A great defender of social justice, Zaheeruddin Ali Khan lived for others

He worked to make all political parties accountable and didn't shy away from vociferously criticising their ‘wrongdoings’.

Those who know Zaheeruddin Ali Khan are finding it difficult to come to terms with the tragic loss of the affable man. Zaheeruddin was known for his passionate involvement in socio-political activities across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. He also played an important role in the Telangana statehood movement. He was a defender of social justice and equality.

Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, managing editor of The Siasat Daily, passed away due to cardiac arrest during poet-activist Gaddar’s funeral procession in Alwal on Monday, August 7.

Expressing his condolences, Telangana chief minister said that his untimely demise was an ‘irreparable loss’ to Urdu journalism. The CM recollected his association with Zaheeruddin Ali Khan and his role during the Telangana movement.

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More than journalism, Khan was renowned for his philanthropic activities for the welfare and upliftment of marginalised communities across the country. He also worked to make all political parties accountable and did not shy away from vociferously criticising their ‘wrongdoings’.

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief Revanth Reddy expressed shock and called the incident a “great loss to Telangana.” Revanth Reddy and party leader Feroz Khan visited Khan’s residence and paid their respects.

Telangana BJP chief G Kishan Reddy also expressed deep condolences over Zaheeruddin Ali Khan’s death.

Telangana home minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali extended condolences and said that Zaheeruddin Ali Khan constantly thought about the country’s progress. He also recalled his contributions in the form of not only journalism, but also through scholarships to Urdu-medium students.

Through his Siasat Millat Fund, Zaheeruddin donated Rs 4 crores to over 22,000 underprivileged students from Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and other states.

To ensure education and wellbeing of children from underprivileged sections of the society, Khan took up several initiatives in 1994 under the Abid Ali Khan trust.

In 1997, he established a minority development forum to help the needy living in slum areas, and tied up with corporate hospitals to help slum dwellers get free healthcare on a monthly basis.

In the same year, he also introduced vocational training courses for underprivileged women. He ensured that they received training in tailoring, embroidery and other affiliated vocations.

In 2002, he set up spoken english classes, which resulted in 1,800 youngsters securing jobs in various multinational companies. He also set up Sukoon, an old-age home, in Vikarabad.

In 2007, he started an organisation to ensure dowry-free marriages, under which more than 7,000 weddings were solemnised. Moreover, he was actively involved in lending assistance to people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a service to the community, Khan also organised burials of unclaimed bodies of Muslims in Hyderabad.

He would actively work for mobilising help for victims of Hindutva assault and mob lynchings. Earlier this year, he helped collect funds for the families of victims, including those of Nasir and Junaid, whose bodies were found charred inside a vehicle in Haryana’s Bhiwani in February 2023. He also aided the victims of 2017 Bihar floods, and those hit by Tripura violence in 2021.

According to the family, the funeral prayer of the deceased will be held after Fajr (early morning prayers) at Shahi Masjid, Public Gardens on Tuesday, August 8.

He will be laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard, Aakhirat Manzil, Darrusalam road, Nampally.

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