Agra: Naba Naseem, 18 year old student and Tasneem from Aligarh Muslim University’s Women’s college had won student union elections. After their victory, Tasneem rode on Royal Enfield breaking all the stereotypes associated with girls.
According to a news article published in Indian Express, She says that “Everyone thought only boys can campaign on bikes… par ab woh soch badal gayi (that thinking has changed),” she says, adding that a lot of students who came to vote for her recalled that she was “bike-waali ladki (the bike girl).”
Tasneem says that she wants to become a chartered accountant.
Naba Naseem says that her role models are US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice; daughter of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Ayesha, and Indira Gandhi.
She further adds that “I love reading autobiographies and Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father is my favourite book. I have been a student activist, taken part in protests against cow vigilantism and intend to pursue a career in politics.”
Naseem says she wants to abolish “unreasonable restrictions” on girls. She added that “Girls who stay in the hostel are not allowed to join the horse-riding club. We cannot step out of campus on weekdays. Even on Sunday, we have fixed timings — 10 am to 5 pm. Although we can participate in cultural activities of the University, we need a string of permissions.”
BA Economics (Hons) second year student,eesha Khan says the conversations on campus have shifted from “security of women” to “freedom”. “I have begun to ask questions more bluntly now. My cousin urged me not to contest in the elections. He raised the old argument of ‘acchi ladkiyan ye nahi karti (Good girls don’t do this)’. But what does being a good person have anything to do with elections?”
She says that “Look at the Hadiya case, as far as I know it is a love marriage, why is the government and the court interfering… But the Supreme Court was right in banning instant triple talaq. I had read about the practice in first year, it is not good for women.”
Areesha further added that “Have you seen the film Raanjhanaa? Sonam Kapoor calls AMU a ‘marriage college’. Most women here want to get married after their graduation or are already engaged. But I think marriage is not an end, it should be a part of life. In the future, I want to join the civil services.”