Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI – A Muslim activist and independent journalist Mariya Salim has been denied of a flat for rent, citing her religious identity in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar. The flat broker who was approached by Mariya for the flat has, among other things, linked it to the Prime Minister Modi’s plan to carry out the National Register of Citizens(NRC).
Mariya, on the lookout for a well-furnished flat in the capital, has put out the screenshot of private chats she had with the brokers. One broker can be seen saying. “Ma’am, these people (flat owners) won’t give the flat to Muslims for rent.” “Why so? I’m educated, studied in London, I can pay rent on time. Then, what’s an issue?,” Mariya is seen asking back.
FOR ALL THOSE WHO THINK I AM OVER STATING MY HOUSING DISCRIMINATION, PLEASE SEE. I HAVE OTHER MESSAGES AND RECORDINGS. I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL TO DO BUT CRY OUT ALOUD!!!
Aap kaagaz mat dikhaiye, mujhe to apna poora naam bataana hi padegana. pic.twitter.com/Ww8XBV6huC
— Mariya Salim (@MariyaS87) January 20, 2020
Later, Citing this to Caravan Daily, Mariya said this was not the first time this was happening. There were times she managed to get accommodation on rent in the name of her friends. This time she also has plans to get a flat in her name.
“I have been looking for a flat for 4-5 months. In the beginning, I was not finding one at all. Many brokers and owners were dilly-dallying for long after saying ‘yes’. They used to tell me to take the flat on the third or fourth floor even though I was ready to pay a good sum,” she said.
Mariya, who earlier worked with the human rights group Amnesty International, said she lived in Kolkata’s Muslim ghetto. She dreamt of living in a good locality. She found many such flats but when she approached the concerned agency or individual for a flat, it was not directly denied to her. They held the request in wait and after some time, those flats were rented to others.
“I managed to get three brokers to tell me in writing that they won’t rent me the flats because of my Muslim identity. They say sorry to me after stating that the owners don’t rent flat to Muslims. What to do? One even says over the phone that the Afghani girls living in Delhi are prostitutes. So, other Muslims too are not rented flats,” she said.
Mariya is currently living with her sister in Delhi. She said she has encountered objections in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and Shivalik.
This reporter approached one of those brokers to inquire about flats on rent, over phone. At first, he said he was ready to rent out a room. When he was asked about getting a flat in Malviya Nagar for a Muslim, he said it was not possible.
Why are Muslims not rented out a flat in Malviya Nagar? He said, “Bhayyia, there are no rented flat in Malviya Nagar, you can get it in the Extension.”
When asked why so in Malviya Nagar for Muslims, he got angry and said, “You better ask the flat owner. You should also ask Modi ji as to why he is carrying out the NRC? The whole world knows why Muslims don’t get a flat. If you are a Muslim, you know it very well. If you don’t know, go and stand with a banner at Janpath, people will tell you.”