Authorities of a temple in Delhi’s Chittaranjan Park locality refused a Muslim man permission to perform a ritual for his deceased Hindu wife, IANS reported on Friday. The society that runs the temple it believes the woman no longer remained a Hindu after marrying the Muslim man.
Imtiazur Rahman’s wife Nivedita Ghatak died last week after suffering multiple organ failure in the national Capital. Ghatak was cremated according to Hindu rites at Delhi’s Nigam Bodh Ghat, but the family was refused permission to perform the “shradh” ritual.
Rahman, who works as an assistant commissioner for commercial taxes in the West Bengal government, told IANS that he had booked an August 12 slot at Kali Mandir Society in Chittaranjan Park after paying Rs 1,300 for the ceremony. But the temple society told him that his booking had been cancelled “for obvious reasons”.
Ashitava Bhowmik, the president of the temple society, claimed that Rahman had “concealed his identity” by booking the ceremony in his daughter Ihini Ambreen’s name “which doesn’t sound like Arabic or Muslim”.
“We got to know about his religious identity when a priest got suspicious and asked him about his gotra [clan],” Bhowmik said. “He had no answers. Muslims don’t follow the gotra system. His wife can no longer be considered a Hindu after marrying the Muslim because a woman adopts the surname and belief system of her in-laws and becomes a part of that society.”
“I wanted to do it her way because she would have wanted to me do it like that,” Rahman said of his wife’s desire for the ritual.
However, Bhowmik claimed that the man could have some ulterior motive – such as “bringing 50-100 of his relatives inside the temple and praying namaaz”. “Why insist on a temple in Delhi [for the ritual]? Why doesn’t he do it at his home in Kolkata?” Bhowmik asked.