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Meet Roshni Misbah, challenging gender stereotype via bike riding
Only Kashmir | Aqib Rangreze | 26 March 2017
Undoubtedly, we are inhabitants of a society where most of the families are conservative and prefer sons over their daughters. They believe that only sons can bring home laurels and girls are meant to just learn the daily family chaos and to get married at a tender age.
In Kashmir too, if you are a girl, you have to follow certain rules and regulations set by society so that family’s honor doesn’t get maligned. The situation gets more complicated when you are from a conservative Muslim family. But Delhi’s Roshni Misbah also known as ‘Hijabi Biker’ breaks all these stereotypes and rides past those with a message that daughters too can make their parents feel proud in different aspects of life. Roshni, who is trending on social media these days, while taking to this correspondent, says that she doesn’t break rules but she loves to break every single stereotype.
Roshni has a special message for Kashmiri girls as well and urges them to continue pursuing their dreams. “You can follow your dreams, your culture and your faith at the same time and fulfill your passions” she reverberated adding “parents must support their children as their support will lead them to success someday, Inshallah”.
Roshni Misbah is gaining a celebrity status in and around Delhi. Donned in a leather jacket, high heeled boots, and head covered in Hijab under the helmet, when Roshni rides on the streets of Delhi people mostly students, wave at her and she waves back in reply. Roshni is a student of Arab Islamic Culture at Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi and when she enters into the college premise, onlookers, mostly girls, gape at her and wave their hands with amazement. Unlike other girls, Roshni doesn’t like to ride scooters and she is biking, breaking the stereotype ‘bikes are meant for boys only’. “Motorcycles do not discriminate. My bike doesn’t know my gender. It only knows that a person is riding it, irrespective of the gender,” she says.
Currently, she possesses a Honda CBR 250 cc, Royal Enfield 500, and a Suzuki intruder 1800. The 22-year-old girl rode her first bike when she was only in ninth standard. She started to learn the bike riding from her father’s and a friend’s bikes for years until she gained a lot of experience and confidence. She bought her first bike, Bajaj Avengers Cruiser 220 once she got her admission in Jamia. She doesn’t belong to any rich and well-off family who would give her pocket money for anything she wants to buy. She did a many part time jobs to save her money to pay over half the cost of her first bike.
QHer parents have always been supporting her, though they got to hear many things on letting their daughter drive on roads from their relatives and all others who knew them. But Roshni doesn’t give a tinker’s damn to such things. “When my family is supportive I don’t think I need to care about society. Even in the times of Prophet, women were encouraged to ride camels. So riding a motorcycle is nothing that should be taken negative,” says Misbah in one breath.
For Roshni, religion or her wearing Hijab is no hurdle for her what she does. And people keep questioning her religion, which is something she doesn’t get in. “Hijab is a part of my life, my culture, a part of me. I practice my faith for myself, for Allah. And it’s my choice to wear Hijab. I pray five times a day, I practice my religion. But that doesn’t stop me from riding a bike. Hijab is part of my faith and culture. So hijab can never be a hurdle to anything” said 22-year-old Arab Studies student of Jamia Milia Islamia University. She is also part of many biking groups in Delhi like Wind Chasers, Royal Enfield Riders, Bikerni, Bajaj Avenger Club, TAG and she often takes part in many social awareness campaigns to raise awareness on safe biking and participates in ‘cause ridings’ and NGO ridings as well.
Many girls from Jamia approach to her and want to learn biking from her. She wants to continue and train herself so well so that she can get into Superbike Racing. “I want to get onto the tracks and get into the superbike racing.”
Misbah says that she bought her first bike so that she could easily travel to her university but later people started taking her as an inspiration and she is proud to break all the stereotypes which India has embraced from centuries. She says that people have given her the name ‘hijabi biker’ and she would love to hear only ‘biker’ from them. “People have tagged me as a Hijabi biker I never said I am one. Hijab is a part of my life and I don’t want anyone to merge my bike riding with hijab together”, says Roshni.
Roshni Misbah, Honda CBR 250 cc, Royal Enfield 500, girls, stereotype, Jamia Milia Islamia University, Kashmir,