Fact-check: BJP’s MP Saumitra Khan is not a Muslim but a Hindu

Various news reports making rounds of the Internet are claiming that BJP’s winning candidate from West Bengal’s Bishnupur, Saumitra Khan is going to be the only Muslim face from the party in Parliament. This include articles from esteemed news agencies such as ANI and IANS, which were published on platforms such as the Business standard and Economic Times.

However, contrary to what is being reported, Saumitra Khan is not a Muslim but a Hindu. Shocked to read that? You must be wondering how could a Hindu have the surname of Khan. The surname is generally associated with the Muslim community only. Though it is a fact that most people having the surname of Khan belong to the Muslim community, this is not true always.

Saumitra Khan belongs to Bengal, a land where many people in medieval times were given the title of “Khan” for their distinguished services, which included even Hindus. The descendants of such people kept the title alongside their names, giving birth to a Hindu community with the Khan surname. Though the Hindu Bengalis pronounce it as “Kha” and not Khan.

Moreover, the title Khan in all probability predates Islam itself. The title has Mongolian roots, where it was used by leaders, lords and rulers.

With that being said, we can safely conclude that there is not going to be a single Muslim from BJP’s side in the coming Lok Sabha. This ofcourse unless some Muslim MP from any other party jumps ship to BJP in next five years, which of lately has become a regular affair in Indian politics.