Obituary: Activist Musharraf Hussain who gave Zakir Nagar its name passes away

Obituary: Activist Musharraf Hussain passes away

Musharraf Hussain died on Monday around 8:30 pm at his house in Zakir Nagar, according to his son.

Some nine months ago Musharraf Hussain, a retired school teacher, activist and highly active in local issues, had suffered a brain stroke and was hospitalised and was unable to recover from the ailment. Since then he was bed ridden in touch with his relatives and friends through phone via his son, who works at MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia.

Musharraf Hussain health deteriorated in the last one month and he was in his house for the last 25 days with the family taking care of him, said his son. Very active years ago, he had stopped interacting with people after falling ill.

Musharraf Hussain was founder Darul Qaza in Okhla, a public library in Joga Bai and Roshan Trust.

He was also known as a community librarian. Most of the books in the library set up by Musharraf Hussain in Joga Bai years ago were donated by local residents. After retirement, he handed over the library to his son.

When Musharraf Hussain came up with the idea of establishing a library in Batla House, the then Sheila Dikshit-led Government responded eagerly. “Before I arrived the place was little more than a garbage dump. When I first came it was sparsely populated. Today it is a bustling locality. When I suggested that the area be named Zakir Nagar I was endorsed by people from all sections,” he was quoted as saying in a Coffee Table book on Jamia profiling lives of star alumni, a groundbreaking work by this portal years ago.

Musharraf Hussain, originally from Badayun, came to Jamia Millia Islamia in 1966 to do a diploma in teaching. Soon afterwards he was offered a job at the Batla House MCD School, where he taught for over 10 years. In his 30 years as school teacher Musharraf Hussain was also deeply involved in community work – which continued to preoccupy him for years until he passed away.

The library is visited by students from all over the country.

Old timers at Jamia remember Musharraf Hussain as a compassionate man who was always more than willing to help Jamia students at time of their hardship. He was a great sympathiser of Jamia students and during turbulent time years ago when there was a crackdown on students, Musharraf Hussain was at the forefront to provided students succor, said a Jamia alumnus on the condition of anonymity adding that he was greatly interested in Jamia’s minority character movement and played his role in whatever capacity possible.

“Musharraf Hussain was a very compassionate person. When the university was closed following a strike he fed and lodged us at his personal expense,” said an alumnus.

He has left behind seven children, girls and 2 sons.

He is to be laid to rest at Batla House graveyard after zuhar pray today. The namaz-e-janaza is to be held at Rahmani mosque in Zakir Nagar.

One of his daughters, Sadaf, teaches Islamiyat at Jamia Hamdard, said Khidmat NGO head, a neighbour and who has known the family over years.

Residents mourned his death. Musharraf Hussain knew the locality like the back of his hand as he saw the area grow over years.