A Muslim man from Kolkata was not allowed to perform the last rituals of his Hindu wife at a temple in New Delhi’s CR Park.
Kolkata-based Imtiazur Rahman lost his wife Nivedita Ghatak in the capital after she suffered from multi-organ failure last week. She was cremated at Nigam Bodh Ghat the same day.
Though the husband didn’t face any issue with the cremation, the temple society denied him permission to perform rituals of shradh for his deceased wife.
“We had booked a slot at Chittaranjan Park Kali Mandir Society on August 6 and paid Rs 1,300 for the ceremony which was to be held on August 12. But an hour later, I received a phone call from the office. The gentleman on the other side asked my name repeatedly. Then he said the rituals could not be performed. I asked for the reason but he just said in Bengali, “Aapni bujhe nin (You can well understand),” Times of India quoted Rehman as saying.
Imtiazur , an assistant commissioner with the commercial taxes deptt in the West Bengal Government, married Ghatak in 1998 in accordance with the Special Marriages Act that allows inter-faith wedding of couples. For Imtiazur, religion is a personal matter. “My wife was a practising Hindu and I wanted to do everything as she would have wanted,” he said.
However, help arrived late on Wednesday when a socio-cultural organisation offered to host the ceremony. Imtiazur and his family live in Kolkata. They had rented a flat in Delhi about two months ago for Nivedita’s treatment.
Ashitava Bhowmik, the president of the temple society, told IANS that Rahman’s request could not be taken up for “more than one reason”. He alleged that Mr. Rahman “concealed his identity” and made the booking in his daughter Ihini Ambreen’s name “which doesn’t sound like Arabic or Muslim”.
Bhowmik said, “We got to know about his religious identity when a priest got suspicious and asked him about gotra.” Gotra is the lineage, which forms an important factor in determining Hindu ancestry.
“Obviously, he had no answers. Muslims don’t follow 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,” Bhowmik told the news agency.