Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Salman Khurshid

Former Minister of External Affairs, Government of India
OP Jindal Distinguished Lecturer (spring 2016)


The Jindal Distinguished Lecture Series was endowed in perpetuity by Sajjan and Sangita Jindal to promote a serious discussion of politics, economics, social and cultural change in modern India. 

Salman Khurshid is an Indian politician, lawyer, and writer. Mr. Khurshid started his political career as an Officer on Special Duty in the Prime Minister's Office, during the Prime Ministership of Indira Gandhi in the early 1980s. Later he became the Deputy Minister of Commerce, and then Minister of State for External Affairs from 1991-1996. During this period he was a Member of Parliament from the Farrukhabad constituency in Uttar Pradesh. In the General Election of 2009 he was once again elected as a Member of Parliament from Farrukhabad, winning as a candidate of the Indian National Congress. He became the Union Minister of State with Independent Charge of Corporate Affairs and Minority Affairs in the Government of India. Subsequently he was elevated to Cabinet Minister first of Water Resources with Minority Affairs; then Law & Justice and finally Foreign Minister of India.

Mr. Khurshid has been the President of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee twice. He was also the President of the Delhi Public School Society and Dr. Zakir Husain Study Circle. He is the author of the play Sons of Babur (Rupa & Co. 2008), which has been staged, (over 25 performances) with Tom Alter in the lead role. He has also been the editor of The Contemporary Conservative: Selected Writings of Dhiren Bhagat published in 1990. Books he has written include Beyond Terrorism: New Hope for Kashmir (South Asia Books 1994), At Home in India: The Muslim Saga (Hay House 2014) and The Other Side of the Mountain (Hay House 2016).

Mr. Khurshid studied at St. Stephen's College, Delhi (B.A. English) and St Edmund Hall, Oxford, UK (B.A. Jurisprudence, M.A., B.C.L.). He was also a Lecturer in Law at Trinity College, Oxford.

The lectures are available in the video archive.

Friday, April 29, 2016 | India's Muslims Since Independence
Monday, May 2, 2016 | India-Pakistan Relations: Can We Move Forward?