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Salman Khurshid



It’s a long way from Lecturer in Law at Trinity College, Oxford to Member of Parliament from Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh, but Salman Khurshid hasn’t seemed any less at ease in one role than the other.

Supreme Court Lawyer, Cabinet Minister and a member of the ruling Congress party, Salman Khurshid began his political career in the early ‘80s as an Officer on Special Duty in then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s Office. He was later elected to Parliament, going on to serve as Deputy Minister of Commerce and as Minister for External Affairs. In the 2009 General Elections, he won again from Farrukhabad with a margin of more than 1 lakh votes, taking charge of the Corporate Affairs ministry. He is, at present, India’s Law Minister and Minister of Minority Affairs.

He seems to have a knack for controversy. In 2002, in testimony of his commitment to the idea of justice, Salman Khurshid appealed the ban against the Students Islamic Movement of India, a group banned because of its alleged involvement in terrorist activities. In 2006, he appeared as a defense lawyer for SIMI members accused in terror cases. “I would refuse a client only when I am personally satisfied that taking up the case would go against the ethics of the profession,” Khurshid said when asked about his decision. “A lawyer has to appear for an accused. It is my constitutional duty.” He hasn’t always played it safe in his political avatar either. As Minister of Minority Affairs, Khurshid took part of the Muslim community head on when he refused to consider reservations the be-all and end-all of ‘minority’ policymaking.

He has a penchant for writing and theatre, perhaps acquired during his education at Delhi’s St. Stephen’s College and Oxford University, UK, and recently authored a play called Sons of Babur that was staged at the iconic Red Fort with veteran actor Tom Alter in the lead.

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