Main Bhi Muslim
Main Bhi Muslim
EP28 - Claiming one's voice and space at IIT and beyond

EP28 - Claiming one's voice and space at IIT and beyond

Conversation with Risana Rasheed

In this episode, MBM’s host Mariyam Haider is in conversation with Risana Rasheed from Kasargod, Kerala, who along with her twin sister, Ramseena, became the first women in their community to clear the JEE advanced, considered one of the toughest entrance exams, to enter the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Do check out EP27 with Ramseena Rasheed, to learn more about their early educational years and journeys.

This episode contains personal views of the guest regarding the said academic institution.

In this episode, Risana shares her coming of age story as a young woman, navigating priorities, lifestyle and identity choices, simply keeping one goal in mind - to build a life through academic achievement. After clearing IIT, Risana found herself in a new place, unlearning and learning aspects of herself, experiencing realities being perceived as a visible Muslim woman, especially coming from a non-Hindi speaking background into a predominantly North Indian setting.

Risana also offers a window into her experience at the campus, how her OBC background was brought into spotlight through caste-oriented questions by other students and the impact it had on her and those coming from other reserved categories. While Risana shares her personal experience and coping mechanisms to wade through her higher education and early career years, if you are a listener going through something similar, please do consider seeking professional counselling and community support.

About Risana Rasheed*

Risana Rasheed is a software engineer based in Bangalore, currently working at She pursued her Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Roorkee (2017-21 batch) and has previously held roles as an SDE at Amazon and Enphase Energy.

Her professional passion lies in crafting scalable, robust, and user-friendly software solutions. Outside of work, she immerses herself in various creative pursuits and enjoys exploring different parts of India, capturing experiences through travel content on Instagram. She also finds solace in creating paintings and finding fulfilment in assisting students with career guidance and counselling.

*Bio and image published with guest’s permission.

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Episode notes:

MBM visual identity design by Shazia Salam || Music by Jupneet Singh

Main Bhi Muslim
Main Bhi Muslim
'Main Bhi Muslim' the podcast is a conversational space for individuality and diversity within the context of being an Indian, a Muslim and everything in between.