Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today described Janab Syed Mohammad Ali Shihab Thangal, a widely respected politician, as a "great son of Kerala" and said the late leader had contributed to the first successful experiment of coalition politics in the country.
Releasing a commemorative stamp on Thangal on his first death anniversary, Singh said Thangal led the Kerala State Muslim League for more than three decades.
"As a political leader, he contributed to the first successful experiment of coalition politics in India in the form of the Congress–IUML combine," he said.
The Prime Minister said Thangal personified India’s pluralism and commitment to multi-culturalism.
"Though a great religious leader, Thangal Saheb will long be remembered as the voice of democratic secular principles and a practitioner of secular solidarity,"he said.
During the difficult period of country-wide communal unrest in 1992, Thangal's appeal for peace worked wonders in Kerala. All his life, Thangal furthered the call of communal amity through his speeches and writings, Singh said.
The Prime Minister said as an educationist, he helped establish and nurtured institutions, often bringing quality education to the most backward parts of Kerala.