My Husband And I Are Thriving Muslim Professionals In India. We Have Only Felt Acceptance

gemini90

Journeyman
By Dr Sofiya Rangwala

Amidst a fake atmosphere of intolerance being created in India in the last one month, I owe my version of what I, a Muslim lady, living and working in India feel like. This has been due from me since sometime. Now, I feel the water has gone above the head and I too need to share my views. So, here it is.

I am an Indian Muslim woman, a practising dermatologist by profession and I run my own high-end laser skin clinic in Bangalore. I was brought up in Kuwait and at the age of 18, came to India to pursue medical education. I decided to stay back in India while almost all my friends left India for greener pastures. Not even once did I consider that being a Muslim could create a problem for me, as my sense of nationalism held me back to my roots and so here I am, living in my country since the last 20 years.

I studied in Manipal, Karnataka. I lived alone like all students do. While I was in college, all my professors were Hindus and almost all the people who I would interact with were Hindus as well. There is not a single incident when anyone showed partiality towards me based on my gender or religion. Every single one of them was kind and in fact sometimes, I felt as though they made an extra effort to make feel like I was one of them. I am ever so grateful to all of them for making my life in Manipal as comfortable as it could get.

After leaving Manipal, I relocated to Bangalore with my husband. By then I had been married and so we decided to make our life in Bangalore. There is a reason why we chose Bangalore and here is where I will talk about my husband. He is a Muslim too, with a very typical first name--Iqbal. He is an aerospace engineer with a M.Tech from IIT Chennai and PhD from Germany. His profession takes him to the most highly secured organizations of India, like the Defence Research Development Organization, National Aerospace Laboratory, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Gas Turbine Research Establishment, Indian Space Research Organization, Indian Institute of Science, Bharat Heavy Electronics Ltd and many others. You name it and be assured that he has visited all of them without any hassles. Not even once he has been stopped or asked for special security clearance or any such bias has been shown towards him.

And NO, things have not changed even after Modi government came to power. Things are in fact more disciplined and streamlined even in government organizations, from what I hear from my husband. As a matter of fact, Iqbal has been strip-searched each time he travelled to the US and was under secret surveillance while he was doing his PhD in Germany, after the 9/11 attacks on US. We literally received a letter from the German government that he has been cleared and is not any more under suspicion. Talk about Muslim paranoia! It's very understandable too, due to the current situations in the world. My husband is highly respected and loved by the people he works with, and all of them happen to be Hindus. None of this has changed even in recent times, so intolerance is just a word for us on a practical basis.

I opened my clinic last year, just before Modi government came to power. I am a law-abiding citizen and I file my taxes like service tax on a monthly basis. I have never indulged in any activities, which could put me into any kind of trouble. I am comfortably running my clinic, which is doing very well, thanks to all my patients and clients, who all happen to be Hindu while a handful of my patients are from other communities. My entire staff is Hindu, and believe me when I say that they take better care of my clinic than I could, any day! I interact with bankers, government officers and with so many people on a daily basis. Not even once in the last 20 years, did I have the need to even think of leaving India! My entire family lives abroad and all that I need to do is just decide that I don't want to stay here. I have open offers of opening clinic in Kuwait, which would fetch me huge amount of revenue and yet why should I stay in India, if I am not happy and if I am facing any kind of bias?

In Kuwait, we are considered as NOBODY. Yes, despite being in Kuwait for the last 40 years or so, my family is still considered as expatriates, with no rights. We need to renew our resident permit periodically and the laws there constantly keep changing, making the life of expatriates only harder. We have to strictly comply with their rules and laws, which is fine but we are openly discriminated. They consider Asians as third grade people, while giving preference to their citizens, Arabs and Whites. We are not unhappy there but we have no sense of belonging either. At least, I never had and never have, even when I visit Kuwait now. We are Muslims in a Muslim country, and yet we are considered as Indians with no special regards.

I figured long back ago, that India is the only country, where I will have a sense of belonging. You are an Indian-American in US, Indian-Canadian in Canada, Indian-British in UK and so on but only in India you are an Indian. Period. Rest can say whatever they want and defend their choices but this is a fact. You can only feel at home in your own home. I have lived in different places and everywhere I stand out but in India. Nobody in India asks me, 'Are you an Indian?', and this is what makes all the difference.

So, what are these celebrities ranting about? An ordinary citizen like my husband and I are not facing any such issues, then what have they faced? Why is Amir Khan's wife, Kiran Rao, feeling so afraid? They are prominent people, living in posh localities, their children study in the best of schools and they have personal security escorting them at all times. I travel alone everyday and yet don't feel afraid.

I want to know as a responsible citizen, from Amir Khan and Shahrukh Khan as well, why did they make such irresponsible statements and spoil the image of the 13 crores of Muslims in India? Who are they to make public statements based on their personal perception? Who gave them the liberty to tarnish the image of my country at an international level, that Muslims are not safe in India? How dare Pakistan invites them to stay in Pakistan? I feel hurt when I read the statements of my Hindu friends about Muslims. I feel afraid that they are being pushed to the limit and the tolerance and acceptance that I have enjoyed all these years, might just vanish! I feel afraid that my own people might shun me and I may get alienated in my own country, because of a handful of delusional people! How long can I expect majority of Hindus to tolerate this nuisance? It's high time that Muslims understand the value of the freedom and acceptance that we enjoy in India and if not, I pray that my Hindu fellow citizens continue to keep their patience.

And then she posted this. She was accused of being a Hindu pretending to be a Muslims..then one of her batch mate came to FB and vouched for her.


On November 26th when I posted the article, which has gone viral, not even in my wildest dreams, I had imagined that it would touch the hearts of thousands of people. Within no time, it became so widespread that I was almost in a daze that day. For me, it was another write up, and I still find it so ordinary because all that it details is our ordinary life experiences like other people!! Normally, one would expect articles which highlight victimization and negativity to go viral because human nature now adays is such that we like to focus more on the wrong rather than the good in society and so I had expected it to reach only my regular friends and well wishers. By the end of the day, I started to get calls from my ex colleagues who are not on Facebook but had read the article on WhatsApp. It has been published by various online magazines and has all ready been translated in Kannada also. I have decided to now replicate in Hindi as well.

While many abuses and negative reactions have come, there are many more responses of appreciation and gratitude as well, and this is what makes the difference to me. I hold no grudges against those who have abused me and many even said that I am doing this for publicity! If speaking in support for nation and my people is for publicity, then I have nothing more to say to such people. Let me tell you all, that my clinic is doing extemely well and even though it was opened only last year, it is being rated as one of the best in Bangalore. Besides, I work not for money or fame but because it's my passion. I am more than happy in what I earn and always feel ever so grateful to God for the blessings.

Thank you from the depth of my heart to everyone, both who appreciated and those who abused as well because of all of you, this write up will now reach people globally as it has been published by Huffington Post. Kudos to the power of social media, which is controlled by ordinary people like us and not by paid media. I wanted to highlight that Muslims are doing fine and are not being suppressed, which has been falsely propagated by main stream media and prominent personalities, and so my dream has come true. This is really nothing short of a dream, because an ordinary write up like this one reaching the masses is miraculous and the credit goes to all of you! At the end of the day, all that we want is peace and harmony in our country; and appreciation for eachother. That's what humanity is all about.
 

ASHISH65

Technomancer
All these Intolerance thing created by congress and by paid media cause that only way they found to Stop BJP! Most of so called intellectuals won awards during congress time.
Media like Ndtv,ABP news,ibn live,First post,dailyO all are haters of Modi and Bjp!
 

Anorion

Sith Lord
Staff member
Admin
:lol:
this is one person's viewpoint. One example or counter example does not prove anything. How can angry people say that they are tolerant? People are just getting angry, as if the government can do no wrong and we are living in some goldern age. Denying a problem exists won't take it away. So instead of sitting and arguing if there is intolerance or not, we should find out mechanisms by which intolerance can be reduced. Also, would help if people actually listened to Amir Khan's quote.

anyway, here is a thread where no one is getting angry, and important things are being discussed. Im going to post this link in all political threads till a better thread shows up. http://www.digit.in/forum/chit-chat...a-university.html?highlight=development+india
 

Nerevarine

Incarnate
:lol:
this is one person's viewpoint. One example or counter example does not prove anything. How can angry people say that they are tolerant? People are just getting angry, as if the government can do no wrong and we are living in some goldern age. Denying a problem exists won't take it away. So instead of sitting and arguing if there is intolerance or not, we should find out mechanisms by which intolerance can be reduced. Also, would help if people actually listened to Amir Khan's quote.

anyway, here is a thread where no one is getting angry, and important things are being discussed. Im going to post this link in all political threads till a better thread shows up. http://www.digit.in/forum/chit-chat...a-university.html?highlight=development+india

Watching right now !
 

icebags

Technomancer
Intolerance was always there in india, more or less in every state. just now it's getting so much publicity because of politics and population boom. people people everywhere, and all have so much time to spare, to create so much chaos.
 

sygeek

Technomancer
Intolerance is the new secular. Every issue these days is politicized for no reason. All the debates on news are more entertaining than Bigg Boss.
 

funskar

Padawan
Intolerance is the new secular. Every issue these days is politicized for no reason. All the debates on news are more entertaining than Bigg Boss.

in big boss priyam malik peeid on kishwar merchant.. it is also intolerance :lol:
 

Deadman

Journeyman
If you listen to donald trump you will come to know how racist he is. Still no actor there comes forward and talks crap because they know no one cares about their opinion unlike India where this idiots get massive support.
 

REDHOTIRON2004

Journeyman
Everyone have problem. If you say something wrong then you have to pay. It's plain and simple as that. After all not everybody is born Rahul Ghandu who got everything without even moving a brain cell.

He and his party men even gets away easily after comparing chota chetan(part of organized crime) with hindu terrorism. Putting it at the same level as islamic ideological terrorism.
Bash hindus if you are secular.

Now, the ones who are crying intolerance actually want a special treatment for them. It's all about them and not about other less privileged. They want the cars, they want hawala money, they want palaces to live in, they want money and other amenities for free just like rahul without moving a brain cell.

They are free to insult anyone. They would organize cow meat parties and invite everyone at that party openly without even considering that other people in other comunity might get hurt. They don't care. And even after all this if you support hindus then you are communal and intolerant.
These guys are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites who want additional favours from the government. And don't want to be questioned about that.
 

Anorion

Sith Lord
Staff member
Admin
I don't understand why does it hurt? maybe it is too close to the truth, and truth is prickly
 

Desmond

Destroy Erase Improve
Staff member
Admin
Bollywood stupid people & some stupid Indians have made our country very bad in front of others eyes. Foreigners see us like stupid & idiots.
One of my friends told me he was walking on one of the streets of Australia & a guy spit on his face.

Don't bump old posts. See the date before posting.
 
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