Friday, October 3, 2014


On Friday, 3 October 2014 11:02 AM, Salman Khurshid <> wrote:

 Dear Friends:

I am writing this missive mainly to those friends from academia and the arts with whom I could not be in close contact over the last five years. Among these friends, a large number are from abroad. Others from India were able to periodically participate on the literary front and encouraged me to intervene and comment on social issues. Many are old family friends and their progeny―particularly those from Germany―who were influenced by my grandfather. A scholar once sent me a rare picture of the house that Zakir Sahib lived in during his student days. Fortuitously, some admirers of Zakir Sahib have had a long life and even as octogenarians remain active. One such remarkable person is the famous political scientist from the University of New York, Prof. Theodore P. Wright who is in his late eighties and who had during his 2001 visit updated Dr Zakir Husain's family tree. This distinguished gentleman worked on an interesting facet of Indian Muslim politics and analyzed those families that survived Partition and contributed to every aspect of national life. I had also come in contact with Justice Javed Iqbal, the illustrious son of Allama Iqbal, who is one of the most progressive thinkers of Islam.
During my days in government it was difficult for me to remain in touch with these distinguished people as they were occupied with doing outstanding work in their respective fields. Conscious of the burdens of an Indian politician in office, they hardly bothered me. I owe a lot to them and wish that they will be good enough to spare time for me as they did in the past. Incidentally, most of them had renewed their ties with our family through the Zakir Husain Study Circle that was established as a dedicated platform to preserve the memory of the first Muslim President of India, symbolizing the greatest strength of our democracy. You might recall that the then Prime Minister Ms Indira Gandhi had staked the fate of her political career to support the candidature of Zakir Sahib for President of India when Kamraj had felt that no Muslim could ever grace this highest office of Indian polity.
The ZHSC has made considerable impact through its annual lectures over ten years by illustrious personalities on some very crucial and vital aspects of Indian life. The Circle is among the few organizations that has had a captive audience of the most eminent people in the city. We hope to enhance the Circle with greater vigour.
Upon relinquishing the charge of the Ministry of External Affairs, I have returned to legal practice but am still trying to find time for my academic work and cultural activities. My book At Home in India will soon be out by Hay House Publications and hopefully performances of my play Sons of Babur will also be revived.
I might mention here that my friend Dr Ather Farouqui—a scholar in his own right—has promised to give more time to the activities that he started, most notably literary/academic events by the ZHSC, although he is now heading the sole nationalist Urdu organization, the Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu (Hind), which was saved from the emotional onslaught of Partition by Zakir Sahib and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad with the blessings of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
I look forward to being in touch with old friends and hopefully make new ones. An acknowledgement of this note will be much appreciated.
Salman Khurshid

Former Minister of External Affairs

Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India

80, Sukhdev Vihar, New Delhi-110025, India

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