Salman Khurshid

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Salman Khurshid
Salman Khurshid portrait.jpg
Minister of External Affairs
In office
28 October 2012 – 26 May 2014
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by S. M. Krishna
Succeeded by Sushma Swaraj
Minister of Law and Justice
In office
28 May 2011 – 28 October 2012
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by Veerappa Moily
Succeeded by Ashwani Kumar
Personal details
Born (1953-01-01) 1 January 1953 (age 61)
Aligarh, India
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Louise Khurshid
Alma mater University of Delhi
St Edmund Hall, Oxford

Salman Khurshid (born 1 January 1953 ) is an Indian politician and was the Cabinet Minister of the Ministry of External Affairs. He belongs to the Indian National Congress. He is a lawyer, and a writer [1] who has been elected from Farrukhabad Lok Sabha constituency in the General Election of 2009. He belongs to the Farrukhabad area. Prior to this he was elected to the 10th Lok Sabha (1991–1996) from the Farrukhabad Lok Sabha constituency. He became the Union Deputy Minister of Commerce in June 1991, and later became the Union Minister of State for External Affairs (Jan. 1993 – June 1996).[2] He started his political career in 1981 as an Officer on Special Duty in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) under the prime ministership of Indira Gandhi.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, he is the son of Khurshed Alam Khan a former Union Minister of External affairs, Government of India, and maternal grandson of Zakir Hussain, the third President of India.

He studied in St. Xavier's High School, Patna,[3] Delhi Public School, Mathura Road.[4] and college at St. Stephen's College, Delhi and St Edmund Hall, Oxford University, Oxford, U.K. (B.A. (English and Jurisprudence), M.A., B.C.L.)[2] He also taught as Lecturer in Law at Trinity College, Oxford.

Political career[edit]

He started his political career as an Officer on Special Duty in the Prime Minister's Office, during the Prime Ministership of Indira Gandhi in the early 1980s. Later he became the Deputy Minister of Commerce in the Government of India, and then Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India from 1991–1996. During this period he was the Member of Parliament from the Farrukhabad constituency in Uttar Pradesh. In the General Election of 2009 he was once again elected as Member of Parliament from Farrukhabad, winning as a candidate of the Indian National Congress, with 1,69, 351 votes. He became the Union Minister of State (with Independent Charges) of Corporate Affairs and Minority Affairs in the Government of India. He took over as Minister on Friday, 29 May 2009. In the Cabinet reshuffle of 12 July 2011, he was made Cabinet Minister for Law and Justice, and Minority Affairs in the Government of India.

He came 4th and lost his deposit in the Lok Sabha elections 2014 fighting from Farrukhabad

Party Political Offices[edit]

He has been the President of the Uttar Pradesh Pradesh Congress Committee twice.

He was also the President of the Delhi Public School Society and Dr. Zakir Hussain Study Circle.

Political Views[edit]

Salman Khurshid appeared for Students Islamic Movement of India, a group banned in India and frequently charged by Indian authorities with terrorist activities, as its defence lawyer, appealing the 2002 ban; in June 2006 the Supreme Court of India rejected the appeal noting "the appeal against the ban should be first argued before the tribunal established for the purposes". Asked about his appearance, Khurshid said :"I would refuse a client only when I am personally satisfied that taking up the case would go against the ethics of the profession. A lawyer has to appear for an accused. It is my constitutional duty. A party and the government too cannot pre-judge an organisation."[5]

Salman Khursid (left) shakes hand with John Kerry, Secretary of State, United States in 2013

In 2009, incumbent president Sirajuddin Qureshi beat Salman Khurshid for the presidency of India Islamic Cultural Centre.[6] Campaign for the election was very intense which became high-profile with Khurshid's entry in the fray.[7]

Writings[edit]

Khurshid has been deeply involved in writing and acting in plays since his student days in Delhi and Oxford. He is the author of the play Sons of Babur, published by Rupa & Co., which has been staged, with Tom Alter in the lead role, at the Red Fort in Delhi.

Salman Khurshid has also been the editor of "The Contemporary Conservative: Selected Writings of Dhiren Bhagat" [8] published in 1990.

Controversies[edit]

Khurshid and his wife Louise run the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust for physically challenged people.[9] In October 2012, India Today and Aaj Tak alleged that the Kurshids had embezzled from the fund, a charge denied by the Khurshids. The ruling party Congress strongly defended Khurshid, but social activist Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party began what he called "indefinite agitation". Fearing an agitation Khurshid even threatened Arvind Kejriwal with dire consequences if he entered his constituency. Angered by the allegations, Khurshid called Arvind Kejriwal a 'guttersnipe'.[10] The case is still pending about the 71 lakh allegedly used by Salman Khurshid which was funded by the government to buy tricycles for the disabled.[11][12] In March 2014,Khurshid made controversial comments against Supreme Court and Election Commission regarding the conviction of criminal politicians.[13][14]

Operation Dhritrashtra[edit]

Operation Dhritrashtra[1] is an investigation conducted by TV news channel Aaj Tak which exposed financial misappropriation by an NGO run by Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise for the betterment of handicap people.

The investigation conducted by Deepak Sharma, Editor, SIT, India Today Group, revealed that Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust forged signatures and stamps of senior officials of several districts in Uttar Pradesh depriving physically challenged people of their due.

In the in-depth investigation, Aaj Tak gathered documentary evidence of forgery and false reporting from at least 10 districts in the state.

The Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust is registered at Khurshid's residence at 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi and Louise Khurshid is its chief functionary officer.

The trust is registered as an NGO and has been operating in many states and receiving substantial grants from several important ministries of the government of India.

Documents in possession of Aaj Tak reveal that a state-wide inquiry into these malpractices in a project piloted by the trust was ordered by the UP government on January 12, 2012 following a letter from the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The ruling party Congress strongly defended Khurshid, but Social activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party began what he called "indefinite agitation" until legal action had been taken against the Khurshids.[7] Currently, Uttar Pradesh Economic offence wing[8] is investigating the matter.

Khurshid even misbehaved in the Press Conference he organised to cover up his misdeeds.

Disabled people protest against Salman Khurshid[edit]

A group of disabled people under the banner of Jharkhand Vikalang Sangh took out a procession and burnt the effigy of Union law minister, Salman Khurshid to protest against the alleged fraud by his family-managed Zakir Hussain Trust.The protest march began from Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Morhabadi ground and ended at Albert Ekka Chowk here.

JVS president Narayan Kumar Mahato said the alleged fraud done by the Trust was just the tip of an iceberg. "There are large numbers of fake NGOs operating in the state. We also don't get what is promised by them. The monthly pension of Rs 400 which we get from the state government also gets delayed," said Mahato. Each disabled person in the state is entitled for a monthly pension of Rs 400.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Veerappa Moily
Minister of Law and Justice
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Ashwani Kumar
Preceded by
Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna
Minister of External Affairs
2012–2014
Succeeded by
Sushma Swaraj