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Obituaries: 1-15 March 2002

Prof Ale Ahmad SuroorThe noted Urdu scholar, critic, author and poet, Prof Ale Ahmad Suroor died on 9 February at his daughter’s house in Delhi. He was 90. His dead body was taken to Aligarh and was buried there. He is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter. His elder son Siddiqui Ahmad is a noted English journalist. His death is being widely mourned by intellectuals, educationists and literary organizations. All the departments of Aligarh Muslim University remained closed for a day as a mark of respect to the departed soul. Born on 9 September 1912 at Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh and educated in Ghazipur, Agra and Aligarh Muslim University, Suroor was a professor emeritus at Aligarh Muslim University. He was also dean of the Faculty of Arts at AMU and director of Iqbal Institute, Srinagar besides being a visiting professor at the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the Chicago University. He had traveled to several foreign countries including USA and Britain. He has written several books on Iqbal studies and has been honoured with several national and international awards. He is the recipient of Padma Bhushan (1992), Sahitya Academy Award (1974), Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy award (1978), the Pakistan President’s Gold Medal for services in Iqbal studies (1978), Ghalib Award (1981), Ghalib Modi award, Bahadur Shah Zafar award by Delhi Urdu Academy and Iqbal Samman by Madhya Pradesh government.
His first collection of poems under title of Salsabeel was published in 1933. His books include: Nae aur Purane Charagh, Tanqeed Kya Hai, Adab aur Nazriye, Masarrat se Basirat Tak, Irfan-e-Iqbal, Iqbal-Nazriya aur Shairi, Jadeed Dunya Main Islam and Urdu Main Danishwari ki Rawayat. His biography Khwab Baqi Hain was published in 1991. 
Condolence meetings were held throughout the country. At a condolence meeting at AMU, Prof Muhammad Hamid Ansari, VC of AMU described him as a doyen in the field of Urdu language. Poet of wit and humour, Mujtaba Hussain in his message said that with the demise of Ale Ahmad Suroor an era of Urdu literature, research and criticism has ended. Prof Shamim Jairajpuri, VC of Maulana Azad National Urdu University while expressing his heart-felt sorrow over his death said that he will remain ever alive in AMU and Urdu world.
In a condolence meeting at Jamia Millia Islamia Prof Shamsur Rahman Farooqui called him a balanced critic. Prof Ziaul Hasan Nadwi said he was proud of eastern literature. Prof Abdul Haque of Jawaharlal Nehru University called his demise an irreparable loss. Dr Khaliq Anjum, general secretary of Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu-Hind called it a great loss of Urdu fraternity.

A prolific writer and thinker Anwar Al-Jundi recently died in Cairo at the age of 83. A great intellectual, Al-Jundi was closely associated with cultural activities and was a brain behind the spread of Islamic thought. He was good in replying to queries asked blaming Islam. Jundi wrote more than 350 books. Prominent among them are three encyclopedias: Islamic Lighthouse (50 volumes), the Encyclopedia of Curricula (10 volumes) and Under Focus (50 volumes). These books bear the testimony that he was a living library. According to a statement issued by the Islamic Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) he was an active member of the Egyptian Union of Journalists. His death has left behind a vacuum in the Muslim world.

Syed Ghulam Sibtain Rizvi, assistant commissioner of commercial tax officer, Hyderabad died on 31 January after cardiac arrest. He is survived by wife, seven sons and three daughters. He was associated with various organizations. Ali Raza, president of Tanzime Shahrayan-e-Hyderabad and Telugu Desham leader has expressed deep sorrow over his demise.

Karim Lala, one of the first generation underworld dons, who called the shots in the early seventies when drugs and machine guns were yet a no-no word in the world of crime, died in Mumbai on 18 Feb. at the age of 90. Lala, who inspired a generation of Hindi film script writers to sketch characters after his bohemian personality, succumbed to a massive heart attack. Lala, along with Haji Mastaan, Yusuf Patel and Varadharaja Mudaliar, ruled the underworld much before the era of bomb blasts, drugs and Webly Scott revolvers. They were mainly into smuggling of contraband. The king of the underworld, Lala kept away from drugs as a matter of principle. He staunchly believed that drugs could destroy men and families and hence should be kept at bay. An Afghan migrant, who came to Mumbai after dropping out of school, Abdul Karim Khan Sher Khan alias Lala, went on to become the self-styled king of Dongri in central Mumbai. Lala, who took active interest in settling disputes between families, traders and businessmen, ironically played the role of peacemaker between warring gangs.

Freedom fighter, social and political leader Maulana Faqihuddin died in Delhi on 16 February. He was 80 and had been indisposed for long. He was a member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, founder member and treasurer of Markazi Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, member Executive Council of Majlis-e-Mushawarat (s) and former member of Delhi Waqf Board. He had been ever active in social services. He was buried in Mahindiyan graveyard. Condolence meetings were held at several places.Maulana Fuzail Ahmad Qasmi of Markazi Jamiat has expressed profound grief over his demise. Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasmi said in his condolence message that Maulana shared the wails and woes of the community and used to accept the decisions of the Board. His death has left behind a vacuum, he mourned.

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