Usually when a famous person dies, it’s a celebration for media for at least one week. But when Panakkad Muhammadali Shihab Thangal passed away last year, major Malayalam dailies filed news stories with an emotional touch, seemed like even they mourn for his death. If you check Mahesh Guptan’s report in Malayala Manorama, you could really make out his attachment with Thangal.
Yes! Panakkad Muhammadali Shihab Thangal was a true all rounder. There won’t be many religious leaders like him who talks not only for his own religion but also for others as well. He stood for religious harmony which kept Malappuram district away from communal conflicts. Every one respected him and valued his words.
The doors of Panakkad house were never closed. Any one can enter at any time in this house and meet Thangal. There is no religious or caste bar for him. Though he was the head of Muslim League, for him, politics always held second position below social service.
One year passed without him from which natives of Malappuram has not recovered. They still go to Panakkad house to seek blessings from Thangal. It may sound awkward, but they say they could feel his presence that itself gives them peace and satisfaction.