A passport officer in Lucknow allegedly rejected the application of an interfaith couple, and asked the husband, Mohammad Anas Siddiqui, to convert to Hinduism.
In a series of tweets directed at External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Tanvi Seth, a Hindu, who married Siddiqui in 2007, described how she and her husband were allegedly shamed by a passport officer named Vikas Mishra.
Referring to the passport officer, she wrote, "He spoke to me very rudely and was loud enough for others to hear while discussing my case. I have never felt so harassed ever before....He dint just put my passport on hold he even put my husband's passport on hold."
In an email to Swaraj, Seth explained that the passport officer was angry because she had retained her maiden name after marrying a Muslim. She quoted him as saying: "Aapke saath to masla hai. Aapne Muslim se shaadi ki hai to aapka naam Tanvi Seth kaisai ho sakta hai?"
"I have two asks mam, please help me and my husband get our passports issued and also take action against Mr. Mishra," she wrote. "What has happened to me today should not happen to other women like me/citizen."
He dint just put my passport on hold he even put my husband's passport on hold.
@SushmaSwaraj hello ma'am I type this tweet with immense faith in justice and in you and ironically with a lot of anger / hurt and agony in my heart because of the way I was treated at the Lucknow passport office at Ratan Square by Mr. Vikas Mishra the reason because I marri 1/2— Tanvi Seth (@tanvianas) June 20, 2018
@SushmaSwaraj 2/2 married a Muslim and not changed my name ever. He spoke to me very rudely and was loud enough for others to hear while discussing my case. I have never felt so harassed ever before. The other workers at the office acknowledged his rude demeanour.— Tanvi Seth (@tanvianas) June 20, 2018
@SushmaSwaraj Ma'am I never ever imagined that in a place like passport office we would have a people who are moral policing the citizens. He dint just put my passport on hold he even put my husband's @5220manas passport on hold. This is clear grudge. I was shocked at this 1/2— Tanvi Seth (@tanvianas) June 20, 2018
@SushmaSwaraj behaviour. I have never felt so insulted in the last 12 years of my marriage with my husband. It is my personal choice to choose a name I want to after marriage. This is our family matter and last thing I expected to hear at the passport office was 2/3— Tanvi Seth (@tanvianas) June 20, 2018
@SushmaSwaraj it is your duty to change your name after marriage. The person who spoke to my husband later said if your wife's case would have come to me there wouldn't have been issues because her papers are complete.— Tanvi Seth (@tanvianas) June 20, 2018
Siddiqui and Seth work in a multinational company in Noida and they are parents to a six-year-old daughter.
Siddiqui told News 18 that Mishra not only humiliated him and his wife over the issuing of passports, but he also told him to convert to Hinduism.
"When he read the spouse's name as Mohd Anas Siddiqui, he started shouting at her and said that she should not have married me. My wife broke into tears, after which Mr. Mishra said that she should get all the documents corrected with a changed name," he said.
Siddiqui also told the news website, "He said that I will have to convert to Hinduism else my marriage won't be accepted. He asked, 'You have to take the pheras and get converted to our religion, will you do so?'"
Siddiqui has also asked Swaraj and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene.
@MEAIndia @CPVIndia @PMOIndia @SushmaSwaraj @passportsevamea : Sir/Ma'am, I request you to please help us. Getting a passport made has cost us humiliation, shame in front of so many officials and other applicants. PLEASE someone listen to our issue and address necessary actions.— Anas Siddiqui (@5220manas) June 20, 2018
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