Dr Fauzia Khan is a outstanding politician and an educationist who can also 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 Celebration (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 also be the President of the Federation of All Maharashtra Minority Schooling Organisation (FAME) and the Director of a lot of 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 in the present day. She additionally voices the necessity for the Girls’s Reservation Invoice, emphasises the significance of girls taking part actively in politics, and displays on her political profession.
FII: Have been you at all times fascinated with politics and fascinated by this discipline? Have been you politically energetic and conscious while you have been younger?
Dr Fauzia Khan: No. As a baby, I didn’t know something until I acquired 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 replicate 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 aim the identical in each fields and if it was, what was the aim?
Dr Fauzia Khan: See, for me, it was all future on a regular basis as I take it personally. However if you happen to see it from a political angle, I really feel this chance got here to me by means of our chief Sharad Pawarji, who appears to be like round for potential ladies who can take up these roles. And in addition I feel I’m one of many beneficiaries of that outlook. I labored in schooling, 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 high school, 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 college of your individual, in an effort to preserve requirements, and the kids can get educated right here together with different youngsters.”
In order that’s how I started my schooling profession. And I began a college which took off properly, and I earned a reputation or fame by means of that college within the small city of Parbhani. And that’s how individuals began understanding 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 cut-off date, I used to be very reluctant. I didn’t need 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 need to do it, as a result of I didn’t take into account it a clear discipline. However my household, wished me to provide it a attempt. Particularly my father-in-law, who was a lawyer. And he was a bit into politics at the moment. So he mentioned, “Why don’t you attempt as a result of it’s such an enormous alternative.”
And in the meantime, my husband and my father-in-law saved on making an attempt to steer me. Whereas this roster for girls was cancelled, there was a roster for normal elections like the overall class. So despite 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 doing a little work in schooling. However if you happen to go to a broader discipline, it is possible for you to to do a lot wider work by means of that. So I believed it is a good alternative that we are able to do constructive work additionally by means of this.
So once I contested this election, I acquired the recognition to the primary degree, 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 celebration chief that’s honourable Sharad Pawar ji observed the best way we campaigned and the best way I acquired the celebration, (it was on the fourth or fifth quantity), to quantity 2. So then my celebration approached me, and Honourable Sharad Pawarji, himself approached me. And he supplied the place within the Legislative Council to me and mentioned that “We need to take you there if you happen to’re .”
And that’s how immediately I got here to the Legislative Council. Then for six years, I used to be a member of the legislative council. I carried out properly there and I acquired the President’s Award for it. Then once more, yet another 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 ladies. And, then in a while, 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 while you have been contesting the elections, after which you might be in the present day 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 type of bias. I used to be at all times 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 a terrific 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 desire for welfare, however on the similar time, even this appears to be like an enormous hope to realize illustration.
So, I’m there however we’re in such a small minority, that what we converse hardly issues as a result of in the present day, the BJP has acquired 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, acquired me considering, in regards to the ladies’s reservation invoice, which has been pending for thus a few years. So, the truth that “India ranks twentieth from the underside when it comes to illustration of girls in parliament“, what does that imply to you and girls on the whole?
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 imagine that girls must be empowered, however the precise motion will not be there. And the actual motion can 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 executed. As a result of earlier, we had so many events who have been conflicting over issues with one another, however in the present day, that’s not the state of affairs. So no matter is being mentioned, and no matter is being acted upon, there’s a large hole between that.
Additionally Learn: Muslim Girls In Indian Politics: Reservation Proposed by the AIMMM
FII: What can be the rationale that we’re nonetheless dragging our ft on the Girls’s Reservation Invoice and nonetheless have didn’t make it a actuality even after greater than 70 years the invoice remains to be pending.
Dr Fauzia Khan: At present, the Modi authorities is patting its again that we now have acquired so many ladies in parliament, nevertheless it’s such a shameful factor as a result of even in the present day, we solely have come as much as 14 per cent within the parliament. When the nation grew to become impartial in 1947, ladies’s illustration in parliament was 5 per cent. At present it’s 14 per cent. So we now have grown solely 9 per cent in 75 years. The place in some nations on the earth this quota has made ladies 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 now have 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 now have been elevating this in Parliament, repeatedly, all the opposition retains unanimously saying that carry the ladies’s reservation invoice, nevertheless it’s not being introduced.
FII: Even when ladies do come from political backgrounds, it’s nonetheless a troublesome choice for them to hitch politics. So what would you concentrate on ladies who do by no means come from political backgrounds, and need to be a part of politics?
Dr Fauzia Khan: In case you look throughout the canvas of girls who’re within the Lok Sabha or the assemblies, you will notice that a lot of the ladies are from political backgrounds or households who’ve a political background. So it’s very troublesome for a lady who will not be from a political background to get elected. It’s virtually subsequent to not possible. I feel simply there should be one or two examples, however then this reservation solely could be a resolution to it, as a result of the reservation within the native self-government has proven that girls, the state of affairs of girls can enhance.
And solely a day earlier than yesterday I used to be in a district known as Amravati in Maharashtra. And I went to five or 6 locations and totally different Talukas the place we felicitated ladies sarpanches. And once I was felicitating, these ladies sarpanches from the Gram Panchayat, I, , noticed that almost all of them virtually all of them have been educated ladies who appeared , totally competent to do the work on their very own.
FII: Reflecting in your earlier reply, how essential it’s for girls to get entangled in politics actively?
Dr Fauzia Khan: It might positively enhance politics. It might carry a few large change I really feel as a result of if we minutely examine the questions raised by ladies notably, they take care of human growth points. Most questions that girls elevate take care of human growth points like well being and schooling, which is the actual parameter for the event of any nation.
Like considerations about malnutrition, considerations about ladies’s well being considerations in regards to the high quality of schooling, ladies 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 growth must be healthful, each human growth and infrastructural growth are obligatory for any nation. So I feel 50 per cent of girls must be there in politics, and 50 per cent in Human Improvement accordingly, or it can happen in accordance 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 in the present day we now have a Finance Minister who’s a girl, and he or she’s doing that so competently. So I feel extra examples will are available in and they need to are available in. Girls ought to get higher portfolios.
Additionally Learn: Why Are Girls Beneath-Represented In Politics?
FII: What would you say to individuals on the whole, and girls specifically, who suppose that politics will not be a part of our life and are averse to it?
Dr Fauzia Khan: I might say even initially, I had believed in such considering, however my expertise has proven me that, sure, we are able to 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 except we’re concerned in policymaking, we can not carry a few 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 properly. As a result of right here ladies are usually very weak.
FII: What’s the reason behind the rising violence in 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 turn out to be filthy. And so as to accumulate the votes of sure communities, this hate and this type 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 grasp that that is only a sport by politicians, to profit themselves. And that’s the reason except we cease politics, regarding communities, and it simply turns into about human beings on the whole, 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 turn out to be conscious.
The interview has been paraphrased and condensed for readability, on the interviewer’s discretion.