1. Full Name: Arif Mohammad Khan
2. Father Name: Shri Ashfaq Mohammad Khan
3. Spouse: Sayyada Reshma
4. Children’s: Mustafa Arif and Kabir Arif
5. DOB: 18 November 1951
6. Birth Place: Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh
7. Alma Matar:
- Jamia Millia, New Delhi
- GS Inter-College, Bulandshahar
- Aligarh Muslim University
- Lucknow University
8. Current Position: currently serving as the Governor of Kerala
Arif Mohammad Khan, who’s currently serving as the Governor of Kerala, is famously known for being a frequent party-switcher in the political arena in the past, also he remains a hot topic in the political space for being an ‘anomaly’ in the Modi era, as he holds both, significant confidence of the BJP biggies and a high governing position of Governor in Kerala while being a Muslim, and having the distinction of being the only second Muslim after Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla to be granted constitutional office amid tough Hindu nationalistic atmosphere under the ruling BJP, which is a rare phenomenon in BJP era yet.
Khan’s recent comeback on the news headlines is marked by controversies and heated debates. One such came by his recent decision on withdrawing from the post of Chancellor of Universities backed by the critical invasion of politics in the Academic field as a reason, which is drawing a lot of flak from the opposition parties and being framed as ‘illegal’, ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘childish’ given, such a pivotal role he plays in the independent and transparent functioning of Universities in the state.
“As per the law, which is passed by the legislature of the Kerala Assembly, for all the universities, the Governor is the Chancellor. He has to fulfill his duties as the Chancellor. It is mandatory.” said Kerala opposition leader VD Satheesan, on December 31, censuring Khan’s decision to quit.
Early Years Of Life, Family And Education
- Arif Mohammad Khan was born on 18 November in the year 1951 to Shri Ashfaq Mohammad Khan in Bulandshahar district of Uttar Pradesh. As Khan grew up, he developed special interests in reading and writing while he was a student. Arif married Smt. Sayyada Reshma on November 1951 from whom he has two sons, namely Mustafa Arif, who is a lawyer by profession, and Kabir Arif, a pilot by profession who’s also into organic farming. Arif went to Jamia Millia, New Delhi for his schooling. Later he joined GS inter-college, Bulandshahar followed by Aligarh Muslim University in the years 1972-1973, to do his B.A Honors. Then he pursued LL.B from Lucknow University in the years 1974 – 1977.
Initial Political Engagements
During his graduation phase only in AMU, Arif engaged himself in political ethics with his active management of the student union and was made the General Secretary of Aligarh Muslim University’s Students union from 1971 to 1972.
And later he was promoted to the post of President of the Students union from 1972-1973. He came fully into the political frame as a student leader, as he contested the first legislative assembly election from the Siyana constituency of Bulandshahar district on Bhartiya Kranti dal party’s banner but couldn’t convince people of his political lustre and was defeated.
Khan later headed on towards the Indian National Congress party and was elected to the Lok Sabha in the year 1980 from Kanpur and 1984 from Bahraich.
His Departure From Congress In 1986 Over Conflicts On Muslim Personal Law Bill
As Khan joined the Congress party, he was chosen into the Lok Sabha in 1980 from Kanpur and from Bahraich in 1984. While staying as an active member of the congress, Khan’s relations deteriorated with Rajiv Gandhi behind Gandhi’s critical turning of the Shah Bano’s progressing maintenance case into misery for Muslim women altogether.
Long back in 1978, a woman named, Shah Bano had to resort to a local court to file a maintenance plight against her husband, Mohammad Ahmad Khan, who divorced her and refused to provide her with the promised maintenance of Rs 200. Although she went on to win favors from different courts, that all ceased post-1984, the year of Rajiv Gandhi’s swearing-in, as the first prime minister of independent India. Gandhi seemingly succumbed to the soaring pressure from the Muslim hardliner’s overactive ‘interruption’ of the Indian judicial system into the Muslim personal law. And soon he enacted a law in parliament in 1986, naming “Muslim Women (Protection On Rights of Divorce) Act”, and overturned the Supreme Court judgment in the Shah Bano’s case, and pushed through the ‘misery’ for many Shah Banos out there, in the face of, allowing the maintenance to a divorced woman only up till the period of Iddat, or till 90 days after the husband effectively divorced her.
Khan being a staunch antagonist of Islamic fundamentalism, critically called out Gandhi’s move to degrade Muslim women’s right to a dignified life by putting them on a rocky path by denying their essential financial aids after a miserably short, ‘Iddat’ or 90 days time period after the divorce. He couldn’t stand this and left congress immediately.
His Minister-ship As A Hop, Skip, Jump Away
Khan kicked off his political career as a minister in Congress and was elected to the Lok sabha in 1980 from Kanpur and, 1984 from Bahraich. Which he soon left, behind conflicts with the then Pm, Rajiv Gandhi over the ‘overturning’ of the famous ‘Shah Bano vs Mohammad Ahmad Khan’ case. Khan later headed on to join the Janata dal and was re elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989. During his Janata dal phase, Khan served as Union minister of ‘Civil aviation’ and ‘Energy’.
He again migrated in 1998, from Janata dal to Bahujan Samaj Party and again entered the Lok sabha from Bahraich. Khan held ministerial responsibilities from 1984-1990.