Mamta Kulkarni (Conversion to Islam)

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Mamta Kulkarni is a former Bollywood actress. During the 90s, she was part of several successful films. Her performance in Aashiq Awara (1993) won her the 1994 Filmfare Best New Face Award. In the blockbuster Karan Arjun (1995), directed by Rakesh Roshan, Kulkarni starred alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan.

Claims[edit]

It has been claimed in reports dated as early as May 10, 2013 that Mamta Kulkarni had converted to Islam and married her boyfriend Vicky Goswami, who was serving a long prison term in the United Arab Emirates, in order to help secure him a November 2012 release:

Mamta Kulkarni, who walked the fine line between sleazy and sexy in the 90s, had disappeared from the city more than a decade ago. It is said that the actress, who shot to notoriety with a topless cover shot for a film magazine, embraced a life of anonymity after her fortunes dipped and she found love with international drug kingpin Vicky Goswami. In 1997 Vicky was arrested for trafficking 11.5 tonnes of mandrax valued at $ 6 million and incarcerated in Dubai.

TOI has learnt that Vicky, now 52 years old, was released from the Dubai prison on November 15, 2012, after his life sentence was reduced on account of his model conduct. While in prison he had converted to Islam, and married Mamta, who had been managing his real estate business that includes a prominent hotel in Dubai, in his absence. Sources close to the couple say, Vicky is now in Nairobi, with his faithful wife by his side.

Vicky's hush-hush release from prison has been reported in several news channels in South Africa, from where he managed his network. "A life sentence in Dubai is in effect 25 years, but prisoners can apply for early release on various grounds. Apart from good conduct, these include learning to recite passages from the Qu'ran or converting to Islam. To strengthen his clemency appeal, Goswami converted to Islam and was married according to Islamic rites while incarcerated," says the article that appeared in the Mail & Guardian, which has been following the sensational case.

Though the opposition lawyers strongly opposed his clemency saying that he was an international criminal, the court pardoned him on grounds that he was a reformed criminal and a devout Muslim.[1]

Later reports differ from the original claims, in that they state the actual marriage took place on May 10, 2013, after Goswami had already been released from prison. These reports imply that Kulkarni had converted to Islam in order to marry him, not to set him free:

Former Indian actress Mamta Kulkarni, who acted in many superhit films during 90s, has reportedly converted to Islam.

According to the buzz, the controversial actress has embraced the Islamic religion after tying the knot with her boyfriend Vicky Goswami on May 10. Presently, she is believed to have settled in Nairobi, Kenya, with her husband.

Kulkarni got married to 52-year-old Goswami, after a long-time relationship, when he was in prison in Dubai. She was also managing her husband’s hotel business, in his absence.

Her husband, Goswami is also not averse to controversies. He was arrested in 1997 for 25 years in drug smuggling case by the UAE police. His sentence was reduced after he converted to Islam. He was released on November 15 last year.[2]

Some Pakistani media reports contain contradictory information, claiming that Kulkarni had married Goswami both whilst he was serving his prison sentence in 2012 and after he was released on May 10, 2013:

Former Indian actress Mamta Kulkarni has accepted Islam it was leanr recently. She converted and is currently living with her husband ‘Vicky Goswami’, who has already converted to Islam. Mamta Kulkarni got married on 10th May, 2013 and is living in Nairobi, Kenya with her husband.

The Indian Bollywood actress, of the ‘Ghatak’ fame was arrested by the UAE police in 1997 in drug smuggling case. Vicky Goswami was sentenced 25 years in jail, but released in November 2012. His conversion to Islam was the main reason of major reduction in his punishment. Mamta Kulkarni got married with Goswami, when he was in jail. She was managing her husband’s hotel business during his imrpisonment. She was in a relationship with Goswami and got married in 2013.

In the 90′s Mamta Kulkarni took the film industry by storm. She worked in Bollywood movies for almost 11 years, and after that she left the showbiz and Indian film industry. She has over the past few years rejected numerous film offers from several directors and producers. The adamant actress has however promised to stay aloof of Bollywood owing to the commandments of her new religion.[3]

Analysis[edit]

Interview (July 2013)[edit]

Two months after the conversion rumors first started circulating, Mamta Kulkarni gave an exclusive interview to Soumyadipta Banerjee of the Bollywood Journalist. It was her first interview in over a decade. Asked when she plans to make a comeback, she explained:

Funny, I am Laughing, is it possible for Ghee to become milk again, is it possible for Rishi Valmiki to become Vallya again? As my real Heroes have Changed From Sharukh, Salman, Aamir to first the Father and Lords of all religion thats’ Lord Mahadev/Mother Parvati though two they are one, to his son and my too Lord Narayana and third to my Guru Shree Gagangiri Nath.

Though I have written in my book but again for your knowledge for Manav kalyan God [ Lord Mahadev] had created navnaths, spiritually they are called as 9 masters, or 9 narayanas like Mastyachandrinath, Gorakhnath, Jalandaranath, Cauranginath These were all Lord Narayana’s Ansh [his sons]. Through them was the task to establish the Spiritual world and future Masters to come from the same clad is my Spiritual Sage. Theres ‘saying it takes many lifes” good deeds to even have an encounter with a sage of this status, then many lifes’ good deeds for him to accept you as his shishya a student and all your lifes’ bad deeds last breathing time for him to crown you with a jewel, a crown called as self-realization.[4]

Asked if she visits Mumbai often, she disclosed her attendance of the Kumbh Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage,[5] and her participation in its major event (ritual bathing at the Triveni Sangam that is said to "flush away all of one's sins and free one from the cycle of rebirth.").[6] She also attended the Kashi Vishwanath, arguably the most famous of all Hindu temples.[7]

Yes i did. During Kumbh-melas time. I stayed for entire 10 days i took bath in Triveni Sangam and visited Kashi-Vishwanath.[4]

In addition to confirming her Hindu beliefs, Kulkarni also stated that she had not married Vicky Goswami or anyone else:

Kulkarni also clears the air about her reported marriage to alleged drug-lord Vicky Goswami. "I was never married to no one, neither am I still married to anyone. My penance got over and Vicki was released ... I love vicki but even he knows my first love now is God (sic)."[8]

Official Facebook Posts[edit]

Mamta Kulkarni has made numerous posts via her official[9] Facebook account openly expressing her Hindu religious beliefs. On September 23, 2013, she responded directly to the rumors concerning a conversion to Islam by stating that she is not married, she was still a Hindu, and neither she nor Vicki Goswami were Muslims:

Because of my silence even this part has become very talk of the town.First i read and asked by many, about me marrying someone in USA. Some say i got 2 kids etc, etc. But i never married to no one neither i am still married to anyone.Second about me being married to Vicki Goswami/ and him converting into Muslim so do i become too. First i am still Hindu neither Vicki Goswami has converted to Muslim. it would be shame on me after attaining my self and have written in detail in my book and also on my blog and after realizing ‘“GOD IS ONE"’ to change or convert into any religion or in my capacity to make someone change his/her religion would be like an dirty joke as this is not human-beings work leave that on God. (...) [10]

In two more posts dated September 23, 2013 and October 17, 2013, Kulkarni shared an image of Lord Ganesha, a Hindu deity,[11] and discussed meditation techniques, enlightenment and her Hindu guru.[12]

"Autobiography Of An Yogini"[edit]

Mamta Kulkarni published an autobiography in September 2012, titled, "Autobiography Of An Yogini".[13][14] A yogini can refer to a female master practitioner of Yoga or a formal term of respect for a female Hindu spiritual teacher.[15] The book itself is about her time with the Hindu[16] guru, Shri Gagangiri Maharaj.[9]

In a July 2013 blog post[17] (later confirmed as officially belonging to Kulkarni)[9] she discussed the contents of her book, describing it as "a dedication of a devotee, a student to her Master, a Guru, who transformed a celebrity into an ascetic", and explaining her absence from the limelight to the "12 years of spiritual endeavour/meditation" that had led to her "enlightenment". She also implied that the falsity of the rumors concerning Vicky Goswami and Islam would be apparent to anyone who had read her book:

Autobiography Of An Yogini by a Bollywood celebrity-turned-ascetic is a dedication of a devotee, a student to her Master, a Guru, who transformed a celebrity into an ascetic. This Man from the mountains... banished my many births of darkness and crowned me with a jewel called ‘enlightenment’.

This book is an eye-opener to many ignorants. The above churned milk (book) was from the manthan (from my 12 years of spiritual endeavour/meditation).

My Bollywood histrionics were destined but my dip into the spiritual ocean was like a transit to the actual destination... When you get a Master he instantly becomes your mother, as it happened with me. In these 12 years of penance even my close relatives, my sisters, were not aware of it. Forget my sisters, even I never knew that I was the chosen one. The day I attained myself, I was in tears, as the stages were very difficult...

Here I was doing my penance. I did not meet anyone neither did I let anyone come close to disturb me so the stories that are making news recently are from publicity-hungry individuals. No one knew about my address or my country of residence as I would not have been able to accomplish what was supposedly my destiny... And another news about me changing my religion and marrying... If someone reads my book they will realise the truth. And then this is God’s department if he has made Hindu or Muslim... This shows how much the press is aware.[17]

The book also contains several new photographs of Kulkarni. She can be seen wearing a tilaka (a red mark usually worn by religious Hindus)[18] in many of them.[19]

Conclusion[edit]

Reports concerning the alleged conversion and marriage of Mamta Kulkarni and Vicky Goswami first started circulating in May 2013. Since then, Kulkarni has stated categorically several times that she is neither married to Goswami nor a follower of Islam. She has in fact demonstrated through her words and actions that she has become a devout follower of Hinduism since her retirement from Bollywood.

A point that is also overlooked by those who propagate these false rumors is that by celebrating the alleged conversion of Mamta Kulkarni and Vicky Goswami, a set of conversions that is said to have been prompted by the unequal laws applied to non-Muslims in the United Arab Emirates, they are effectively celebrating the legalized oppression of non-Muslims that exists in many Islamic societies.

See Also[edit]

External Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Soumyadipta Banerjee, "Mamta Kulkarni weds jailed lover, sets him free", Times of India, May 10, 2013 (archived), http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news-interviews/Mamta-Kulkarni-weds-jailed-lover-sets-him-free/articleshow/19983020.cms. 
  2. "Former Bollywood actress Mamta Kulkarni converts to Islam", The News Tribe, July 16, 2013 (archived), http://www.thenewstribe.com/2013/07/16/former-bollywood-actress-mamta-kulkarni-converts-to-islam/. 
  3. "All hail Ramadan! Mamta Kulkarni converts to Islam", Pakistan Today, July 13, 2013 (archived), http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/07/13/entertainment/all-hail-ramadan-mamta-kulkarni-converts-to-islam/. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Soumyadipta Banerjee, "Mamta Kulkarni, unplugged!", Bollywood Journalist, July 18, 2013 (archived), http://bollywoodjournalist.com/2013/07/18/mamta-kulkarni-unplugged/. 
  5. "Kumbh Mela", Wikipedia, accessed April 4, 2014 (archived), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumbh_Mela. 
  6. "Triveni Sangam", Wikipedia, accessed April 4, 2014 (archived), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triveni_Sangam. 
  7. "Kashi Vishwanath Temple", Wikipedia, accessed April 4, 2014 (archived), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashi_Vishwanath_Temple. 
  8. "Sex symbol Mamta Kulkarni turns into a spiritual queen", Hindustan Times, July 20, 2013 (archived), http://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/tabloid/sex-symbol-mamta-kulkarni-turns-into-a-spiritual-queen/article1-1095670.aspx. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Soumyadipta Banerjee, "Why we might lose Mamta Kulkarni all over again", Bollywood Journalist, January 23, 2014 (archived), http://bollywoodjournalist.com/2014/01/23/why-we-might-lose-mamta-kulkarni-all-over-again/. 
  10. Mamta M Kulkarni, "Because of my silence even this part has...", Facebook, July 31, 2013 (archived), http://www.facebook.com/mamtam.kulkarni/posts/343961755735483. 
  11. Mamta M Kulkarni, "Mamta M Kulkarni shared Meenal Murkar...", Facebook, September 23, 2013 (archived), http://www.facebook.com/mamtam.kulkarni/posts/364776870320638. 
  12. Mamta M Kulkarni, "2013 14:36:02 -0400 This was an answer...", Facebook, October 17, 2013 (archived), http://www.facebook.com/mamtam.kulkarni/posts/373964529401872. 
  13. Mamta Kulkarni, "Autobiography Of An Yogini", Amazon Digital Services, Inc., ASIN B009ABSEE4, September 12, 2012 (archived), http://www.amazon.com/NON-FICTION-Autobiography-Mountains-Gagangiri-Miraculous-Himalayas-ebook/dp/B009ABSEE4. 
  14. Seetha Sailaja, "Bollywood actress now a 'Yogini'", APHERALD.com, July 25, 2013 (archived), http://www.apherald.com/Movies/ViewArticle/28190/Bollywood-actress-now-a--Yogini-/. 
  15. "Yogini", Wikipedia, accessed April 4, 2014 (archived), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogini. 
  16. "Gagangiri Maharaj", Wikipedia, accessed April 4, 2014 (archived), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gagangiri_Maharaj. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Upala KBR, "Mamata Kulkarni, the yogini", DNA India, 23 July, 2013 (archived), http://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/report-mamata-kulkarni-the-yogini-1864266. 
  18. "Tilaka", Wikipedia, accessed April 4, 2014 (archived), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilaka. 
  19. Soumyadipta Banerjee, "Desperately seeking Mamta Kulkarni", Bollywood Journalist, July 8, 2013 (archived), http://bollywoodjournalist.com/2013/07/08/desperately-seeking-mamta-kulkarni/.