Iltija Mufti is the daughter of Mehbooba Mufti, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, and the president of People’s Democratic Party (PDP). She came into the public eye after she first tweeted from her mother’s Twitter account 46 days after the Indian government detained her mother before scraping the Article 370 on 5 August 2019. Since then, she has been handling her mother’s Twitter account and has been vocal in her criticism of restrictions imposed in Kashmir.
Iltija Mufti was born in 1987 (age 33 years; as in 2020) in Kashmir. She did two years of her schooling from Kashmir and then moved to Delhi, where she completed the latter part of her formal education. She graduated in Political Science from Sri Venkateswara College (University of Delhi). Thereafter, she moved to the UK and did her Masters of International Relations from the Warwick University in Coventry, England. As of 2020, she has come back from the UK and is living in Kashmir.
Family & Caste
Iltija Mufti was born into an influential political family of Muslim.
Parents & Siblings
Her maternal grandfather, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, was the Home Minister of India from December 1989 to November 1990, and also served as the Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir State for two terms. He passed away from multiple organ failure in 2016.
Her estranged father, Javed Iqbal Shah, is a writer, political analyst, businessman and animal rights activist. He was also for a brief period a member of Jammu & Kashmir National Conference. Her mother, Mehbooba Mufti, is the former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir State.
Her elder sister, Irtiqa Mufti, is an aspiring Bollywood actor who has featured in two Bollywood movies, ‘Omkara’ (2006) and ‘Kaminey’ (2009).
As of now, she has unfolded little about her personal life and relationships.
After doing her post-graduation in International Relations, she worked as a Senior Administrative Officer at the Indian High Commissioner in London. Thereafter, she also worked at the Australia India Institute before coming back to Kashmir. On 30 August 2023, she was appointed as the Media Advisor to the president of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti; Iltija has been in charge of Mehbooba Mufti’s social media handles since 2019; she started managing Mehbooba’s social media accounts when her mother, along with some Jammu and Kashmir’s renowned leaders, was arrested when the centre revoked Article 370. The Indian Express
- Her mother, Mehbooba Mufti, married her father, Javed Iqbal, in 1984, but because of some reasons, the couple parted ways soon after the birth of Iltija in 1987.
- She also goes by another name; Sana.
- Iltija has been operating her mother’s Twitter account since her detention under the public safety act in August 2020.
- Iltija always wanted to stay away from politics and public, but since her mother’s detention, she has been actively raising her voice against what she feels is injustice happening with the people of Kashmir.
- Despite being depicted as the “new voice” of “Naya Kashmir”, Iltija describes herself apolitical.
I don’t want to join politics, but I will continue to raise my voice for Kashmir — even if it makes just a tiny difference.”
- After the abrogation of article 370, she wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah opposing the revocation of Article 370, questioning him about her house arrest and the restrictions imposed in Kashmir. First Post
- Her opinion articles containing criticism of the Centre’s decision to repeal Article 370 has featured in several news reports, winning her both supporters and critics.
- She alleges that the Indian government has restricted her access to her mother after she appeared on a CNN show with Christiane Amanpour and on BBC’s Hard Talk.
Fmr. Chief Minister of Kashmir @MehboobaMufti was detained in August, and her daughter Iltija is now speaking out, accusing India of "hurtling towards an authoritarian regime… This is not the country I was born and raised in. It's turning into a cesspool of bigotry." pic.twitter.com/zYX3eNvraJ
— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) November 6, 2019
Kashmir “turned into an open air prison camp” after the Indian government revoked its special status, according to Iltija Mufti daughter of @MehboobaMufti, President of Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party pic.twitter.com/pWq3smx7D9
— BBC HARDtalk (@BBCHARDtalk) October 2, 2019
- She wished to become an astronaut but ended up pursuing Political Science in a Delhi college. Kashmir Observer
- She can often be seen giving interviews on the news channels and has eloquent oratory skills.
- As clear from her interactions with the press, Iltija says that she has acquired the flair for words from her maternal grandfather, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. She says,
If today I speak well, it’s because of him. He encouraged me to read, write and also travel”
- Upon being asked in an interview to what does she plan to do apart from being involved in the politics of the Kashmir Valley, she said,
Maybe I will become a writer. I am also fascinated by human behaviour. Maybe I will become a psychologist”