Ashgar Ali Engineer

Renowned progressive scholar and reformer Ashgar Ali Engineer passed away in Mumbai after a prolonged illness. He was 74.

Born in Salumbar, Rajasthan, in a Dawoodi Bohra Amil (priest) family March 10, 1939, Engineer received early training in Islamic scholarship. A civil engineer, he worked in the Brihan Mumbai Corporation (BMC) before voluntarily retiring and plunging into the movement for social reform within his community.

Disturbed by the growth of communal forces, he dedicated his life to the pursuit of communal harmony. He was at the forefront of the struggle to resist communal violence in Mumbai and ensure friendship and harmony between the Hindu and Muslim communities. He painstakingly studied the phenomenon of communal violence and was foremost among the scholar-activists who combated this phenomenon. He was also a staunch advocate of women’s equality and rights. On some occasions he even faced violence from fundamentalists within his own community. He was a prolific writer, wielding his pen on the subject of the rights of women and against communalism and fundamentalism.

His death is a huge loss to the progressive and secular movement, which will always draw strength and inspiration from his legacy and his writings.

Liberation Archive