Why Am I Reduced to My Appearance, Khatija Rahman Asks Trolls

Khatija Rahman talks about being trolled on social media for choosing to wear a hijab, says “It’s not your problem.”

3 min read

Singer Khatija Rahman, AR Rahman's daughter, has made her big entry into the music scene with her latest release 'Farishton'. The singer collaborated with her dad, who composed the song and she sang the lyrics penned by Munna Shaokath Ali.

The Quint caught up with Khatija to talk about how she has made headlines in the past and has been targeted for choosing to wear a hijab.


Was music an easy choice to make and a natural one because you are from a family of musicians?

Khatija: Actually, it has been easy and a natural one but I had given up despite being in this. Coming back and doing a lot of things has been challenging in a good way because I have other responsibilities also. I sang my first song, and it did well by God’s grace but then I decided okay I am done, and I didn’t realise I will come back.

You said that you don’t like attention but then there’s this whole thing on social media which everyone talks about as the leviathan right now. We don’t know whether it’s good or bad. Even though people didn’t know about you as much, we did see a conversation with regards to you. People had all sorts of things to say, whether it was your choice to wear a hijab or your face. Do you think that’s fair and what did it do to you when the entire Taslima Nasreen case happened?

Khatija: Obviously, it really impacted me. It wasn’t easy. But I made peace with and realised…

I might sound very rude but it’s totally fine, it’s for all of those who are judging me. Especially women, who are targeted for making the choices. I think men are not targeted. It’s mostly us women. Whether the women are from renowned family or normal families, doesn’t matter. Some people are just jobless, and they just have a lot of time with them that they sit and they screenshot our pictures and share. I think it clearly says more about them than me. And also, how they objectify saying that “Oh, you’re one of the rarest burqa singers”!

Why do you have to do that? Why is that difference coming only when it comes to me? You have ‘Marshmello’ in Hollywood, nobody talks about him. Why only me? Why am I reduced to my clothes, whether I am covered or uncovered? Not your problem, right? It’s an utter waste of time trying to explain myself. It’s sad that our lives revolve around the TRPs and you want to grab the attention.


Khatija, how does your faith help you embrace your identity and give you confidence with respect to what you are doing? What’s the message that you have for others who follow you and are watching you online?

Khatija: I think I feel more confident and more accepting of myself. People would even ask me why I don’t trim my eyebrows. In the end, I realised and it showed me that I am more than my physical features, to be honest. It taught me to embrace myself and I feel so confident. I don’t feel bad for being this way and I have learned to be confident in my own shoes. This is what my faith and spirituality taught me. I don’t have to alter myself to fit into today’s standards of beauty. We try to compare ourselves with others and I used to do that too, and I don’t do that anymore because I love how I am.

Watch the video to find out more.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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