Months after music composer Wajid Khan of the Sajid-Wajid fame passed away due to coronavirus related complications, his wife Kamalrukh Khan has taken to social media to share her first-hand account of life in an inter-faith marriage. In a lengthy post on Instagram captioned “Live and let live should be the only religion we all practice”, Kamalrukh revealed how her resistance to convert to Islam drastically widened the divide between her and her late husband.
Speaking on why the entire debate surrounding the anti-conversion bill has appealed to her, she penned down her personal experience and ordeal in an inter-faith marriage. “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)”, wrote Kamalrukh, expressing surprise on how in this day and age, a woman can face such prejudice, suffering and discrimination in the name of religion.
Sharing details about her married life, Kamalrukh describes how her upbringing in a Parsi family, was in stark contrast to that of the culture and the value system of the music composer’s family. She 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.”
Resistance to convert to Islam drastically widened the divide between me and my husband: Kamalrukh Khan
“An educated, thinking, independent woman with an opinion was just not acceptable. And resisting the pressures of conversion was sacrilege”, wrote Kamalrukh, furthering that though she valued and kept all religions in very high regards, religious conversion was something which she did not believe in. “Conversion was not a value system I believed in personally”, said Kamalrukh disclosing how her 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”, wrote Kamalrukh as she called this enough reason to be outcasteded from Wajid Khan’s family.
She revealed how her fight against this toxic belief led to her divorce with the music composer. She shared, “I was devastated, felt betrayed and was emotionally drained, but my children and I held on.”
‘Wish we spent more time as a family devoid of religious prejudices’, wrote wife of Wajid Khan
Kamalrukh furthered that her struggle and trauma continues even after the demise of her husband. “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 death of a loved one could not move.”
“My children and I miss him dearly and we wish he had dedicated more time to us as a family, devoid of religious prejudices”, wrote the music composer’s wife, strongly batting for the anti-conversion law, which today came into force in the state of Uttar Pradesh after getting the Governor nod.
“Anti-conversion law should be nationalized”, opined wife of late Wajid Khan
Kamalrukh opined that the anti-conversion law introduced by UP govt should be nationalized so as to reduce the struggle for women like me who are fighting the toxicity of religion in inter-faith marriages.
She summed up her lengthy post by writing: “Religion should be a cause for celebration of differences not separation of families. All religions are the path to the divine. Live and let live should be the only religion we all practice”.