Muslim women MPs Iqra Hasan, Sajda Ahmad win in LS polls affirm India’s democratic diversity

Women in Politics. Iqra Hasan won from Kairana Lok Sabha seat on Samajwadi Party ticket. Image: Wikipedia CC

By Tauseef Reza

#MuslimMPs, #WomenMPs, #MuslimWomenMPs, #IndianDemocracy, #IndianDiversity

IBNS-CMEDIA: The results of Lok Sabha elections 2024 have come and they have shown why the democratic system is the most beautiful form of electoral politics.

How it gives representation to every section of the society, no matter what caste, class or religion they belong to.

The poll results have thrown a pleasant surprise with the people giving a chance to progressive women from the minorities too, especially from the Muslim community.

This election saw a huge upheaval in the country’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh.

One of the most interesting wins came from Kairana Lok Sabha seat, where Samajwadi Party made 29-year-old Iqra Hasan its candidate. Iqra emerged victorious by defeating BJP’s Pradeep Kumar by 69,116 votes.

Iqra’s family has been in politics for the last 40 years. Her grandfather Akht Hasan had contested elections from Kairana in 1984 on a Congress ticket and won and became an MP. He had defeated BSP supremo Mayawati. At that time Mayawati was contesting Lok Sabha elections for the first time. Later, her father Munawwar Hasan carried forward the family’s political legacy and was elected MP on Samajwadi Party ticket in 1996. He died in a road accident in 2008.

After the death of Munawwar Hasan, his wife Tabassum Hasan won the election from Kairana Lok Sabha seat on BSP ticket in 2009. Tabassum also emerged victorious in the by-election held after the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh in 2018.

Iqra’s elder brother Nahid Hasan is a three-time MLA. He contested and won the assembly elections from jail in the year 2022.

The arrest of her elder brother under the Gangster Act became the turning point in Iqra’s life and she took the responsibility of ensuring her brother’s victory in the elections.

Iqra Hassan has studied from Queen Mary School, New Delhi. She has obtained a post-graduate degree in International Politics from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University. Apart from this, she has also studied law from SOAS University of London.

Iqra says that after her father’s death, there were changes in politics and communal issues became the biggest ones. With Iqra getting a total of 5 lakh 28 thousand 13 votes in the election and becoming one of the youngest MPs, she now shoulders the hopes and aspirations of lakhs of youth in her constituency and also emerges as a role model for millions.

Similar is the case of Sajda Ahmed, the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate from Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal. Sajda gave a crushing defeat to BJP’s Arun Udaypal Chaudhary.

Sajda Ahmed captured 7 lakh 24 thousand 622 votes, while Arun Udaypal Chaudhary got 5 lakh 5 thousand 949 votes. Sajda Malik had also defeated BJP’s Joy Banerjee in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Sajda Ahmed retained the Uluberia Lok Sabha seat on TMC ticket. Image: Official Facebook Sajda Ahmed retained the Uluberia Lok Sabha seat on TMC ticket. Image: Official Facebook

62-year-old Sajda Ahmed obtained her graduation degree from Calcutta University in 1983.

After this he supported his father Sultan Ahmed and took over his inheritance.

After the death of her father, Sajda Ahmed won the Lok Sabha elections for the first time by winning the by-election held in 2018 and since then she has retained the Uluberia Lok Sabha seat.

Sajda Ahmed is the widow of Sultan Ahmed, the former two-time MP from Uluberia, and prominent Muslim face of the TMC who died of cardiac arrest on September 4, 2017.

“Long back, my husband had wanted me to join politics. But I had declined. There were already two politicians in the family and I had my kids to groom. I might not have campaigned, but I have been like a shadow for my husband, during his 30 years of political career. So many years down the line, today, when I will be contesting this election, in a way will be fulfilling his wish,” Sajda had said during an interview before filing the nomination.

The induction of such progressive women in the Parliament will certainly boost the interest of the minorities and certainly boost India’s image in the world as being the most diverse democracy.