When Mohammad Anas and his wife Tanvi went to apply for passports at Lucknow, they were left perturbed at what the passport officer told them. The passport officer didn’t just reject the application, he also asked the wife to leave her Muslim husband and marry a Hindu. Mohammad Anas Siddiqui married Tanvi Seth in 2007, and the two have a six-year-old daughter. Social media users were quick to react and shared Seth’s tweets with Indian Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj.
@scribe_prashant tweeted: “OUTRAGEOUS: Passport application of Hindu lady rejected for retaining her original name after marrying a Muslim man in Lucknow. Her husband says, ‘When the officer read the spouse’s name as Mohd Anas Siddiqui, he started shouting at her and said she should not have married me.’”
In her series of tweets earlier @tanvianas shared her experience, addressing it to Shushma Swaraj: “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 married a Muslim and did not change 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.” She added, “This is a clear case of moral policing/religious prejudice and lack of chivalry while talking to a woman.”
Her husband shared a longer account of the incident, with his twitter handle @5220manas. In a screenshot he posted on twitter, Seth is quoted, saying: “I was made to feel absolutely insulted and demeaned by Mr Mishra, to the extent that I broke and had to use my inhaler because of breathing problems caused by excessive crying.”