Women’s Reservation Bill poses new challenge to Muslim League

Party, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, has never had a woman MP or MLA in its history 
Women’s Reservation Bill poses new challenge to Muslim League

KOZHIKODE: The Women’s Reservation Bill that allocates 33% quota for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies has opened a new challenge for the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), which is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its formation.

The party has never had a woman MP or MLA in its history and its lone woman candidate for the 2021 assembly elections, Noorbina Rashid, was defeated, though the party is a force to reckon with in the Kozhikode South constituency. In 1999, the party unsuccessfully fielded Kamarunnisa Anwar from the same constituency. A host of factors, including opposition from religious groups, has prevented the party from bringing more women onto the election fray.

“IUML will be left with no option and the bill will bring in a sea change in the Muslim socio-political field in Kerala. The politics of power will give way to all religious considerations,” said social activist M N Karassery. He believes the bill will rewrite the whole narrative of women and politics.

“I’ve not uttered even a single good word on BJP government. But now I am constrained to say that the bill is a revolutionary move and I am extremely happy,” Karassery said. “Organisations such as Women’s League will be strengthened and there will be more discussions on gender justice in the party,” he said.
Writer Mujeeb Rahman Kinaloor said more and more educated Muslim women are knocking
at the door, waiting for an opportunity to show their calibre. “Once reservation is implemented, they will get an opportunity to prove their mettle. We have seen the performance of women as members and heads of local bodies after reservation was introduced,” he said.

Kinaloor pointed out that Muslim politics was mainly confined to the Mujahid group. “Now, Sunnis are equally or more empowered and this change will reflect in politics. More girls are now opting for law courses and this will equip them more to face the challenge,” he said.

Meanwhile, E T Mohammad Basheer, MP, suggested that there should be reservation for OBC women within the quota. Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Basheer said, “OBCs and minorities, especially Muslims, are facing deprivation, under-representation and no representation. Some effective steps should be taken for setting apart some percentage (of seats) for the backward sections,” he said.

UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS

  • The lone woman candidate of IUML for the 2021 assembly elections, Noorbina Rashid, was defeated, though the party is a force to reckon with in the Kozhikode South constituency. 
  •  In 1999, the party unsuccessfully fielded Kamarunnisa Anwar from the same constituency

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