Two days after Islamic cleric Mufti Asad Kasmi criticised TMC MP Nusrat Jahan for performing Durga Puja, Union Minister and BJP's MP Debasree Chaudhuri has come out in support of Nusrat Jahan and questioned why West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee refrains from raising her voice over such issues.
Debasree Chaudhuri stated that it has been the Indian tradition that after marriage a woman follows her husband's religion and rituals. "The Constitution of India has given the right to all people to follow religion as per their wish," she said. However, Debasree Chaudhuri said that she feels "surprised" why Banerjee is silent over this. "Mamata Banerjee should speak up against this (fatwa)... Why is she scared when 'fatwa' is being issued against her party's MP," Chaudhuri said while alleging that Banerjee does so as she is scared of losing Muslim votes.
After Nusrat performed Durga Puja, an Islamic cleric had termed her action as "anti-Islamic" and accused her of bringing a bad name to the religion. The cleric also urged Jahan to change her name. Speaking to media, he claimed that Nusrat Jahan has performed a forbidden ("haram") act by performing Puja on the occasion of Durga Puja. He also targeted her for marrying a non-Muslim man. He claimed that by performing Durga Puja, the Trinamool MP has defamed Islam and Muslims. "She has done a forbidden act. She should absolutely change her name. Because she doesn't follow Islam anymore now. She has been taking part in rituals and she married someone from another religion. So she should change her name. Islam doesn't need people who have a Muslim name, and go on on to defame both Islam and Muslims," the Muslim cleric said. The cleric further said, "The Islam does not need any person who bears an Islamic name but actually defames the Islam."
Nusrat had stoked a controversy when she married a non-Muslim businessman, Nikhil Jain, in June this year. Speaking to reporters after offering the puja, Nusrat Jahan said she offered prayers to Goddess Durga to promote religious harmony.
"I think I have my own way of portraying harmony towards all religions. Born and brought up in Bengal, I feel I am doing right by following culture and tradition. Here, we celebrate all the religious festivities," she said when asked about her choice to perform puja despite being a Muslim. Her husband echoed similar sentiments and said, "A lot of people are affected by inter-religion marriage. Nusrat's visit to the Hindu event is actually a positive message for India. I think every citizen of India, irrespective of their religious identity should accept all religions.
On Sunday, the actress-turned-politician celebrated the festival of Durga Puja at the Suruchi Sangha pandal of Kolkata. She was seen along with her husband Nikhil Jain and played the dhaak. As the MP celebrated the festival in full swing, she was also spotted dancing on the beats of the traditional dhaak. Nusrat Jahan has time and again been targetted by Muslim hardliners. Jahan has been at the receiving of criticism from Muslim hardliners following her marriage with her boyfriend Nikhil Jain in Turkey in June.
(INPUTS FROM ANI)