<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former BJP vice-president, Najma Heptulla was unanimously voted by the university’s court to become the first woman chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia on May 29. Hurrah for women? Not just yet.Heptulla’s primary role is as governor of Manipur, located 2,400 km away. And the chancellor’s job at the almost century-old university is ceremonial. The de-facto head continues to be Vice-Chancellor Talat Ahmad. So for five years, Heptulla will probably only deliver speeches and trophies, without the power to make any actual decisions.Which is regrettable, because the institution is in need of gender war resolution and Heptulla is the woman for the job. She was the Minister for Minority affairs and one of the seven women ministers (and one of the two Muslim ministers) in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet. However, she was dropped out of the Cabinet in its two-year term shuffle in July 2016. While Heptulla cited personal reasons for her resignation, but it seemed discordant since just in May, she was talking about her ministry’s future agenda for minorities.Then it dawned that the RSS and BJP have an unspoken rule about relieving leaders of their political duties after the age of 75. Heptulla crossed the landmark birthday on April 2016. She was then shunted to turbulent Manipur in August, becoming the fifth governor to be appointed since May 2014. And looks like that where she will be needed more, until she gets another office she has not been secretive of coveting – becoming India’s president.Jamia Millia Islamia’s women troublesMarch 2015: Students print feminist messages on sanitary napkins and placed them across the campus to promote a safe environment for women. The move was “repugnant” to university authorities and the students were served a show-cause notice.
August 2015: An anonymous open letter is sent to Vice-Chancellor Talat Ahmad protesting hostel curfews and restricted movement of female students on campus. It inspires the Pinjra Tod movement across the country.
February 2017: BJP leader Shazia Ilmi was allegedly not allowed to speak at a seminar about triple talaq. The event was rescheduled, speakers changed and agenda scaled down to a general discussion on the empowerment of Muslim women.
Continue reading –