Lala Rukh – a passionate women’s rights activist and a voice for oppressed women and minorities – passed away in Lahore on Friday. She was 69-years-old.
Lala Rukh was an artist who let her art be a vessel through which her compassion flowed. She wasn’t just an enthusiastic and passionate activist; she was, by all means, a force to be reckoned with and a powerhouse, all on her own.
Lala Rukh was also the head of the art and history departments at the National College of Arts (NCA.) She eventually succumbed to cancer after being diagnosed last month.
She was known to be a front-runner in the movement against Zia-Ul-Haq’s Hudood Ordinance penal code, which was considered to be heavily biased against women. In fact, she started the movement which eventually led to the formation of the Women’s Action Forum in 1981.
Lala Rukh had, through the course of her life, influenced many lives. Therefore, many Pakistanis were left heartbroken when news broke of her demise
— Aysha Raja (@aysharalam) July 7, 2017
Some lost a mentor
RIP…Madam Lala Rukh, ..My mentor and great teacher.https://t.co/HT8eMUD7am
— sabirnazar (@sabirnazar1) July 7, 2017
And others lost a dearly beloved friend
Lalarukh passes away. She was a comrade, a minimalist artist, a feminist activist, the loss is too big. Rest in Power Lalarukh! pic.twitter.com/cd3c6aZJnh
— Tooba Syed (@Tooba_Sd) July 7, 2017
Nighat Dad, who is a lawyer, an activist and the founder of Digital Rights Foundation, also mourned the immense loss
Women Action Forum has lost one of its founding member Lala Rukh. It's a huge loss to Pakistani women's rights movement. RIP Lala pic.twitter.com/xh3qfpCEJH
— Nighat Dad (@nighatdad) July 7, 2017
Political figures also took to social media to share their grief over her demise
Very sorry to see Lalarukh go. She has been a stalwart of the rights movement in Pakistan https://t.co/p3WloM42tH
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) July 7, 2017
And even those who didn’t know her were saddened to learn that Pakistan had lost a gem like Lala Rukh
I'm sorry I never met this lady, she sounds completely wonderful. RIP https://t.co/rV0fpltsin
— Faiza S Khan (@BhopalHouse) July 7, 2017
It is truly a tragedy to have lost a national treasure and a figure as influential, passionate and iconic as Lala Rukh. We hope that her tireless efforts ignited a fire within numerous women to follow in her bold and empowered footsteps. Our country has and always will need more women like her. May she rest in power.