Exclusive: Rahman Responds to Those Questioning Daughter’s Attire

Khatija has been criticised for choosing to wear a burqa.

2 min read

AR Rahman has said he “didn’t react at all” when he was called out by author Taslima Nasreen for “allowing” his daughter Khatija Rahman to wear a burqa. Speaking to The Quint, the music composer said that he trusted his daughter to handle herself.

“I think what’s good is if we bring them up in a way that they (children) know our troubles, they know our problems. They know that they have to inherit the good and the bad from us. That’s it. And then, they are given free will and she did it and then I asked her, ‘What about the next question? Did you answer that?’ (She said) that’s it daddy, I am done.”
AR Rahman, Music Composer

Asked if she consulted him before posting a response on social media, Rahman said,

“No I think she put it out and then I put it out on Instagram. I thought it was needed because she is behind the veil and it’s her choice.”
AR Rahman

He added that he felt she “finds her freedom” in choosing to wear a burqa.

“More than the religious thing I think, I personally think it is a psychological thing. Because she sang a song and around 10 million people were having it as their ringtone. If you take a little kid who is an introvert and suddenly people are spamming them with good and bad, anybody would shut off,” he said. “A male is not supposed to wear a burqa, otherwise I will wear one. It would be so easy to go and shop, find steady life. You know, I think, she finds her freedom. Because she is somebody who will go for a funeral of a maid's mother or maid's relative. And I get awestruck with her simplicity and what she does socially,” he mused.


In a now deleted tweet, Nasreen wrote, “I absolutely love AR Rahman’s music. But whenever I see his dear daughter, I feel suffocated. It is really depressing to learn that even educated women in a cultural family can get brainwashed very easily!” Khatija retorted saying that she should Google the term feminism if she was offended by her attire. She wrote in an Instagram post, “I’m sorry you feel suffocated by my attire. Please get some fresh air, cause I don’t feel suffocated rather I’m proud and empowered for what I stand for. I suggest you google up what true feminism means because it isn’t bashing other women down nor bringing their fathers into the issue. I also don’t recall sending my photos to you for your perusal.”

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