili, an Islamic scholar.
Maulana Yasoob Abbas, general secretary of All India Shia Personal Law Board and a prominent Shia leader, said: “Mulayam Singh always stood for the downtrodden and the underprivileged section of the society.”
Ayodhya resident Iqbal Ansari, who was one of the litigants in the Ram Janmabhoomi–Babri Masjid title suit in the Supreme Court, said Mulayam Singh was one such politician who could be relied on blindly. “He was a mass leader and the Muslim community had immense faith in him.”
The demise of the former chief minister has also deeply saddened people from Gorakhpur, Azamgarh and Basti who are currently in the Gulf countries for work and other purposes.
Speaking to HT over the phone, former minister of state and former MLA Dr Mohsin Raza, who was in Makkah for Umrah, described the SP patriarch’s death as an ‘irreparable loss’. “We have lost a secular leader. It is an irreplaceable loss not just for the party, but also for the weaker sections of the society.”
Shahab Ameen, who hails from Khokhar Tola and works in Riyadh, said the news of MSY’s death saddened him, and his friends and colleagues Alamgir and Surendra Yadav, who belong to Saifai in Azamgarh district, were also deeply upset.
Recalling Mulayam Singh’s strong connection with Azamgarh, scholar Dr Iliyas Azmi said people regretted voting against the Samajwadi candidate in the by-election to the MP seat. “The entire eastern Uttar Pradesh, especially Azamgarh, had a strong emotional bond with Mulayam Singh Yadav,” he observed.