Will Arif Mohammad Khan be right choice?

For Printing Download Epaper from files section from bottom of this page

It is true that there are very less pragmatic and reformers in Muslim community  and as per India’s democratic character, such reformists should be encouraged by the country. Arif Mohammad Khan, presently governor of  Kerala is such big reformer whose name is making rounds now for the next president of India. Arif Mohammad Khan’s history is full of reformist ideology and he is a famous thinker as a harbinger of reforms in his community. He is known for raising the voice against hard liners and radicalism in Muslim community. He has graduated from Aligadh Muslim University and law graduate from Lucknow. Despite being an intellectual and was considered as close associate of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, he opposed vehemently Rajiv’s decision to bring constitutional amendment bill to cancel the Supreme court’s decision in Shah Bano case in 1986. He got wide publicity then and later Rajiv also had to pay the heavy price for his decision in Shah Bano case. To appease minorities, which is Congress’ basic principle, Arif always stood against party’s  policy. If such person becomes president, then it will be a good decision undoubtedly. Of course, there is discussions going round his name and actually the decision has not been taken by BJP. But leaders say that Arif perfectly matches the leader for president we have imagined. Arif Mohammad Khan opposed not only Congress’s official line in Shah Bano case, but he later left the party and joined V P Singh and then joined Bahujan Samaj Party. The decision  of Congress in Shah bano case has completely changed the Hindu-Muslim equation in the country. Had Raiiv not taken the decision of bringing constitutional amendment in Shah Bano case, the latter Ayodhya episode and BJP’s victory would have not happened. Rajiv Gandhi did not think of the future and wanted to take only advantage of that moment. If Arif Mohammad Khan becomes president, BJP can take many advantages. BJP may garner minorities votes in its favour because it will have a point to make that the party wants to make  a reformist Muslim president of India. Actually, the opposition power in making its own president is so meagre that they are not in a  position  to play any move to win in the election. Still, the opposition may get divided on the candidature of Arif. BSP and SP are the parties which are known for appeasement of Muslims and also Trinmul Congress which is infamous for its policies. But they will be in a dilemma if Arif is BJP’s candidate. Their campaign of making allegations on BJP as a Hindu hardliner will be airless. Their campaign against BJP will not last for a minute. If Congress and these two parties oppose Arif and give their own candidate, the message will go to people that their talks of reforms are fake and they are actually old fashioned feudalist parties. This will cause heavy damage to mainly Congress and Samajwadi Party in next Loksabha Elections to be held in 2024. Though Mamta Banarjee is saying that in the president election,  BJP’s will have to tremendous effort for its win,  as it has not that much strength, it is not true. After the five states elections, BJP has enough strength in Rajyasabha. Arif Mohammad Khan is likely to be next candidate and next president of India. His candidature may push back many opposition  parties as all these parties want to show themselves messiah of Muslims, Dalits and OBCs.  Mamta has been trying to select a strong candidate in president election but it is difficult for her to find such name.  Sharad Pawar was one such name but he has no nation wide support. His party’ s strength is very less. Also he is in favour of Congress which fact  Mamta will never accept.