New Delhi, Aug 10: A temple society in Delhi has refused to perform a ritual for a dead Hindu woman because she married a Muslim. The temple society said the woman was no longer a Hindu after her marriage with a Muslim even as she hadn't given up her faith. Imtiazur Rahman, who works as assistant commissioner, commercial taxes in the West Bengal government, got married to Nivedita Ghatak 20 years ago.
Ghatak died last week after she suffered from multi-organ failure. She was cremated as per Hindu rites at Delhi's Nigam Bodh Ghat, but the family could not perform shradh -- a set of Hindu rituals performed for the deceased. For the ritual, Rahman had booked an August 12 slot at Kali Mandir Society in the Bengali-dominated Chittaranjan Park after paying Rs 1,300 for the ceremony on Aug 6.
However, the temple society cancelled his booking. Speaking to IANS, Ashitava Bhowmik, the president of the temple society, said that Rahman's request was rejected for "more than one reason". He alleged that Rahman "concealed his identity" and made the booking in his daughter Ihini Ambreen's name "which doesn't sound like Arabic or Muslim". Rahman responded: "It was done in keeping with and respecting the Hindu traditions and rites."
Asked since it was the last wish of the woman, who followed the Hindu belief system, Bhowmik said "who knows the man has some ulterior motive and could bring in 50-100 of his relatives inside the temple and start praying Namaz" there. "What will we do in that case? Should we allow that?" he asked. He further said if Rahman was too keen on performing the ritual of his wife he should do that at his home.
Rahman countered the allegations, saying faith was a personal matter for him and it had never hurt his relationship with his "practising Hindu wife" as she would perform any ritual the way she wanted and he would do it his way. "This time I wanted to do it her way because she would have wanted to me do it like that. But am not being allowed." He has not been able to hold the shradh ritual till now.