SRINAGAR: Hindal Haidar Tyabji, Jammu and Kashmir’s former Chief Secretary, who was one of the initial petitioners to the Supreme Court against the reading down of Article 370, is no more. He was more than 82 years old and was cremated Tuesday afternoon in Delhi.
He gave Jammu and Kashmir almost 37 years of his career during which he remained Chief Secretary for a brief period following which he moved to the Public Service Commission for a five-year term.
Scion of the rich Taybji family – he was the son of Badruddin Taybji, HH Taybji was married in Srinagar when he was a young officer, but the union ended up in divorce soon. It was much later that he married Nalini Misra and adopted her family.
His death was widely condoled in Kashmir, especially by people who have worked with him. He is being seen as a “friend of Kashmir” who was hugely rich but lived a modest life and would spend most of his earnings on charity. The cigar-smoking bureaucrat was faith-neutral but very well-read, dignified and a positive human being. He was briefly the law secretary of the Government of India as well.
“In 1990 he was part of the officers who fled Kashmir in protest,” one former bureaucrat said. “He was later brought back and made chief secretary but the governor was not comfortable with him and he was changed. Taybji was the only officer in the history of Kashmir officialdom who worked as Additional Chief Secretary after being the Chief Secretary first.”
The former officer said he was briefly taken as an adviser but was sent out of Raj Bhawan soon. His only full term was in the Public Service Commission.
“With deep sorrow, we announce the passing of Hindal Haidar Tyabji, I.A.S., beloved husband to Nalini Misra Tyabji, son of the Late Badruddin and Surayya Tyabji, and dearly loved brother of Adil, Laila and Khalid Tyabji, on 16th January evening. He is survived by his wife Nalini, his two children Satyadeep and Chinmaya Misra, his son-in-law Apurva Pande and his granddaughter Anvaya Pande,” Taybji’s sister Laila announced on Facebook.
“One can never forget his chivalrous and cavalier traits,” Irfan Yasin wrote. “A perfect gentleman, who set very high standards in courtesy, mannerism and uprightness.” Added Yedullah Saleem: “My heartfelt condolences on demise of this extraordinary soul. Had the privilege to work under his guidance when he was Agriculture Production Commissioner in the early 1990s and then again when he was Chief Secretary J&K. Will continue to be his admirer all my life. Learnt a lot from this highly intelligent, humble and efficient officer with unparalleled dedication, command over English and the subjects he dealt with.”
While condoling the death online, former officer Farooq Peer wrote that he worked under Taybi between 199 and 2002. “He was an intellectual par excellence. He had his own set of values which he would guard jealously.”
Taybi was one of the many former officers who were the first to move the Supreme Court in August 2019 against the reading down of Articles 370 and 35A. He was part of various groups that would show concern over the Kashmir situation publicly.
Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah have expressed profound grief over the demise of retired IAS officer Hindal Haidar Tyabji. The duo prayed for peace to the departed soul and much-needed strength for the bereaved family to bear the irreparable loss. They said that the deceased will be remembered for his ethics, Integrity and aptitude for public service.