LONDON: Shamsuddin Ismail Agha, President of the Indian Muslim Federation (UK), has passed away. His burial was held on Thursday, 22 July 2021 at Muslim Burial Trust Cemetery, Waltham Forest, London, and was attended by many leaders across the community.
Condolence messages were received from many organisations with whom Agha worked closely including cabinet members and councillors of Waltham Forest Council and Newham Council, General Secretary of Muslim Council of Britain and Minister Co-ordination of Indian High Commission, London. Agha is survived by his daughter, son and one granddaughter.
Shamsuddin Agha was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) India. He received his B.A. (Hon) and M.A. from Bombay University and theatre training in Bombay and London. He was a lecturer of classical Persian and English in India. He came to England in 1964 and after working in different jobs and living for a short period in Bolton he worked as a teacher in London. He was a linguist and worked as a curator at Leyton Library and later retired from London Borough of Newham as Head of the Translation Unit 25 years ago.
He was a founder member and trustee of the Indian Muslim Federation (UK) established in 1969, the largest and oldest organisation of Indian Muslims in the UK which has NGO status with the United Nations. The Indian Muslim Federation has its offices and a community center in east London.
Under Agha’s leadership, IMF has organised many seminars and meetings on the plight of Indian Muslims and has held the protest marches against anti-Muslim pogroms in India. After being accredited as with Non-Governmental Organisation status by the United Nations in 1999, the IMF delegation under Agha’s leadership attended many UN conferences and meetings in Geneva, New York and South Africa to raise the plight of Indian Muslims at the international level and published papers and booklets on the plight and suffering of Muslims in India.
Agha was a linguist, writer, academic and above all a community person. He has written and acted in many plays in India and Britain. He was responsible for the production and direction of a series of one-act plays in Urdu, Gujarati, Marathi and English.
His books of plays in Urdu “Wahshat Hi Sahi” (Madness Rules Okay) and plays “Mirza Ghalib in London”; “Tipu Sultan” and “Flight Delayed” were published in India and the UK and were well received in the academic circle.
Indian Muslim Federation will organise a memorial meeting to observe condolence and to pay tribute to him soon.