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HomeNewsIslamophobia: What’s common between Payal Tadvi, Fathima Lathif

Islamophobia: What’s common between Payal Tadvi, Fathima Lathif

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Ram Puniyani Lately committing suicide in higher places of learning has been in the news more often than before. Most of the victims belong to the Dalits, Adivasis in particular, while a few others have also done so due to academic pressures.
In the case of Rohith Vemula , it was a case of caste discrimination and his activities as a Rohith were labeled as anti-national.
Two other cases that stand out are that of Payal Tadvi , an aspiring gynecologist, and Fathima Lathif, who was pursuing her post-graduation in IIT Madras. Tadvi was a Bhil Muslim, wife of Dr. Salman Tadvi, and she was harassed by her seniors, in day to day life.
Fathima Lathif was a bright young student who was topping in most of the examinations and after joining IITM, she met with the stone wall of prejudice, where despite her caliber she was given a poor score in ‘internal evaluation’. She named one of her teachers for denigrating her and wrote to her father “Dad, my name itself is a problem’.
While other types of humiliations have abounded based on caste, being a tribal or being transgender, these two cases of Payal and Fathima relate also to be part of subtle and overt dislike-hatred for Muslim community . This phenomenon is not present only in India but globally as it picked up after 9/11, 2001, when US media coined and popularized the phrase “Islamic Terrorism”. Surely terrorism is an all-pervasive phenomenon where people from many religions have indulged in it for various reasons. There have been those belonging to Irish Republican Army, Buddhist Monks indulging in such activities in Sri Lanka, there have been LTTE, with Dhanu killing Rajiv Gandhi, but never was religion associated with terrorism till the WTC attack. This attack was most horrid killing nearly three thousand innocent people from across different countries and different religions.

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