Professor Sultan Ali Shaida (November 29, 1935 - August 5, 2015) was an Ex Professor of Philosophy in the Deptt of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Kanpur. He joined IITK on 15 April, 1975, got elevated to Professor's Position on 01 January, 1985. He was appointed the HOD, HSS Deptt on Feb 8, 1989. He attained superannuation on November 31, 1995, and subsequently left IITK on 30 June, 1996, after his re employment period was over.
Professor Shaida has been a keen student of philosophy as well as literature and has published in these areas books and papers both in English and Urdu. An active student leader at the Aligarh Muslim University, he was later inducted into Communist Party of India as a party member. Subsequently, his social and political commitments and preferences attracted him towards the ideals of philosophers such as Jean Paul Sartre and Gabriel Marcel.
Professor Shaida had a distinguished career in Philosophy. After his studies at AMU, He started his teaching career from the Zakir Hussain College of Delhi University and completed his Ph. D. in Ethics under the guidance of Professor S. S. Barlingay on Naturalistic Fallacy. He served for few years as lecturer at Zakir Hussain College of Delhi University. In 1975, he shifted to IIT Kanpur as Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.
He was a UGC National lecturer in Philosophy during 1984-85. He was on the editorial board of Indian Philosophical Quarterly and Aligarh Journal of Islamic Thought. Professor Shaida was also in the panel of Taraqqi-e-Urdu Board and Bureau of promotion of Urdu, Ministry of Education, New Delhi. He has also been a Senior Fellow of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi.
In his official capacities, he has always been patient, polite and accommodative. At IIT Kanpur, he held several posts. He was the Senate nominee on the Board of Governors, Head of the Department of HSS, and Chairman, Council of Wardens. While in service he also went to Malaysia as founding Professor of Philosophy at the International Islamic University, Kuala Lumpur during 1991 to 1992.
Professor Shaida's major philosophical concerns have been in the areas of Existentialism, Aesthetics, Literature and Ethics. Professor Shaida had published a book on Ethics and a large number of scholarly papers in leading Journals of India and the West.
During his last days he was staying with his daughter, his only child, and her family. He breathed his last on 5th of August 2015, at about 11: 10 AM. He is survived by his daughter, son in law, and three granddaughters, besides a large number of academic friends and admirers. To his innumerable students, friends and admirer, Professor Sultan Ali Shaida has been a personification of the best of human values. We express our heartfelt gratitude and respect towards him not only for his pedagogical abilities and academic competence, but also for the values that he stood for as a socially sensitive individual. May his soul rest in utmost Peace.
(wrote on 17th Aug, 2015)
Dr Shaida took two Philosophy courses for me in IIT-Kanpur. I learnt a lot on the basic concepts of philosophy, including basic concepts of Ethics a la Moore, Russell's writings, the Vienna school, Wittgenstein et al. He was always extraordinarily patient with his students. It was a pleasure to attend his classes. My sincere condolences to his family for their sad loss.
(wrote on 20th Aug, 2015)
With sadness, I want to offer my condolences to the family of Professor Shaida.
Apart from teaching the philosophy elective that I took at IITK, Professor Shaida also mentored me. Professor Shaida was soft spoken, kind and a great human being.
May he rest in peace.
(wrote on 24th Sep, 2015)
Message For Prof. Shaida's family-
In Prof. Shaida's passing away, I lost a great friend and a great well-wisher of mine. I grieve for him.
Someone said, the greatest thing God made is a good human being. That is what Prof. Shaida was.