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Published in the 1-15 Apr 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Sikander Bakht

Then...

'Sikandar Bakht & Co.' in the RSS English mouthpiece Organiser, June 2, 1952, p. 1
"Here is the story of Sikandar Bakht and his accomplices in the conspired marriage. Sikandar Bakht was born to a Muslim tobacco seller by a prostitute. That was thirty-five years back. Till 1945 he was a clerk in the Supply Department, Government of India. In that year Sikandar joined the Muslim League National Guards and soon became an Ansar i. e. Commander. As Ansar, Sikandar came in close contact with League leader late Liaquat Ali Khan. About this time Delhi Congress leader Mrs. Subhadra Joshi came to know Sikandar. She saw him and liked him. So that when Partition riots started, she had him fixed as a leader of 'Shanti Dal' of the Congress.

"As leader of Shanti Dal, a large number of Muslim evacuees entrusted their properties to Sikandar for safe-keep. Sikandar instead made the properties safe for himself. A criminal case for misappropriation was filed against him. But mighty Subhadra's almighty Congress had the case withdrawn." "Soon after she smuggled friend Sikandar into the Congress and had him made Secretary. Sikandar wore no khaddar. He ridiculed it. He flaunted the latest fashions in European dress. But Congresswoman Subhadra liked him. Already in 1947 she had shifted to the house of Sikandar in Basti Harpool Singh. She has stayed with him ever since.

"In 1949, she thought of marrying him. The public of Delhi, however, by poster protests deterred her from doing so. But she continued to say [sic. It should have been 'stay'] with Sikandar. When she married Socialist B. D. Joshi, she brought him to stay in Sikandar's house.

About this time Chaudhri Brahm Prakash, now Chief Minister of Delhi and then D. P. C. C. president was in hot waters. He had not paid his rent for his house — 28 Pusa Road, New Delhi —for three years. The landlord approached the court for justice. The court ordered the police to evict Brahm Prakash. Now Brahm Prakash also came in the house. Sikanda's house was now a place which neighbours eyed with shocked wonderment.

"The clique launched a bogus Peasants' Multipurpose Co-operative Society. Sikandar got a big plot of land on Bela Road in the name of the Society." 
From the cover story titled 'Sikandar Bakht & Co.' in the RSS English mouthpiece Organiser, June 2, 1952, p. 1 (above)

'Guilty Men' in the Organiser, June 2, 1952

"The General Secretaries and local presidents of Bhartiya Jan Sangh and Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha and some thirty others have been arrested. Wireless-fitted police vans are scouring the city. Delhi today has the appearance of a city under siege... 

There have been some unfortunate incidents. We regret their occurrence. But they who tread other men's toes will have to be prepared for bruised thumbs. When sinners are slapped, no question of sympathy arises. And here we find the sinners are not even sorry for their sordid scheme.

"Notorious Sikandar Bakht was a commander in the Muslim League's National Guards. As the favourite pet of Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan was an evil power in partition-time Delhi."

"We congratulate the Jan Sangh and the Mahasabha leaders and workers on their articulation of public agony. Graceful Delhi has responded to their hartal call for the second day. 

What is at stake is not Raj or Sikandar. The stake is much higher It is whether this country shall go the dog's way or be yet saved from it." 
From the editorial titled 'Guilty Men' in the Organiser, June 2, 1952, p. 3 (right)

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Now ....
Sikander Bakht passes away

Kerala Governor, Sikander Bakht, who was a senior BJP leader, passed away in Thiruvananthapuram on February 23. He was 85. He was hospitalised following pain in the lower abdomen on February 19 and had undergone a surgery for intestinal block. He is survived by his wife, Raj Sharma Bakht and two sons—Anil and Sunil Bakht.
Born in Kartarpur mohalla of old Delhi, Sikander Bakht had taken over as Governor of Kerala on 18 April, 2002. He represented Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency from 1977 to 1979 and was Member of Rajya Sabha from 1990 to 2002. He was a Union Minister for Works, Housing, Supply, Rehabilitation and Wakf during the Janata Party rule in 1977, Minister for Urban Affairs, Employment and External Affairs in 1996 and Minister for Industry from 1998-99. He was leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from 1992-98 and leader of the Lok Sabha during 1998-99.
Bakht was with the Congress until 1969. He joined the Janata Party during 1977. Detained for 18 months during the Emergency, he finally moved on to BJP and was party general secretary from 1980-1982 and its vice-president from 1982 to 1983. He also received the Padma Vibhushan in 2000.
His mortal remains were laid to rest in Delhi with full state honours. Prominent among those who paid tributes included President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam; Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat; Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee; Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani; Union Minister O. Rajagopal and Kerala Chief Minister A.K. Antony, besides hundreds of admirers.
In his condolence message the RSS Sarsanghchalak, K.S. Sudarshan described Sikander Bakht as an upright man of principles who had an affable temperament and endeared himself to all those who came in contact with him. Political untouchability was unknown to him and his earnest endeavour was to bring the Indian Muslim society into the national mainstream. (FOC) 
Organiser, 7 March 2004
http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=13&page=7

Epitome of culture
External Affairs Minister in the previous short- lived BJP government in 1996, 80-year-old Mr. Sikander Bakht is a prominent Muslim leader in the BJP. Epitome of the culture of the old world Delhi, Mr. Bakht's entire political life is rooted in the nation's Capital. A Cabinet Minister in the Janata government of 1977, Mr. Bakht has been a member of both Houses of Parliament. 
http://www.bjp.org/news/profile.htm


Original Poster boy
The BJP's original 'poster-boy' Sikander Bakht just died as Kerala's governor. Despite his loyalty, he never rose high in the BJP. What the BJP wants is not leaders, only mannequins. Mannequins are dispensable; they are usually discarded --unceremoniously.

Hindutva's new mannequins won't persuade anyone that the BJP is becoming a 'normal, mainstream' party, which accepts India's plural, multicultural, multi-religious character. To this day, it hasn't given up its Ram Janambhoomi obsession, leave alone apologised for the Babri demolition. Its supporters and affiliates continue to occupy Muslim prayer grounds, graveyards and shrines like Baba Budangiri in Karnataka and Kamal Maula Masjid in Madhya Pradesh. They lay claim to 30,000 monuments, including the Dargah Sharif at Ajmer. ...The Quislings won't affect their choices in any way. Put simply, the BJP's 'minority card' is a dud!
Praful Bidwai
http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/mar/15bidwai.htm

Coincidence(?)
The historical coincidence of his entry into the BJP and the passing of Sikander Bakht within 24 hours of each other cannot be missed. Years back, Bakht, like Khan, had braved the contempt of sections of the intelligentsia by becoming one of the founder general secretaries of the BJP...
Harsh Vardhan, President, BJP Delhi Pradesh
Hindustan Times, 19 March 04
http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_599367,00120001.htm 

 

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