"I am not joining politics. But if I change my mind down the line, I will not allow anyone the right to recall I said this. I will live life on my own terms.“If a doctor' s child can be a doctor, why can't a politician' s kid be a politician? "
That' s India' s smart and young Iltija Mufti, latest entrant into the turbulent politics of Kashmir post-Aug 5 abrogation of Art 370 and the house arrest of all the major leaders of the valley, including her mother, Mehbooba Mufti, a former chief minister. People' s Democratic Party (PDP) which Mehbooba Mufti headed after the death of her father shared power in the state with the BJP for about three years.
Iltija certainly is not a member of the PDP. But if having political views, strong ones as that, and articulating them well before the media makes one a politician, she is unmistakably one. And a promising one at that.
While she underlines that she is speaking for everyone in the Valley, for the people of Jammu too, as a Kashmiri, she says that while her mother and grandfather, former J&K chief minister and former Union Home Minister, Mufti Mohammad Syed worked very hard to form the PDP, she cannot speak for the party.
Politics clearly comes to her naturally.
Hers is a high octane voice peppered with the right measure of stories, against the Centre's discriminatory and repressive acts.
Strong in her attack on the BJP, she says emphatically that what has happened to the three former chief ministers of J&K can happen to an Akhilesh Yadav or a Mayawati.
And she emphasises the need to speak up the more because, with its brute majority, the BJP can pass any law it wants, and it will be left to the people to protest and oppose.
As she explains it, “fighting for your liberty isn’t about fighting for your own liberty; you have to speak up when somebody else’s liberty is being curtailed and I think it is very worrying because the BJP sets the political agenda and they set the tone”.
There is a freshness and frankness in what she speaks. Indian politics possibly needs more such articulate young men and women.