KOLKATA: Days after an Islamic cleric criticised TMC MP Nusrat Jahan for performing Durga Puja, Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Debasree Chaudhuri has come out in support of Nusrat and questioned why West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee refrains from raising her voice over such issues.
Talking to ANI, 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, 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.
“Islam does not allow its followers to pray before any other God other than the almighty Allah. Nusrat Jahan has performed puja which is totally anti-Islamic. She is not practising Islam. She even married a non-Muslim. Since she does not believe in the Islam, she should change her name. Why is she insulting the Islam?” Mufti Asad Kasmi, vice-president of Itehaad Ulema-e-Hind, told here.
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, 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.