At the age of 30, many in life are concentrating on stabilizing the career path they have chosen. There are some exceptional ones amongst us, however, who not only blaze a trail but also inspire others to follow. One such woman of India is Nusrat Jahan who, apart from establishing herself as a respected and celebrated artist of Bengali cinema, also became a member of Parliament at the age of 29.
Nusrat Jahan: From Silver Screen to the Halls of Legislation
Nusrat Jahan had an early beginning in her first career in acting. With her film debut coming in 2011 in the Bengali film Shotru. Since then, she has had an active career in the Bengali film industry. She also worked with some of the most established and respected directors and co-actors.
In March 2019, Nusrat Jahan made the surprising announcement that she would be contesting in the upcoming general elections as a member of the Trinamool Congress. Contesting for the seat of BasirhatLok Sabha Constituency from West Bengal. Despite her young age and lack of political experience, beat her BJP opponent SayantanBasu with a margin of over 350k votes.
However, her filmi background and young age, to say nothing of the fact that she was a young woman entering the political realm, brought considerable pressure on Nusrat Jahan.
Nusrat Jahan: Challenges of Trolling and Politics
Nusrat’s tenure as a Member of Parliament went off to a rocky start. During her first day at Parliament, she and fellow actress and MP Mimi Chakraborty came out in western clothes, a choice that some sections of the net commented viciously on. In response, however, Nusrat Jahan remained unbothered. She stated to reporters that just like her win had shown her trolls before, her work instead of her clothing would speak for her now. She also chose that moment to highlight the double standard that exists. With women in politics being judged for their clothes, while MPs with criminal causes wielded political clout.
Nusrat Jahan also had to overcome a fresh burst of controversy following hospitalization for respiration difficulties in early November 2019 With many questioning about police complaints and medical overdose. She however bounced back, and then back to both of her jobs by later that month.
Nusrat Jahan: Bold Steps And Bright Vision
Even though some netizens and sections of society feel that such a young and ‘urban’ woman should hold political power. Nusrat Jahan continues to defy critics and trolls and regularly advocates for what she believes in. Defying critics and naysayers, she continues to regularly update her social media profiles, sharing fun and stylish selfies alongside political updates and comments. She advocates for sensitive topics, including mental health, menstrual health, period leaves, and the way women are victimized, threatened, and sexualized online every day.
At every step of the way, Nusrat Jahan has highlighted the importance of speaking up and contributing. When asked about whether she wanted to be a top politician or a top actress, she simply responded that she ‘wants to make a better India.’
Nusrat Jahan is a stunning example of how the new-age woman can do what she puts her mind to. There is no need to compromise, to accommodate, or to change your personality to appease people. If a young woman can juggle acting and politics and speak out her mind, surely every woman can do what she wants with some internal will and external support. Nusrat is also a great example of the changing nature of politics in India. Many hope that her entrance into politics will encourage other young men and women to serve their country too.