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Commemoration meeting of Prof. Rehana Sultana

By TCN News,

Hyderabad: Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee (CLMC) convened a commemorative meeting in memory of Professor Rehana Sultana to pay tribute to its leader. Eminent academic and activist Prof Rehana Sultana, Dean, School of Arts & Social Sciences, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) passed away on December 10 after a prolonged illness. She was 58 year old.

Prof. Rehana Sultana, who was the President of CLMC, was suffering with kidneys failure for almost 10 years and since then she was on dialysis; a week before her death, severe infection spread in her body which became the reason for her demise.

Dr. Ibrahim Ali Junaid
Dr. Ibrahim Ali Junaid

She was an activist for over 40 years. From the age of 18 years itself she started working for helpless, oppressed and poor women besides this she continued her study as well.

She completed her PhD under the guidance of Prof. Ashraf Rafi. She was highly interested in education due to which she completed her education as well as encouraged other women for education. For the education of children she established Deccan Glorious School in late 1970s from where thousands of children completed education.

For the promotion of Urdu she established institutions; children were taught Urdu in these institutions and then these children were enrolled for examinations and got certificates from Jamia Urdu, Aligarh and Idaara-e-Adbiyat-e-Urdu. These students were trained in such a way that now they are doing well in different walks of life.


People belonging to different walks of life and human rights and civil liberties activists were present in large numbers. The persons who spoke included Prof. Ashraf rafi, Mr.Hamid Mohammed Khan (MPJ), Mr.Jeevan Kumar (HRF), Adv. Raghunath (CLC), Dr. Rafat Seema (Nisa), Khalida Parveen (WPI), E. GIri Yadav (Praja Party), U. Sambasiva Rao (Bahujan activist), Md. Afzal (APCR), Adv. Mohammed Shakeel (HRLN), K. Anuradha (Aman Vedika), Dr. Ibrahim Ali Junaid, Iqbal Fatima, Koti (PKM), and her family members, Son Mohammed Asif and her niece Parveen Sultana, Tehniyat (Journalist). Many of her family members, activists, students and others were present in the audience.

With the introduction to Prof. Rehana Sultana, Kaneez Fathima began the meeting. Lateef Mohammed Khan, General Secretary, presided over the meeting. In his speech he paid the tribute to Prof. Rehana Sultana and while reminding her work, he described her as an Iron lady. He pledged and promised the people that her work and legacy would be continued. Almost all of them expressed with grief that the nation and community has suffered a severe loss with her departure; a vacuum has been created which is difficult to fulfill in near future. Her absence would be felt strongly in coming days.

Prof. Sultana started her struggle from raising her voice for right to education to every girl child and she succeeded in this cause. She tirelessly fought for the rights of women. She was the supporter for oppressed women. Many women used to approach her for help because she was the only ray of hope. She was the advisory member of many women organizations. She strongly believed that the problems of Muslim women are different from other women. The women organizations instead of working on the specific problems of Muslim women gave importance to non-issues and presented those as serious problems. She tried to bring Muslim women itself to come forward and work for their specific problems and raise their voice for their rights.

Prof. Rehana Sultana (file photo)

Her mindset itself grew in such a manner that she thought that oppression and injustice should never be tolerated. She also never liked to be indebted or dependent on anyone to raise voice against the oppression or to fight for the cause of rights. Keeping in mind this context and ideology, the foundation of CLMC was laid down for the protection of human rights and civil liberties of citizens. Till her last breath she was associated with this organization and carried her responsibilities successfully as president. Even under most hard times she never feared nor compromised with the situations; instead faced with wit and courage. She questioned the state and made answerable. She raised the voice against the police atrocities, anti-people policies of government, irresponsible behaviour of political class, incapability and silence of religious leaders.

She headed every fact finding team of CLMC. She took part in fact finding team on Gujarat genocide, she visited various camps and encouraged women to resist and fight back. Though she was not keeping well she accompanied every fact finding even if it was far off areas such as Vatoli incident where a Muslim family was burnt to death, encounter of Muslim youth in Zaheerabad, attacks on Hindutva groups on Muslims, Makkah Masjid bomb blast, harassment of Muslims in the name of fight against terrorism etc. In the year 2012, during the Telangana movement when the Muslims were attacked by the Hindutva elements in Sangareddy of Medak district, she headed the fact finding team of CLMC. In spite of hot summer and ill health with lots of patience she completed fact finding with us. After seeing the conditions there she said that this is not the Telangana of which had dreamt of! She had lot of worry over the spreading of Hindutva in Telangana and over the silence of the Telangana leaders on this issue.

Prof. Rehana Sultana had large association with different group of people; among which were religious scholars, Madarsa committees, women activists, journalists, social activists, teacher community and human rights activists. She fulfilled her social responsibilities in excellent way. She was always engaged in some or the other work. In short, she dedicated her life for the cause of the people. Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee will follow the path she has shown and will lead her works in future. On this occasion CLMC pledge that the legacy of Prof. Rehana Sultana will continue.


Dr. Rehana Sultana — The Iron Lady of Hyderabad