This story was shared by Aashiya Begum in Indiatimes Facebook page
I am a girl who was born and brought up in a Muslim family in India. And in all the 21 years of my life, I have never once felt harassed by or discriminated against my religious counterparts. In fact the only trouble I ever had was being repeatedly asked questions like “Why do you not fast/ wear a veil?” by Hindus and Muslims alike.
Every single time I happen to read news articles (like a few I have mentioned below) stating what is happening in the Muslim world, I leave a huge sigh of relief and feel grateful that I was born in India and no place else.
I do not wear the Hijab, I do not pray five times a day and I celebrate Holi and Diwali with the same enthusiasm as Eid and Bakri Eid.
In India, I have no fear; I have the freedom to choose what I wish to follow and what I don’t. I am not afraid of being killed for seeking education, I do not get stigmatized for not wearing the Hijab, I am free to drive alone without the fear of being lashed and my career is not confined to only a few gender segregated job opportunities.
To sum it up, “I’d rather be a Muslim in India than in any other ‘Muslim’ country.”