When AR Rahman’s daughter Khatija Rahman defended him after he was accused of being a hypocrite: ‘Don’t make judgments…’

It was in 2019 that AR Rahman faced online vitriol from people who accused him of ‘forcing’ his daughter Khatija Rahman to wear a niqab. At the 10-year celebration of the Slumdog Millionaire album, Khatija had delivered an emotional speech. While she received enormous praise from several quarters, her father came under fire for allegedly ‘being a hypocrite’ and forcing his daughter to wear a niqab.

Rahman | had shared a picture with his wife and daughters, writing, “The precious ladies of my family Khatija, Raheema and Sairaa with NitaAmbaniji #freedomtochoose.” While Khatija wore a niqab, his other daughter Raheema did not, and his wife Sairaa simply covered her head.

Khatija also took to Facebook to address these accusations. She wrote, “I’m a sane mature adult who knows to make my choices in life. Any human being has a choice to wear or do what he/she wants and that’s what I’ve been doing. Hence, kindly don’t make your own judgments without understanding the exact situation #freedomofchoice. (sic) ”She also added that she didn’t expect such a response to her speech.

“The recent conversation of myself on stage with my dad has been doing the rounds although I didn’t expect such an overwhelming response. However, there were certain comments which said that this attire is being forced by my dad and that he has double standards. I would like to say that the attire I wear or the choices I make in my life does not have anything to do with my parents. The veil has been my personal choice with complete acceptance and honor. (sic) ”.

In an interview to Hindustan Times, AR Rahman had opened up about the discourse and called the detractors ‘over-concerned’. “These people who said such [negative] things are good people. Sometimes, they are over-concerned. They feel AR Rahman is a part of their family, so why is he doing this or that, so such reactions come from a sense of over-protection, ”he had said. He added that after he had given the required explanations, they were ‘cool’ with it. He said that as long as his children were doing what they believed in, it was all okay. “Khatija reflects the purity I want to achieve. She reminds me of my growing-up years. She is very clear about what she wants to do with her life and has traveled across the world, but never faced anything for wearing a niqab. She’s quite cool about it, ”he said.

Khatija Rahman recently tied the knot with audio engineer Riyasdeen Shaik Mohamed. The music maestro shared a family photo from the nikaah ceremony on his Instagram account and wrote, “May the Almighty bless the couple .. thanking you in advance for your good wishes and love.”


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