An Open Letter to Jamia Girls
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Dear Ladeeda Sakhaloon and Aysha Renna,

You have emerged as new icons of protest against the Government and the State. Many of my friends in college, in the neighbourhood and on social media are discussing about you.
You, two beautiful young Muslim girls, who have raised your fingers against the police, resisted them and protected the protesters. The so called valiant video capturing the scene where the angry young men who were pelting stones at the police and destroying national property, were seen hiding behind you, has become viral on social media. People are talking of your courage!
However, in the face of all the laurels you have received for your so called bravery, let me also state that I do not consider you to be progressive and protester at all! I see you as sympathizers and activists of Islamic fundamentalism. Dangerously, in this quagmire of blurred perceptions of our times, you are being made to emerge as leaders! This, I consider, extremely detrimental to the interests of the nation and the community. Television channels in Delhi have done a social media research on your facebook profiles. Sad, very sad, Ladeeda and Aysha, that you have been found to be firm believers in the ideology of Islamic fundamentalism and have supported the cause of ‘jihad’ in many of your posts. Ladeeda Sakhaloon, you have clearly stated you do not believe in any form of secularism in one of your facebook posts.
Dear Ladeeda and Aysha, it is extremely unfortunate that your views have grown to be radically opposite to the idea and vision of those like Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (1880-1932). Rokeya, the legendary Muslim educationist, who talked about the rights of women and championed the cause of the Indian nation in the early 20th century. The lady who had dedicated her life to the cause of mainstreaming Muslim women! I would very humbly like to state, Ladeeda, that my great great grandmother was a close associate of Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain. She, at the inspiration of Rokeya, had started a school for Muslim girls in a small town called Burdwan in Bengal. She believed in secularism and in justness of the Indian nation. I carry this legacy in me, Madam Sakhaloon. This is why I am deeply perturbed by your public posts on social media in which you have repeatedly attacked and tried to demolish the secular fabric of India.
Aysha Renna, you have paid homage to two people in your posts. One of them, Yaqub Memon, was involved in the Mumbai blasts, and the other, Afzal Guru, was the mastermind behind the terror attack on the Parliament of India. The day Yaqub Memon was hanged, Aysha Renna, you and your husband, Afsal Rahaman, had paid homage to him giving him the status of a martyr! Yaqub Menon and Afzal Guru, who have only worked to disrupt the peace in the Country and defame the community by their anti-national activities.
Afzal Guru was hanged in 2013; this implies your association with Islamic fundamentalism and ‘deshdrohis’ and ‘rashtradrohis’ as social icons and launched sympathy campaigns in their favour on social media.
The Leftists, in their turn, are now bent on presenting you as icons of protest and Che Guevaras among Indian Muslim women. Your social media profiles, on the contrary establish you are propagators of fundamentalism and intolerance.
Sakhaloon, you idolize the ‘power of hijab’ through the picture of a girl in hijab carrying an AK-47. Does violence lead to empowerment? Has empowerment manifested itself in violence anywhere in the World? Ayesha Renna, you have gone a step further to declare India as a fascist and anti-Muslim country way back in 2015.
My great grandfather had worked closely with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and had worked all his life to uphold the pluralist fabric of the country. His blood of desh-bhakti runs in my veins.
Priyanka Gandhi has recently led a demonstration against the police action of lathi-charge on Jamia students. I believe she would also be mildly surprised if she hears that you, Aysha Renna, had branded the Congress led Government as fascist and ‘anti-minority’.
It is extremely unfortunate that your faces, Ldeeda and Aysha, are being popped us as icons of protest by the Congress and the Left. Ironically, you had branded the Manmohan Singh Government as ‘fascist’ for hanging a terrorist!

— Syed Krittika Tabassum,

1st Year Student in a Private University of Calcutta