Sikander Bakht

20 November, 2012

Sikander Bakht was one among few Muslim members of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian People’s Party). Born in Delhi in 1918, he completed his education at Zakir Hussain College and at Delhi University. A committed Congressman, extremely active in relief operations from 1946 to 1947, married with a Hindu woman (a fact not well received in his neighborhood), he was elected as a member of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. After the death of Pandit Nehru and L. B. Shastri, he disapproved the ways of Indira Gandhi while on the other hand, he was extremely close to Morarji Desai. He was thus involved in the break-away of 1969, and was then one of the Congress (O) leaders. Jailed in 1975, an active member of the nascent Janata in 1977, he chose to follow Atal Bihari Vajpayee when the new BJP emerged in 1980, becoming the party’s first Muslim leader. Elected to the Lok Sabha (from Chandni Chowk in Delhi) in 1977 and then to the Rajya Sabha—becoming leader of the Opposition in the latter, Bakht also became Industry Minister in the BJP government of A. B. Vajpayee in 1998. In 2002, he became Governor of Kerala, until his death in 2004. Considered as the BJP’s best-known Muslim personality, his aim was to bring Indian Muslims into the “national mainstream.” Bakht participated in the 1994 BJP agitation in hoisting the national flag at the Idgah Maidan in Hubli (Karnataka). The situation degenerated and serious rioting ensued.

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OEMV , Sikander Bakht , Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 20 November, 2012, accessed 17/05/2021,, ISSN 1961-9898
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