When, as journalists, we prepare for a job, we think carefully about our questions, locations and equipment. But for one of us, documentary photographer Roshan Abbas, there is an added consideration — how much of his true identity to reveal.
Abbas, co-author of this article, is a Muslim man in India. A country where, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s watch, Muslims are being vilified and evicted from their homes, their freedom of religious expression stifled.
It’s oppression Abbas has experienced firsthand, choosing not to wear a kurta — a loose, collarless shirt — that might point to his identity as a Muslim, when traveling the country for work.
The decision is cautionary. In public spaces, there looms a sense of uneasiness. Mob lynchings of Muslims who look visibly Muslim have arisen in the past.
"Until recently, members of the BJP hadn't outwardly acknowledged their goal of making India a Hindu nation. Othering Muslims, the country's second largest religion, has proven to be an effective strategy in the BJP's majoritarian politics."https://t.co/MLZGyqLZ14
— Indian American Muslim Council (@IAMCouncil) May 19, 2022