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Mothers could unite for a cause


TSI | Issue Dated: May 13, 2007
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Mothers could unite for a cause Mehbooba Mufti

President, J&KPDP, and

Lok Sabha member Mothers could unite for a cause Family has influenced every major decision in my life and as a mother I am now on the verge of having to make crucial decisions. I shall share here how I entered politics. In 1996, my father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed offered the Brijbehera assembly seat in Jammu and Kashmir to his son, my brother, Tajkush. Tajkush refused to contest the elections because he wanted to make his career as a cinematographer. Brijbehera is a prestigious seat for the Mufti family. My father talked to me and explained the sensitive nature of the seat. But, he added that the decision would be mine and that he would abide by that. Finally, I decided to contest the elections. This is the story of my career in politics and it had everything to do with family. I have to be both the father and the mother after separation from my husband. I think the role of mothers will not diminish in future but there may be additional pressures because of professional reasons. I must say that the home comes before anything else.

I had dreamt of living with my daughters Iltiza and Ishtiya peacefully after I separated from my husband, but dreams never come true. If I am allowed to, I will quit politics and join my daughters who complain that I donít give them enough time. It is very difficult to maintain equilibrium between family and politics.

I think the challenge for mothers is to live their lives and also pay attention to the needs of the family. In this sensitive situation, individuals must be allowed to make their choices. It is a family requirement and every family is a unique entity. I donít attach much significance to the news reports that women can procreate from bone marrow samples. These are scientific advances, which change by the week. In any case, in India there is simply no question of mothers being so rich and so detached as to go for such methods.

We still have to come to the crunch question Ė how much should the mother give and how grateful are we towards her. It would help if well-off mothers in the country helped their poorer counterparts, especially when families plan cold-blooded murders of daughters. This is an area where I think mothers of India have a role to play in future. As the backbone of the family, and our society, I think mothers will continue to correct and shape the nature of our children. They are a very powerful moral force in the country and no one has yet been able to stop them. In the past, there have been instances of mothers launching successful movements against liquor and drugs. This gives me hope that the next crusade could also be a successful one. In Jammu and Kashmir, mothers have been fairly active even in the face of militancy.

In the end, it is very important for me to leave the right legacy for my children. I would want them to imbibe the essential simplicity that my family has taught me. The other thing I would want my children to inherit is the spirit of sacrifice. My father was the union home minister when my sister Rubaiya was kidnapped from a bus. The entire family was tense for a long time. It left an impression in my mind that politics was the reason behind the tragedy. I am the eldest among the sisters and brothers and I am given the respect and status of a mother. My first reaction at that time was that politics can go to hell. I promised myself that I will never join politics and will spend time shaping my children as ideal citizens of the country.

Alas, I could not stay away from politics. But I am trying to balance my roles as a politician and as a mother. I canít say if I am a good mother, but I will do my best to be an ideal mother.
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017