Arif Mohammed Khan is an Indian Politician, the incumbent Governor of Kerala and the Chancellor of all State Universities in Kerala. Arif Khan, on 1 September 2019, was appointed as the 22nd Governor of Kerala by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind.
Arif Mohammed Khan was born on Sunday, 18 November 1951 (age 71 years; as of 2022) in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh. He is a well-known writer and columnist; who publicly advocates religious reformation, especially in the Muslim community. He started his political career as a student leader at the Aligarh Muslim University and has been part of different political parties during his long political career. Arif Khan completed his schooling at the Jamia Millia School, Delhi, and GS Inter College Bulandshahar. He joined the Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, to pursue his graduation in BA (Hons) (1972-1973). He completed his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from Lucknow University (1974-1977).
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Arif Mohammed Khan’s family hails from Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh.
Parents & Siblings
Arif Mohammed Khan’s father, Ashfaq Mohammad Khan, was a freedom fighter. Ashfaq Mohammad Khan passed away in 2016 (aged 93). Arif’s brother, Asif Muhammad Khan, is a former Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) who represented the Okhla Assembly constituency of Delhi (2013). Unlike Arif Khan, his brother is a member of the Indian National Congress.
Wife & Children
Arif Khan married Sayyada Reshma Arif on 14 October 1977 and has two sons, Mustafa Arif and Kabir Arif. Mustafa Arif is a lawyer, and Kabir Arif is a pilot by training and pursuing his passion for organic farming in Uttar Pradesh.
Hon’ble Governor Shri Arif Mohammed Khan and Smt Reshma Arif at Central Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram on #RepublicDay2020 @vijayanpinarayi @CMOKerala pic.twitter.com/t56vigA95b
— Kerala Governor (@KeralaGovernor) January 26, 2020
Arif Muhammed Khan’s niece, Ariba Khan, is an Indian politician. Ariba contested in the Delhi Municipal Corporation Election (2022) on a Congress ticket, and emerged victorious.
Gulwa Bagh, Lucknow Road, Bahraich UP.
Delhi Address: B-10, Mayfair Gardens, New Delhi – 110 016
Arif Muhammed Khan started his political career as a student leader at the Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh. He was the General Secretary of the AMU Students Union during 1972-1973; he was elected as the President of the AMU Students Union during 1973-1974. Arif Khan was part of the Bharatiya Kranti Dal (BKD) party of Chaudhary Charan Singh, which later merged with the Janata Party after the 1977 Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly elections. After leaving BKD, he joined the Rajiv-led Indian National Congress (Indira) and was part of the grand old party from 1980-1986. He was the Joint Secretary of the All India Congress Committee (Indira) [A.I.C.C.(I)] during 1978-82. Arif’s career-defining moment came in 1986 when he was the Minister of State in the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress ministry. He was highly critical of the government’s move to bring in the legislation to overturn the Supreme court’s judgement in the Shah Bano case (differences over the passage of the Muslim Personal Law Bill); Arif was expelled from the Indian National Congress by Rajiv Gandhi after Khan’s stand angered his party and colleagues. He was briefly associated with the Janata Dal party after leaving INC and was given a ticket to the Parliament which he won and became part of the V P Singh ministry, after the V P Singh ministry fell, Arif joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and became its general secretary. He opposed BSP’s decision to join with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2002 to form the state government in Uttar Pradesh and left the party; however, in 2004 he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and left them three years later in 2007. He later rejoined BJP and has been an advocate of the party ever since.
Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA)
Arif Khan unsuccessfully contested in his first legislative assembly election, under the banner of Bharatiya Kranti Dal (BKD) from the Siyana constituency of Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh. Arif was 26 years of age when he became a member of the legislative assembly in Uttar Pradesh; in 1977. He was made deputy minister in charge of Excise, Prohibition and Wakf of the Janata Party government, but Arif submitted his resignation after he disagreed with how the government handled the Lucknow riots between Shias and Sunnis.
Member of Parliament (MP) Lok Sabha
Arif was given a ticket by the Indian National Congress (Indira) in 1980 to participate in the Lok Sabha elections, he contested from the Kanpur Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh and emerged victorious. Arif Khan was then appointed as the Deputy Minister in charge of Information and Broadcasting, in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet. In 1984, Arif, contested from the Bahraich Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh and won the election. He was part of the 9th Lok Sabha (1989) as a Janata Dal party candidate representing the Bahraich Lok Sabha constituency and became the Union Minister for Energy and Civil Aviation. Arif Khan was part of the 12th Lok Sabha (1998) representing the Bahraich Lok Sabha under the banner of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). He unsuccessfully contested as a BJP candidate from the Kaiserganj Lok Sabha constituency in 2004.
Governor of Kerala
Arif Mohammed Khan was appointed as the 22nd Governor of Kerala on 1 September 2019.
Arif Mohd Khan on being appointed as Guv of Kerala: It’s an opportunity to serve. Fortunate to be born in a country like India which is so vast&rich in diversity. It’s a great opportunity for me to know this part of India, which forms boundary of India&is called god’s own country pic.twitter.com/LZmF1FRN3Y
— ANI (@ANI) September 1, 2019
Stood with the Supreme Court’s judgement in Shah Bano Case and opposed Triple Talaq
Arif Khan was part of the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress from 1980-1986, he was a Minister of State, holding different portfolios of Energy, Industry and Company Affairs and Home. Arif welcomed the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Shah Bano case, where the divorced husband was ordered to pay alimony to Shah Bano. This ruling was not welcomed by the Muslim clerics; the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress ministry brought in the legislature to overturn the judgement. Arif voiced his concern and resigned from his ministerial role, protesting against the government’s decision. He was expelled from the Indian National Congress following this outburst, but he never changed his stance and stressed that reformations are essential for the Muslim community. He welcomed the Supreme Court’s judgement, declaring the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional and void, and demanded that the people who practice triple talaq should be jailed for at least three years. These observations did not go well with the pundits and clerics of Muslim communities.
Raj Bhavan vs Kerala Government
Arif Mohammed Khan was appointed as the 22nd Governor of Kerala in 2019; after the first few months disagreements between him and the government became common. Arif Khan has been at loggerheads with the CPIM-led Kerala government since the anti-CAA resolution was passed by the assembly. Arif Khan initially refused to read out the references of the resolution (paragraph 18) passed by the Kerala legislative assembly; later he confirmed that he would read the paragraph to honour the wishes of the chief minister, even though he has differences and reservations over the subject. Arif Khan’s actions were observed as politically motivated by the CPIM, who accused him of functioning and using his power to please the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Arif Khan questioned and cancelled the appointment of Priya Varghese, wife of K K Ragesh, private secretary to the Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, as an associate professor at Kannur University, Kerala, in 2022. Khan accused the state government of nepotism, and the High Court found that Priya does not possess sufficient teaching experience as mandated by the University Grants Commission (UGC) norms and ordered a reexamination of her appointment as an associate professor. The feud between the governor and the state government intensified when Arif Khan sought the resignation of 11 Vice-Chancellors (VC) citing that the government appointed them in the same manner which was judged unlawful by the Supreme Court when it invalidated the appointment of the Kerala Technological University (KTU) Vice-Chancellor, as the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations were violated. The Kerala government then tabled the University Laws (amendments) Bills in the state assembly to revise the laws related to the governance of state universities and to remove the Governor as the Chancellor of state universities. The LDF-led government has passed the bill at the legislative assembly to put an end to the governor’s watchdog role in university administration and to ensure that the state government has more control.
Pinarayi Vijayan with Arif Mohammed Khan
Arif Mohammed Khan refused to speak to 2 media outlets during a press meeting at the Raj Bhavan in November 2022. He referred to the two Malayalam media, Kairali News and Media One as “cadre media” and alleged that they carry a campaign against his position as the Kerala Governor. He asked the representatives of these media to walk away or he will leave. Arif’s actions were heavily criticised by the media and the public.
As the Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammed Khan is entitled to a monthly salary of Rs. 3,50,000.
His net worth for the year 2004 is estimated to be Rs. 52,50,000.
Note: It excludes the net worth of his wife and dependents (minors).
Assets & Properties
- Bank Deposits: Rs. 250,000
- Agricultural Land: Rs. 15,00,000
Note: The given estimates of movable and immovable assets are according to the year 2004. It excludes the assets owned by his wife and dependents (minor).
- He is the author of the 2010 bestseller, Text and Context: Quran and Contemporary Challenges, published by Rupa Publications.
- Arif Muhammed Khan is against minority appeasement, he opposes minority commissions and advocates for strengthening of the National Human Rights Commission, which can take care of anybody and everybody.