New Delhi: Mahmoodur Rahman, an IAS officer who served as the additional chief secretary in J&K government and served as vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has passed away. He was 75 and reportedly died following a massive cardiac arrest. He breathed his last on 8th July in Lucknow.
Mahmoodur Rahman had an illustrious career as a bureaucrat and served in different capacities in Kashmir, Union Government and later as the chairman of Bombay Mercantile Bank, the biggest Muslim managed co-operative bank in the country. The bank was in a mess when Mahmoodur Rahman was brought in to clean up the bank and put it on track. While it is yet to emerge if he succeeded in his endeavor, he tried his best to restore the image of the bank among its investors and clients.
The no-non-sense bureaucrat was sent to Aligarh Muslim University to do a similar clean up job. The university with close to twenty thousand students living in sprawling campus was in a mess when he was deputed as vice chancellor. It was a hot chair and not many people would have liked to don the mantle.
He was appointed the VC in the year 1995, the time when the university was suffering from its worst time in decades. The academic environment was badly impacted by the years of lawlessness at the campus and the repeated bouts of violent protests in the campus had dented its image badly.
While in the five years, he might have not been able to make the university number one in the country, old timers claim he was able to bring back the focus to academic activities, establish a semblance of normalcy and evict goonda elements out of the university campus. It was a no mean achievement. The university has seen major improvement since then and a latest survey puts the AMU as the third highest ranked university in the country.
Mahmoodur Rahman was appointed as the chairman of Mahmoodur Rahman Commission constituted by Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh in 2008. The commission’s report, which came out in 2013, made some strong points and suggestions over social stature of Muslims in Maharashtra.
His death is being mourned by AMU fraternity and others across the world. Governor NN Vohra has expressed grief over the passing away of former additional chief secretary of the State, Mehmood ur Rehman. Governor recalled the exceptional devotion to duty of this officer, particularly during the very difficult days in the early 1990s when he served as the State Home Secretary, when the Governor was the Union Home Secretary. In a condolence message the Governor has conveyed his sympathies to the members of the bereaved family and prayed for peace to the departed soul.
J&K Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti while condoling his death praised him and his services for the state. Mufti recalled the contribution made by Rahman to the State during his long stint in bureaucracy here. She also paid him rich tributes for his contribution as the vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and in the establishment of India Islamic Culture Centre at New Delhi, of which he was the founder member.
Former chief minister of state and National Conference president Dr. Farooq Abdullah paid glowing tribute to the former additional chief secretary of the state. Lauding Rehman as an exemplary and pro-people officer, he extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and especially to Rehman’s father-in-law and veteran civil servant of the State, SAS Qadri. Farooq also extended his condolences to Rehman’s son, Monis-ur-Rehman.
Senior Congress leader Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz also condoled the demise. In a statement he said, “I express my deepest sadness on the untimely demise of Mahmood-ur-Rehman. He was a man possessing many qualities of head and heart. As an IAS officer, he had held high positions in the Administration of the Government of India and J&K State”.
Ali Nadeem Rezavi, who teaches history in AMU wrote in a Facebook post, “He was a man of his words. He was strict, sometimes to the extent of being belligerent. Once when challenged by some anti-socials, in spite of contrary advice from the police, he literally took matters in his hands: taking his service revolver in his hands he jumped a few bushes and lunged at the lumpen who fled for their life! All this happened before our eyes! It’s another matter that the University had to be closed sine die! No man is perfect, nor was he! But like a true human being he tried hard for what he stood for in a very uncompromising way”.
Shaheer Khan, a well-known Aligarian, while condoling the former AMU VC’s death said, “May Almighty Allah bless him with His best rewards in eternal life of Jannatul Firdaus and strength to bear this loss to his family and friends at this most difficult time…Mahmoodur Rahman, a man of illustrious personality, a man having many achievements to his credit, and a man having many qualities and commitment is no more. His memory shall remain alive for AMU fraternity for generations to come for many of his good actions he took as the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and continue to inspire many”.