Ghazala Ahmad, a graduate from Aligarh Muslim University, accused a Delhi-based Hindi media channel of denying her a job as a news anchor because she wears a hijab or a headscarf. Ghazala recently completed her post-graduation degree in Mass Communication from AMU. She said she was rejected during a telephonic interview after she revealed that she wears a Hijab.
She told The Quint that “the conversation drastically changed when I told the recruiter that I wear a hijab.” After a long silence, she waited for them to give her a proper explanation but “the recruiter said that they can’t accept my application. Despite getting selected, he refused to give me the job that they had offered me in the first place.” The 24-year-old journalism student said that her recruiter was surprisingly a Muslim, ibtimes reported.
Following this conversation, the recruiter had allegedly told her, “This is Hindustan, this doesn’t happen here. Girls who observe hijab, big media houses also don’t employ them.” According to reports, the recruiters reportedly told her that she would not get the job if she did not remove her headscarf.
Last week, through a series of tweets, Ghazala decided to share her experience on social media:
Okay, So I have a similar story. I was rejected for a job just because I observe hijab. Thread. https://t.co/DxW8dnZKYN
— Ghazala Ahmad غزالہ احمد (@GhazalaAhmad5) September 2, 2020
“Despite telling him that I have worked for @NewIndianXpress and @ndtv and @TCNLive (none of them asked me to remove my hijab) he was adamant on his demand that either I have to remove my hijab or I won’t get a job. Also he said this is ‘Hindustan’ (sic),” Ghazal wrote on Twitter.
What You Should Know
- Ghazala Ahmad, a student of Aligarh Muslim University, was denied a job as a news anchor at a Delhi-based media channel because she observes hijab.
- The 24-year-old Ghazala pointed out in her posts that there is a concerning gap between women and men employees in media.
A news-based channel, Muslims Today, posted on Instagram, raising concerns over how Indian media is often criticised for lacking inclusion and diversity:
“On 30 August, she received a phone call from a representative congratulating her for her selection. After she was cleared and some formalities such as the salary and the starting date were being discussed, she informed the interviewer that she wore a hijab and inquired if that would be a problem,” the post read.
Narrating her experiences, Ghazala also pointed out that there is a concerning gap between women and men employees in media. “If personal choices like wearing a hijab prohibit women from entering this field, the gap would be further widened,” she reflected.
Speaking to The Quint, Ghazala said, “I knew whenever I look for a job, my hijab will become a problem for some people. I have my reasons to believe so, more so because of my conversation with a recruiter recently.”
“Article 25 of the Indian Constitution gives freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion. Where are your constitutional values now? Where is secular Bharat?” she questions.
Feature Image Credit: Muslims Today/Instagram