The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on April 24 condoled the demise of Pakistan-born Canadian writer Tarek Fatah and said his significant contributions to the media as well as the literary world will be greatly remembered.
In a condolence message, RSS Sarkaryawah Dattatreya Hosabale said Tarek Fatah was an eminent thinker, author and commentator.
“His significant contributions to the media and the literary world will be greatly remembered. He remained committed to his principles and beliefs throughout his life and was respected for his courage and conviction,” Dattatreya Hosabale said.
“My thoughts go with his family, friends, and admirers who will be hugely missing him, I express my deepest condolences on his passing away and pray for the ‘sadgati’ of the departed soul,” he added.
After suffering from a prolonged illness, Tarek Fatah passed away at 73 on April 21 in Canada.
He had cancer and survived with two daughters, Natasha and Nazia.
Tarke Fatah’s daughter, Natasha, announced his death through Twitter. She tweeted, “Lion of Punjab. Son of Hindustan. Lover of Canada. Speaker of truth. Fighter for justice. Voice of the down-trodden, underdogs, and the oppressed. Tarek Fatah has passed the baton on… his revolution will continue with all who knew and loved him. Will you join us? 1949-2023”.
Tarek Fatah was born on November 20, 1949, in Karachi, Pakistan. He was a leftist student movement leader during the late 1960s and 1970s. During these decades, he was imprisoned twice by Pakistan’s successive military rules.
General Zia-ul Haq charged him with sedition in 1977 and prevented him from working as a journalist in the country. He went to Canada in 1987 and worked as a journalist ever since.
He was very proud of his Indian origins. He often told in his interviews that he hailed from a Rajput family that was forcibly converted to Islam in the 1840s. He identified himself as a Hindustani born in Pakistan. He was a staunch critic of Islamic fanaticism.
Therefore, he was often attacked by Muslims across the world. However, he fearlessly put his thoughts through his writing for various media, blogs, and books.
In the late 1990s, Fatah became increasingly critical of Islamic fundamentalism and its impact on Muslim communities around the world. He wrote several books on the subject, including “Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State” and “The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism.”
He would introduce himself as I am an Indian born in Pakistan, a Punjabi born in Islam; an immigrant in Canada with a Muslim consciousness, grounded in a Marxist youth.