With the departure of T. Naziruddin, merchants’ community in the State has lost a courageous leader who relentlessly fought for them to overcome challenging situations in the sector.
It was his strong voice of protest against top decision-makers that prompted the State government to even reconsider the stringent enforcement of COVID-19 regulations on traders who had been going through severe financial crisis.
Many trade union leaders and merchant organisation functionaries remembered him as the binding thread and an affable moderator for a large number of small-scale traders and welfare organisations across the State. They also recalled that it was his leadership and courageous decisions that helped traders in the unorganised sector stand united against merchant capitalism and fight against monopolies.
“There were moments of insecurity and fear among traders when enforcement was intensified in an insensitive way by government agencies in the name of implementing GST norms. Naziruddin was hardly against any fair enforcement of rules but resisted all attempts to demoralise traders,” said K. Sethumadhavan, a former Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti (KVVES) functionary who worked closely with Naziruddin for many years. His contributions to unite small traders in the unorganised sector will be remembered for ever, he added.
Born to T.K. Mohammed and Asmabi in 1944, Naziruddin made his entry into the field of active trade union work in 1980. In just five years, he was made the Samiti’s State general secretary considering his leadership skills. Since then, traders’ community had been in favour of his leadership. He was president of the Samiti for over three decades.
Apart from being an active KVVES functionary, he had held numerous other important positions on various welfare boards for traders. Even while holding supreme positions, he had managed to run a shop on S.M. Street here to maintain close relationship with local traders.
In his condolence message, Minister for Public Works and Tourism P.A. Mohamed Riyas said Naziruddin was a leader who dared to fight for several decades to protect the interests and well-being of the trader community. His departure is a great loss to merchants’ fraternity in the State, he observed. Forest Minister A.K. Saseendran remembered him as a leader who relentlessly stood for upholding the rights of traders’ community in the organised and unorganised sectors. His departure would leave a vacuum in our public sphere, he said.
Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan said the contributions of Naziruddin to strengthen small-scale traders in the State through KVVES was unforgettable. His tough stance for guarding traders’ rights was laudable, he added.
Naziruddin who breathed his last on Thursday night was laid to rest at the Kannamparamba Juma Masjid Khabarstan near here on Friday evening. Complying with the COVID-19 protocol, people from different walks of life visited his house and paid their last respects. There were also delegates representing various KVVES district units. KVVES leaders said all shops owned by KVVES members in Kerala remained closed on Friday to mourn the death of the veteran leader.