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Ahmed refuses to light lamp

Ahmed refuses to light lamp

Author: Correspondent
Publication: Deccan Chronicle
Date: December 13, 2009
URL: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/chennai/ahmed-refuses-light-lamp-028

Union minister of state for railways and Muslim League leader E. Ahmed refused to light a kuthuvilakku, a traditional Tamil custom for observing auspicious occasions, at a national seminar.

The minister, who flew into the city on Saturday especially to inaugurate the seminar on 'Status of Infrastructure', organised by the Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, caught the other dignitaries offguard when he declined to accept the candle offered to him to light the kuthuvilakku on the podium.

One of the organisers told this newspaper that the minister refused to light the lamp because it is an un-Islamic action.

"The Muslim community does not light lamps. It is against Shariah, the code which governs Islam," said another. IJCCI president N. Krishnaswami told this reporter not to make an issue of this.

Some time back, Mr P.K. Kunhalikutty, a Muslim League leader who was Kerala's industries minister, courted controversy when he refused to light the lamp while inaugurating a state function at Thiruvananthapuram. Noted playback singer K.J. Yesudas, one of the guests, walked out protesting against the minister's action.

"It is a barbaric action by this minister who is part of the Congress-led coalition in the Centre," said a prominent TN Congress leader.

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