Late music composer Wajid Khan’s wife Kamalrukh Khan has penned her first-hand account of life in an inter-faith marriage. Lending her support to the anti-conversion bill, she wrote a lengthy post on Instagram on how she was subjected to mental harassment at the hands of the music composer’s family for keeping her faith and not converting to Islam. She revealed that she was in a courtship with Wajid for 10 years before they finally married but that did not deter his family from making her an ‘outcaste’ just because she did not give up Zoroastrianism.
Sharing the reason for opening up about her experience, Kamalrukh wrote, “I am Parsi and he was Muslim. We were what you would call "college sweethearts". Eventually when we did get married, we married for love under the Special Marriages Act (an act that upholds the right to practice one's own religion post marriage). And this is why this current debate surrounding the anti conversion bill is so interesting for me. I want to share my ordeal and my experience in an inter caste marriage - that in this day and age, a woman can face such prejudice, suffering and discrimination in the name of religion is a complete shame...and an eye opener.”
She further continued shedding light on her married life and wrote, “My simple Parsi upbringing was very democratic in its value system. Independence of thought was encouraged and healthy debates were the norm. Education on all levels was encouraged. However, post marriage, this same independence, education and democratic value system was the biggest problem for my husband's family. An educated, thinking, independent woman with an opinion was just not acceptable. And resisting the pressures of conversion was sacrilege. I have always respected, participated and celebrated all faiths. But my resistance to convert to Islam drastically widened the divide between me and my husband, making it toxic enough to destroy our relationship as husband and wife, and his ability to be a present father to our kids. My dignity and self respect did not permit me to bend backwards for him and his family, by converting to Islam.”
Kamalrukh wrote how she was made an outcast by Wajid’s family and they employed scare tactics to make her convert that included taking her to court seeking divorce. She wrote in her post, “I was devastated, felt betrayed and was emotionally drained, but my children and I held on. Wajid was a super talented musician and composer who devoted his life to making melodies. My children and I miss him dearly and we wish he had dedicated more time to us as a family, devoid of religious prejudices, the way he did while creating his melodies. We never got to be a family due to his and his family's religious fanaticism. Today post his untimely death, the harassment from his family continues. I stand fighting for the rights and inheritance of my children which have been usurped by them. All this because of their hatred against me for not converting to Islam. Such deep rooted hatred that even a death of a loved one could not move.
She concluded by captioning her post, “Live and let live should be the only religion we all practice. #anticonversionact #noreligion #liveandletlive #respect #respectwomen #unityindiversity #acceptpeopleforwhotheyare #love #intercastemarriage #mutualrespect.”