Despite facing many setbacks at the initial stages of her career, Fariqa Nazir’s passion for law didn’t fade out. Her career achieved new heights last month when she cracked J&K Civil Service (Judicial) examination, Ruwa Shah reports.
“I dont know the key to success but the key to failure is pleasing everybody,” reads the Facebook status of Fariqa Nazir, 28, who recently qualified J&K Civil Service (Judicial) Examinations 2013. It was her first attempt but she managed to outshine the students in Kashmir valley and stood at fourth place in overall results with a score of 617.25 points.
Born and brought up in a business family, Fariqa, a resident of Pirbagh, Srinagar, lacked proper guidance and counselling throughout her studies. “I had to find way on my own,” Fariqa says. Her father, Nazir Ahmad Bhat, a shopkeeper in Lal Chowk, was of no help in matters of her career. But she gives full credits to him and her mother, Parveena, a homemaker, who have been a key support in whatever she did. “My parents were ignorant about what I was doing but they always supported me,” she says.
Fariqa got her higher secondary education in Science subjects at Mallinson Girls School, Srinagar. Later she appeared in pre-medical entrance examinations (PMT) twice but the fortune didn’t favour her. She says the decision to sit in PMT was forced on her by her parents. “I never wanted to become a doctor. But I was depressed when I didn’t qualify. I then joined Government Women’s College where I pursued Bachelor’s in Science,” she says.
Fariqa got inclined towards law in her teenages when she visited the J&K High Court. “Seeing all the lawyers so active and the atmosphere of the court, it clicked at the back of my head. At that time, my aspirations for studying law grew,” she recalls.
When she completed her graduation, she felt all the doors were shut for her. But her mind was occupied with the black coats and the corridors of J&K High Court. She then appeared in entrance examination for bachelors in law at University of Kashmir but she did not grab the seat at the main university department. She was placed at an affiliated college, Kashmir Law College, Srinagar, in 2007 from where she completed her LLB.
In 2010, the passionate lawyer joined Bar Association High Court in order to gain practical knowledge of the profession. At this point as she was about to live her dream of being a lawyer, the patriarchy prevailing in the society became a roadblock. She was criticised and discouraged at almost every step. Interestingly, her critics were her friends, relatives and even some senior lawyers. “I was told every time that this job was not meant for girls. But I continued in the name of Allah,” Fariqa says.
She did not let strangers intervene in her career. She kept the company of select people who motivated her. Her aspirations grew and resulted in her success in judicial service exams which made her parents proud. “I am blessed with what I didn’t deserve. I never expected that I would reach such heights in my career,” she says jubilantly.
Fariqa had started dreaming big once she joined the Law College. “My dream of touching the skies could not have come true if I would not have started preparing for the examination one year before the date of exams. Complete study of all the 36 books and all other study material including General Studies helped me in cracking the exam,”she says.
Talking about her profession, Fariqa feels that there is no harm in being a lawyer for a woman. “It is a safe and harmless job. If a man can become a lawyer, why can’t a girl be so?” the young judge opines. “Even I faced critics at the start of my career but my dreams never died. I continued to work in the field with hard work, passion and determination,” she says.
She advises the young girls who want to become lawyers or judges to work hard and face the society with courage. “Nothing can stop one from achieving the goals unless he or she remains focussed. The girls who are interested in law should join the court and success will be theirs,” she says.
It’s not only her love for books but her association with Bar Association that motivated her to appear in and crack the judicial service exams.