Trinamool’s Lok Sabha MP and Bengali actor Nusrat Jahan has been issued death threats by clerics of the radical Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband for greeting Hindus on the occasion of Mahalaya while posing as Devi Durga.
The 30 year old actor who married businessman Nikhil Jain in June last year posted a photo of herself dressed as Goddess Durga and wished her followers ‘Shubho Mahalaya’ on social media sites Instagram and twitter.
Mahalaya, which fell on 17 September this year, marks the beginning of Devi paksha and the commencement of Durga Puja festivities when Goddess Durga descends from Her abode in the Himalayas.
The actor also posted a video of herself dressed as Goddess Durga and wielding the trishul to the accompaniment of the Mahishahurmardini.
Soon after her 17 September post, clerics of Deoband asked her to repent. This report in The Times Of India quotes senior Deoband cleric Maulana Ishaq Gora as saying: “Nusrat Jahan likes to do such things, she is always in controversy. These things are forbidden in Islam, but she is doing it. I think it is totally wrong. She must repent”.
Maulana Asad Qazmi, another cleric at the seminary, said: “This is totally against the tenets of Islam. She should apologise”.
Some Islamic hardliners went beyond seeking her apology and warned that her “time to die has finally arrived”. Some others threatened to behead her.
The actor, who went to London a few days ago for three weeks for the shooting of a Bengali movie, wrote to the Indian High Commissioner Gaitri Issar Kumar requesting “immediate police protection”.
The police in the UK will provide security cover to a visiting foreign national only if the Home Office there receives such a request from the mission of that country.
People close to Nusrat Jahan told Swarajya that the death threats are real since they came from some UK-based Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.
Many parts of the UK, especially large pockets in London, are under the control of hardline Islamists who impose the sharia there. London has witnessed many attacks by Islamic terrorists.
The Trinamool MP, in her letter to the Indian High Commissioner, wrote: “I have received a death threat via my social media pages (ie. Facebook/Instagram/Twitter etc) from some fundamentalists who belong to India and neighbouring countries... During my stay in London, I require immediate police protection as the threat is very serious and affecting my mental health. Kindly arrange to provide me necessary protection in London”.
This is not the first time that the actor, who was elected to the Lok Sabha last year from Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district bordering Kolkata, has faced the ire of Islamic hardliners.
She was slammed last year for marrying a Hindu and solemnising her marriage through Hindu rituals. She invited the ire of Muslim fundamentalists for wearing a mangalsutra, applying vermilion and taking part in Durga Puja festivities last year.
Deobandi cleric Mufti Azad Wasmi had then issued a fatwa against her for marrying outside her religion and wearing symbols of Hindu matrimony like the mangalsutra and sindoor.
She was also trolled by Islamists on social media last year for participating in a rath yatra along with chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
She has also been trolled online and offline for posting videos of herself dancing to Hindi film songs on TikTok dressed in outfits considered ‘skimpy’ by conservatives.
The actor has, so far, ignored her critics and the fatwas. However, this time, the threats seem real since those have been issued by UK-based Islamic hardliners who are behind many terror attacks in that country.
The Bengal government is learnt to have requested the Ministry of External Affairs to take up the issue of providing security to the Trinamool MP with the British government.
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