Irrfan Khan questions fasting during Ramzan, qurbani, lands in controversy

The actor said people need to understand the meaning of festivals rather than distort them and turn them into spectacles.

Keyur Seta

Quite a few Hindi film stars have landed in controversies in the past by making comments related to religion or religious practices. Irrfan Khan is the latest after he expressed his views on the rituals of fasting during Ramzan and qurbani (sacrifice).

During a recent interview, The Lunchbox actor said that instead of fasting, people should introspect. “We have forgotten the real meaning behind our festivals," he said. "We have made tamasha out of it.”

Khan also spoke on the practice of qurbani or ritual sacrifice. “You need to sacrifice things that are dear to you and distribute them to the people," he pointed out. "You buy a couple of goats from the market. You have no relation with them. So, how can this be qurbani? One should ask himself how can he attain punya by killing someone? This is common sense.”

The internationally renowned star continued: “We need to understand and study our festivals and rituals to know why they were made. If we don’t understand their real meaning, they would be used in a wrong way.”

Not surprisingly, his comments irked Muslim clerics. Zafaryad Gilani, member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPB), condemned Khan's comments and said that since he was not a religious leader, he should not give advice on such matters. Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Hind secretary Maulana Khatri advised the actor to concentrate on his career.