This talk will look at the presence of Muslims in different arms of government, such as municipal councils/zilla parishads, state legislatures, and national legislatures. It will also explore whether Muslim issues are addressed at different levels of government, and it will examine future challenges Muslims will face.
Wajahat Habibullah, a former civil servant of the Indian Administrative Service, has spent much of his career in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the Kashmir valley. He has written about his experiences in his book My Kashmir: Conflict and the Prospects of Enduring Peace (2008). He has also served on the staff of India’s Prime Ministers Indira and Rajiv Gandhi; as a minister in the Embassy of India in Washington, DC; as secretary in the Ministries of Textiles and Panchayati Raj, and the Department of Consumer Affairs; and administrator of the union territory of Lakshadweep.
After retiring from service Habibullah served as India’s first chief information commissioner, heading the final court of appeal under India’s Right to Information Act in 2005. A former Randolph Jennings Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC (2003–2004), Habibullah has been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in Secularism. Presently, he is chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities, and of the National Institute of Technology in Srinagar.
This seminar series is co-sponsored by the South Asia Initiative,