MP Rajya Sabha Fauzia Khan Talks About Girls’s Reservation Invoice, Minorities And Girls’s Political Participation
Dr Fauzia Khan is a outstanding politician and an educationist who can be at present a Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra. She is the Nationwide President of the Nationalist Mahila Congress—the Girls’s Wing of the Nationalist Congress Occasion (NCP). She is a former State Minister of the Maharashtra authorities and served as a member of the Legislative Council, Maharashtra’s higher home, twice.
Dr Fauzia Khan can be the President of the Federation of All Maharashtra Minority Schooling Organisation (FAME) and the Director of various instructional establishments in Parbhani. She was additionally the state’s first Muslim lady minister within the Maharashtra authorities.
In dialog with FII, Dr Fauzia Khan underscores challenges affecting minorities and girls within the nation immediately. She additionally voices the necessity for the Girls’s Reservation Invoice, emphasises the significance of ladies taking part actively in politics, and displays on her political profession.
FII: Had been you all the time concerned with politics and fascinated by this area? Had been you politically energetic and conscious if you have been younger?
Dr Fauzia Khan: No. As a baby, I didn’t know something until I bought into politics, I didn’t know what politics is. And I didn’t have any such ambition. However as a baby, I did have management qualities as I mirror upon them now. As a result of I used to guide groups of youngsters in play actions. So I feel I had it in me, however I didn’t realise it at the moment.
FII: You have been an educationist, earlier than becoming a member of politics. So what made you be a part of politics? Was the objective the identical in each fields and if it was, what was the objective?
Dr Fauzia Khan: See, for me, it was all future on a regular basis as I take it personally. However in the event you see it from a political angle, I really feel this chance got here to me by our chief Sharad Pawarji, who appears round for potential girls who can take up these roles. And in addition I feel I’m one of many beneficiaries of that outlook. I labored in training, and even that got here in, as life rolls on, as a result of I used to be married in a spot the place there have been only a few good faculties. After which when it got here as much as my youngsters being despatched to highschool, that point, I realised that there have been no faculties the place I want to ship my youngsters. So then my husband suggested me that “Why don’t you begin a faculty of your individual, so as to keep requirements, and the kids can get educated right here together with different youngsters.”
In order that’s how I started my training profession. And I began a faculty which took off nicely, and I earned a reputation or repute by that college within the small city of Parbhani. And that’s how individuals began figuring out me.
And sooner or later, the NCP district president from right here, approached me for the municipal councils. There’s a reservation for girls. So (he requested) would you prefer to contest this election as a result of it is a direct election? And it’s a roaster for girls. So at that time limit, I used to be very reluctant. I didn’t wish to get into politics. Until that point, I had believed that politics was not a sphere for good individuals. And that’s why I refused.
I didn’t wish to do it, as a result of I didn’t think about it a clear area. However my household, wished me to provide it a strive. Particularly my father-in-law, who was a lawyer. And he was somewhat into politics at the moment. So he mentioned, “Why don’t you strive as a result of it’s such an enormous alternative.”
And in the meantime, my husband and my father-in-law stored on attempting to steer me. Whereas this roster for girls was cancelled, there was a roster for normal elections like the overall class. So regardless of that, then I made a decision to contest that election. And eventually, my thoughts was made up as a result of what made me satisfied, was my husband mentioned that you’re performing some work in training. However in the event you go to a broader area, it is possible for you to to do a lot wider work by that. So I assumed it is a good alternative that we will do constructive work additionally by this.
So once I contested this election, I bought the recognition to the primary stage, however then I nonetheless misplaced by a really slim margin. As a result of at the moment, that communal card was performed. And eventually, I misplaced that election with a really, very slim margin. And my get together chief that’s honourable Sharad Pawar ji observed the way in which we campaigned and the way in which I bought the get together, (it was on the fourth or fifth quantity), to quantity 2. So then my get together approached me, and Honourable Sharad Pawarji, himself approached me. And he provided the place within the Legislative Council to me and mentioned that “We wish to take you there in the event you’re .”
And that’s how instantly I got here to the Legislative Council. Then for six years, I used to be a member of the legislative council. I carried out nicely there and I bought the President’s Award for it. Then once more, yet one more time, he made me a governor’s nominee and this time he gave me a ministry within the Maharashtra cupboard, as a Minister of State. After which the time period after that time period was accomplished.
Our authorities itself misplaced, and the BJP authorities took over so there was a 5-year hole however even throughout that point, Sharad Pawar ji made me the nationwide president for NCP girls. And, then afterward, I used to be despatched to the Rajya Sabha. In order that’s my political journey.
FII: How has politics modified through the years, like, as you talked about that it was a bit communal again then if you have been contesting the elections, after which you’re immediately a Rajya Sabha member? And what was it like so that you can be a Muslim minister within the Maharashtra cupboard?
Dr Fauzia Khan: So far as being a Muslim minister within the cupboard, I didn’t discover any form of bias. I used to be all the time appreciated for all my enter.
FII: There’s a lack of illustration of Muslims and Dalits and different minorities within the Indian political sphere, due to which to an excellent diploma, points associated to minorities stay considerably unaddressed. So would you say lack of illustration is resulting in unaddressed points associated to minorities?
Dr Fauzia Khan: There’s a lack of illustration, which is resulting in a scarcity of welfare schemes, and a scarcity of the need for welfare, however on the similar time, even this appears to be like an enormous hope to attain illustration.
So, I’m there however we’re in such a small minority, that what we converse hardly issues as a result of immediately, the BJP has bought the numbers. And no matter we are saying solely comes on report, however nothing comes out of it. That’s my feeling.
FII: So, speaking about illustration, bought me considering, concerning the girls’s reservation invoice, which has been pending for therefore a few years. So, the truth that “India ranks twentieth from the underside when it comes to illustration of ladies in parliament“, what does that imply to you and girls usually?
Dr Fauzia Khan: So the Girls’s Reservation Invoice has been lingering within the parliament now for nearly a century. However this time, the ladies of India actually have hope, as a result of if the Modi authorities possesses the numbers, nothing can cease the Modi authorities. They consider that girls must be empowered, however the precise motion just isn’t there. And the actual motion could be the invoice to be introduced into parliament and which might be simply handed as a result of they’ve the numbers. So I don’t know why it’s not accomplished. As a result of earlier, we had so many events who have been conflicting over issues with one another, however immediately, that’s not the state of affairs. So no matter is being mentioned, and no matter is being acted upon, there’s a massive hole between that.
Additionally Learn: Muslim Girls In Indian Politics: Reservation Proposed by the AIMMM
FII: What could be the explanation that we’re nonetheless dragging our toes on the Girls’s Reservation Invoice and nonetheless have did not make it a actuality even after greater than 70 years the invoice remains to be pending.
Dr Fauzia Khan: Immediately, the Modi authorities is patting its again that we’ve got bought so many ladies in parliament, however it’s such a shameful factor as a result of even immediately, we solely have come as much as 14 per cent within the parliament. When the nation grew to become unbiased in 1947, girls’s illustration in parliament was 5 per cent. Immediately it’s 14 per cent. So we’ve got grown solely 9 per cent in 75 years. The place in some nations on the planet this quota has made girls come as much as 60 per cent illustration and nations like Rwanda, Cuba and different Latin American nations. Even in Dubai, within the UAE, we’ve got 50 per cent illustration for girls.
So India is way far behind and nonetheless patting its again that we’re doing a lot for girls. So it’s an enormous paradox. And I feel it’s time we’ve got been elevating this in Parliament, repeatedly, all the opposition retains unanimously saying that carry the ladies’s reservation invoice, however it’s not being introduced.
FII: Even when girls do come from political backgrounds, it’s nonetheless a troublesome choice for them to affix politics. So what would you consider girls who do under no circumstances come from political backgrounds, and wish to be a part of politics?
Dr Fauzia Khan: If you happen to look throughout the canvas of ladies who’re within the Lok Sabha or the assemblies, you will notice that a lot of the girls are from political backgrounds or households who’ve a political background. So it’s very troublesome for a girl who just isn’t from a political background to get elected. It’s nearly subsequent to not possible. I feel simply there should be one or two examples, however then this reservation solely is usually a resolution to it, as a result of the reservation within the native self-government has proven that girls, the state of affairs of ladies can enhance.
And solely a day earlier than yesterday I used to be in a district referred to as Amravati in Maharashtra. And I went to five or 6 locations and totally different Talukas the place we felicitated girls sarpanches. And once I was felicitating, these girls sarpanches from the Gram Panchayat, I, you understand, noticed that almost all of them nearly all of them have been educated girls who seemed you understand, totally competent to do the work on their very own.
FII: Reflecting in your earlier reply, how necessary it’s for girls to become involved in politics actively?
Dr Fauzia Khan: It might positively enhance politics. It might carry a couple of massive change I really feel as a result of if we minutely examine the questions raised by girls significantly, they cope with human improvement points. Most questions that girls elevate cope with human improvement points like well being and training, which is the actual parameter for the event of any nation.
Like considerations about malnutrition, considerations about girls’s well being considerations concerning the high quality of training, girls are inclined to give attention to these points whereas males are inclined to focus extra on infrastructural points. So most questions are raised by males, and most debates raised by males are associated to infrastructure. And if improvement needs to be healthful, each human improvement and infrastructural improvement are essential for any nation. So I feel 50 per cent of ladies must be there in politics, and 50 per cent in Human Improvement accordingly, or it should happen in keeping with my considering.
FII: More often than not, what occurs that girls are restricted to sure portfolios? For instance, Girls and Youngster Improvement. What do you say about that?
Dr Fuazia Khan: It does occur. However that change can come on later. I really feel proper now we have to focus extra on rising the illustration. As a result of slowly even this, change is coming in immediately we’ve got a Finance Minister who’s a girl, and he or she’s doing that so competently. So I feel extra examples will are available and they need to are available. Girls ought to get higher portfolios.
Additionally Learn: Why Are Girls Beneath-Represented In Politics?
FII: What would you say to individuals usually, and girls particularly, who suppose that politics just isn’t a part of our life and are averse to it?
Dr Fauzia Khan: I’d say even initially, I had believed in such considering, however my expertise has proven me that, sure, we will make an enormous distinction. And we should be in politics as a result of politics is an integral a part of our on a regular basis life. And until we’re concerned in policymaking, we can’t carry a couple of transition in our personal lives. So it impacts us totally. And that’s the reason we must be politically conscious. We must be financially and legally conscious as nicely. As a result of right here girls are typically very weak.
FII: What’s the reason for the rising violence in the direction of minorities, which has pushed them to the periphery over time, and the way can this be addressed?
Dr Fauzia Khan: Sadly, politics has change into filthy. And so as to accumulate the votes of sure communities, this hate and this sort of agenda have been propagated purposely. And due to that violence is going down. And clearly, in any nation, the weak and the disadvantaged are going to be on the victimised finish.
And that’s the reason there’s a nice want for the general public to know that that is only a recreation by politicians, to learn themselves. And that’s the reason until we cease politics, regarding communities, and it simply turns into about human beings usually, issues is not going to change. In order that’s how now as a public, we have to begin engaged on it. And the general public has to change into conscious.
FII thanks Dr Fauzia Khan for her time, persistence, and phrases. You might comply with her on Twitter and Instagram.
The interview has been paraphrased and condensed for readability, on the interviewer’s discretion.