Muslim MPs Iqra Hasan, Sajda Ahmad’s Lok Sabha wins prove India’s political diversity

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 11-06-2024
Iqra Munawwar Hasan, Samajwadi party MP from Kairana, UP
Iqra Munawwar Hasan, Samajwadi party MP from Kairana, UP


Tauseef Reza

The results of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024 have shown why the democratic system is the most beautiful form of electoral politics. It represents every section of society, irrespective of caste, class, or religion. The poll results have thrown a pleasant surprise with the people giving a chance to progressive women 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's seat, where Samajwadi Partypatty’s 29-year-old Iqra Hasan emerged victorious by defeating BJP's Pradeep Kumar by 69,116 votes.

Iqra's family has been in politics for 40 years. As a Congress candidate, her grandfather Akht Hasan had contested and won the Lok Sabha elections from Kairana in 1984. He had defeated BSP supremo Mayawati. That was Mayawati’s maiden electoral foray.

Later, Iqra’s father Munawwar Hasan was elected a Member of the Lok Sabha on a Samajwadi Party ticket in 1996. Unfortunately, he died in a road accident in 2008 and thereafter his wife Tabassum Hasan won the election from the same seat as a candidate of the BSP in 2009. Tabassum also emerged victorious in the by-election held after the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh in 2018.

Iqra Hasan adressing an election rally

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; she took charge of her brother's election campaign and in the end, he won the election.

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

Iqra says that after her father's death, there were changes in politics and communal issues became THE dominant political narrative. With Iqra securing 5208013 in the election and becoming one of the youngest MPs, she shoulders the hopes and aspirations of lakhs of youth in her constituency. He has also emerged as a role model for millions.

Similar is the case of Sajda Ahmed, the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate from the Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal. Sajda gave a crushing defeat to BJP's Arun Udaypal Chaudhary in the just concluded election. Sajda Ahmed secured 724 622 votes against Chaudhary bagging 505949 votes. Sajda Malik had also defeated BJP's Joy Banerjee in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Sajda Ahmed campaigning with actor Dipak Adhikari

Sajda Ahmed, 26, graduated from the Kolkata University in 1983. She supported his father Sultan Ahmed and took over his inheritance. After his death, 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’s husband late Sultan Ahmed was a two-time MP from Uluberia and prominent Muslim face of the TMC. He passed away in September 2017. “Long back, my husband wanted me to join politics but I declined. There were already two politicians in the family and I had my kids to take care of. I might not have actively campaigned, but I was like a shadow of my husband, during his 30 years political career.

“So many years down the line, today, when I am contesting, in a way I am fulfilling his wish,” Sajda had said during an interview before filing the nomination.

ALSO READSajda Ahmed and Iqra Hassan among 24 Muslim elected to Lok Sabha

The presence 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.

Tauseef Reza is an author and a research scholar at Jamia Islamia, Delhi.