The warm touches of comforting love

I have a long contact with Panakkad family. Even while I was a boy I used to go there with my father. I think first time I went there was to attend the Sunnath ceremony of Shihab Thangal. At that time he was ten and I was 15 or 16. Later I went to attend his wedding too. I remember an incident occurred in those days. In every matter my father used to consult Panakkad Pookoya Thangal. In those days we had seven buses. Malabar area where we lived was part of the Madras province. The Madras Government brought a law saying that only a company that had a minimum of twenty buses could get permit. Therefore the only thing we could do was to sell all seven buses. My father informed Pookoya Thangal about this matter. He comforted my father saying that all would be well. In fact later we approached the High Court of Madras and got decree in our favour and we did not sell the buses.

On another occasion the news came that Pookoya Thangal was not well. We hurried to the Panakkad Tharavadu. The Chief physician at Korambayil hospital, Dr. A.P.Ahammed was with me. Pookoya Thangal had a slight fever. After examining him the doctor told me in privacy that the condition was serious and hence further medical examination was necessary. We then took him to Kozhikode and consulted Dr. Ramachandran who diagnosed that it was cancer. After a few months at the Kozhikode hospital he was brought back to Panakkad house where soon he breathed his last. At that time I was at Panakkad. Still I remember the tragic scene when Ummarali Shihab Thangal held me tight and wept like a child. Many opined that a separate kabar should be made in the Tharavadu compound. But Shihab Thangal did not agree to this proposal. Soon after the demise of Pookoya Thangal Shihab Thangal became the President of the Muslim league.

It was in the 1977 election that I contested first to the State legislature. My constituency was Mangada. When the general election was declared, quite unexpectedly Shihab Thangal sent word for me. There were leaders like CH and Cahkkeri Ahammed Kutty. It was Shihab Thangal who told me that my name had been proposed for Mangada constituency. My father was no more. I wanted to get the permission and blessing of my mother. Mangada in those days was a difficult constituency. Many friends pressured me to withdraw from it. But when Shihab Thangal officially announced the names i had no other go except fighting the election. When the results were announced I won the seat with a majority of seven thousand votes. Immediately I went to Panakkad. I think those who are close to Thangal have not understood him thoroughly. He is a man above our estimates and understandings.

As for as Muslim League is concerned Thangal himself announces most of the very important political decisions. Some critic would even ask where is the democratic element in such a practice. In fact before taking the final decision he always get the issue discussed in party for a and combining the views of the party men he arrives at a consensus. In fact this process has a broader democratic basis. Such decisions are just impartial. No one can influence the decision making is another significant feature. No member of Panakkad family has hitherto come to parliamentary politics. When Pookoya Thangal was alive there was a proposal before him that Shihab Thangal should be made a candidate for Parliament, But Pookoya Thangal did agree to it. Shihab Thangal also took decisions with much restraint. This could be seen when the issues like Babri Masjid and the birth of Indian national League, cropped up. In all these crises he behaved with utmost care keeping a well-balanced view.

Thangal is a man with a sense of humor. It is always interesting to share jokes with him. Once while they were returning from Delhi and the plane was approaching Kozhikode airport, it had begun to swing. Thangal commented that it was the Panchayat road in the sky that creates all the trouble.

When I was given the award of Kala Palaka Ratnam, he sent a congratulatory message, which reveals the broad mind of Shihab Thangal who derived happiness and from the achievements of his friends.

When I was in the sick bed he often visited me. Perhaps the compassion of the prophet is reflected in him too. One becomes aware of the greatness of this leader when turns back to such incidents in life.

I often wonder how is it possible for this man to shower so much love on others for anyone who meets him feel that Thangal is his man. If anyone asks me whether there is any person who would never hurt others by deed or word, I would certainly say that at Panakkad Tharavadu you could see such a man, a symbol of friendliness.

Korambayil Ahammed Haji (Late)

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