India

India Muslim woman trolled for singing Hindu devotional song

Indian Hindu devotees offering prayers on the first day of the Hindu festival of Chaitra Navratri at Ram Ghat near Sangam Image copyright AFP
Image caption The woman was accused of "tarnishing" Muslims by "singing before men"

An Indian Muslim woman has been targeted for singing a Hindu devotional song on a talent show.

Suhana Sayeed, 22, from the southern state of Karnataka, is a contestant on the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa programme.

A Facebook page called Mangalore Muslims objected to her singing a Hindu devotional song while wearing a hijab.

It accuses her of "tarnishing" Muslims by "singing before men" and says she should give up the headscarf as she does not "respect" it.

Mangalore Muslims was created in 2012. A recent post claims the page is a "medium and voice" for Muslims.

The page has over 46,000 likes, but received at least 2,000 new followers after local news outlets and a few national channels reported the targeting of Sayeed.

The original post has since been deleted, but users have posted screenshots.

Mangalore Muslims took down the first post but in a subsequent one, they said the comments were not a "personal" attack on Sayeed.

However, they also accused her of betraying the Muslim community and trying to gain sympathy from judges by singing a Hindu devotional song.

They also posted letters addressed to Sayeed, saying her performance on the TV show was "not Islamic". One letter sarcastically congratulated her on finding fame by embracing a "vulgar" medium.

There are also more than 700 comments on various posts of Mangalore Muslims, many of which support Sayeed.

"This page just divides people!" said one user. "Shame! There are so many Muslim singers singing Hindu devotional songs. Nobody bats an eye when Hindus sing quawali [form of Sufi devotional music]."

Another said no one had the right to interfere in someone's life. "We have no rights to judge other's mistake. Only Allah can…" the user added.

Another user said Pakistani Muslims were more tolerant than Mangalore Muslims, pointing out that many Muslims sang for the popular Pakistani music programme Coke Studio.

Reporting by BBC Monitoring's Aditi Mallya

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.