Noted scholar and former cabinet minister in the Rajiv Gandhi led Congress government Arif Mohammad Khan was today (1 September) appointed as the Governor of Kerala.
Khan served as a Civil Aviation and Energy minister in the V P Singh led Janata Dal government. He is also a former member of the BJP.
Famously in 1986, Khan while being the Minister of State in the Rajiv Gandhi government had decided to tender his resignation over enacting a law to reverse the Supreme Court judgement in the Shah Bano case upholding her right to maintenance from her ex-husband.
This judgement was vociferously opposed by various Islamic clerics which is believed to have pressurised the Rajiv Gandhi led government to enact a law reversing it. This outraged Arif Mohammad Khan who tendered his resignation. He had earlier spend hours in defending the Supreme Court judgement.
Khan has been a known critic of Islamic fundamentalism spearheaded by various clerics in the country and has been a staunch advocate for reforms within the Muslim community, especially women’s rights. He was one of the biggest supporters of Modi government’s law criminalising Triple Talaq.
He has also dismissed fear-mongering from a section of Indian intellectual circle over rising intolerance and threats to minority rights in the country.