The Muslim woman, Mainaz Begum, in Wazirgan, Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, who had re-named her newborn as Aftab Alam Mohd, after initially naming him ‘Narendra Damodardas Modi’, claiming pressure from family and community, now blames her journalist cousin for brainwashing her into doing so, reports Indian Express.
She has blamed her journalist cousin, Mushtaq Ahmed, a journalist with Hindi daily Hindustan in Gonda, for allegedly convincing her to pull off the ‘fraud’.
“Humein kya pata tha ki itni aafat aa jayegi. Hum toh apne khala ke ladke ke behkawe mein aa gaye (I had no idea it would become such a big issue. I fell for what my aunt’s son told me),” Mehnaz said furthering that “Mushtaq made me mug up a short speech and tell media persons that my son was born on May 23 and that I have decided to name him after the Prime Minister. I am illiterate and don’t even know much about Narendra Modi.”
Mainaz who had in an affidavit addressed to the district magistrate and submitted to Assistant Development Officer (Panchayat) Ghanshyam Pandey on May 26, declared that her son was born on May 26, has now gone back on her words saying that her child was born on May 12, not May 23.
As per reports, Mainaz had initially chosen to name her son after the PM since he was born on the same day (May 26) when Modi registered a landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Mainaz had then showered praises on Modi and his government’s welfare schemes, including free cooking gas connection to the poor and financial help to construct toilets and the government’s initiative to end triple talaq.
Impressed by Modi’s work, she had then shown adamancy on naming her child after the Prime Minister. It was then reported that initially, Mainaz’s family was not in favour of her decision, but they ultimately gave in to her adamancy.
On being asked on whether the family feared to face the wrath of extended family and community over the step, her father-in-law, Idrees had then maintained that naming the child was the family’s private affair and “no one should interfere in this.” He claimed that Modiji was the PM and India took pride in it.
However, on May 29, Mainaz Begum decided to change her son’s name to Mohammad Altaf Mohd. She had stated that her family and community members were vehemently opposed to the idea of a Muslim boy being named Narendra Damodardas. She had also claimed that her community had threatened not to perform the child’s circumcision or perform the ‘Hakika’ celebrations for childbirth.
And now, she alleges that her first cousin, Mushtaq Ahmed, not only convinced her to name the child after Modi but also spread the word that the child was born on May 23.
Denying the allegations, the reporter said that Mehnaz had lied to him about her child’s date of birth. He had only agreed to write about it in the newspaper he worked for after Mehnaz told him that she wanted to name her child after the Prime Minister. Mushtaq said on the phone: “It was not my suggestion. She told me she would name her child Narendra Damodardas Modi and I agreed to write about it in the newspaper I work for. But I didn’t know she had lied about the child’s date of birth.”
Senior Reporter, working for the same newspaper, Qamar Abbas, coming out in support of Mushtaq, said, “After the whole thing got a lot of attention from the media, the woman may have been under pressure from her community. She probably fears that her child will be boycotted. Which explains why she is levelling these allegations against my colleague after 10-15 days.”
Meanwhile, KK Upadhyay, who was Editor, Hindustan (Lucknow), when the story was published, said, “We got the story from the village and published it. The story is not false and the child’s name remains the same. The story was verified and the mother later told all media persons what she told us. Her story was published in all newspapers on the same day.”