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What's wrong with his RSS association? Asks Kerala Governor

Whats wrong with his RSS association? Asks Kerala Governor

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who met the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat when the former was in Thrissur, responded to the critics that he has had a strong association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh since 1986.

Khan acknowledges the RSS as the one organisation that supported him when he was in political crisis, early in 1986 with the Shah Bano case. He said there are people working in various Raj Bhavans in the country who are overtly associated with the RSS.

Khan went on to recall that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said that he was first a swayamsevak and Jawaharlal Nehru had invited the organisation to the Republic Day parade. He was responding to a query by reporters as to why he met Bhagwat recently in Thrissur when the RSS chief was in the southern State.

"Is RSS a banned organisation?" he asked. The Governor was speaking at a press conference called by him at Raj Bhavan earlier in the day to release a video clip of him being heckled at a Kannur University event in 2019 and the letters exchanged between him and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the functioning of the universities.

Khan said his association or relation with the RSS started in 1986 when it supported him in the Shah Bano case. He was a Minister of State in the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986 but he resigned over the government's stand in the Shah Bano case. Shah Bano was a Muslim woman from Indore. Divorced in 1978, she filed a criminal suit and won the right to alimony from her husband. Her husband had challenged the lower court's order in the Supreme Court which upheld the lower court's order. However, the then Rajiv Gandhi government brought a Bill - Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 in Parliament to reverse the judgment.

Khan had openly opposed the government's decision to bring a Bill to Parliament to reverse the Supreme Court's order that the victim of triple talaq has the right to demand maintenance from her ex-husband under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 which applies to all citizens regardless of caste or religion.

Along with the RSS, EMS Namboodiripad — the first Chief Minister of Kerala — also supported him back then, he said. "But after Namboodiripad, the Left changed its stance. They became supporters of the personal law board. RSS, however, consistently supported me. The Left supported me only till 1991. So if they (left) change, I cannot be held responsible for that," he said.

Khan said that when he was in Thrissur he came to know that Bhagwat was also there and therefore, he went to meet him and wish him well. "If he is there again, I will go and meet him," Khan added.

In an apparent dig at the ruling Left front, he said there are those who adhere to or are loyal to a foreign ideology which permits the use of force and therefore, what was unusual if he is friendly with the RSS. "If you have the right to be loyal to an ideology, which has not originated in India, which beliefs in the use of force, I do not have the right to have friendship with the RSS?"

"The ideology is not the problem. Problem is the action borne out of that ideology," he said. Referring to the killings in Kannur, Khan asked whose responsibility was it to prevent it from happening.

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TAGS:Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan Association with RSS 
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