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Published in the 16-30 Jun 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Dharmendra or “Dilawar Khan?”

Film star Dharmendra, now a BJP MP, could not have thought in his wildest dreams that his second marriage to “Aaisha Bi R. Chakravarty” alias Hema Malini would come to haunt him one day. Dharmendra had converted to Islam to marry Hema Malini as Hindus are not allowed second marriage. Their marriage was solemnised on 21 August 1979 in Bombay in accordance with Islamic rites. He had married Hema while his first wife Prakash Kaur was still alive. Had he not contested the Lok Sabha elections from Bikaner, the matter probably would not have come to light.

Dharmendra nikahnama


While filing his nomination papers as a BJP candidate before the returning officer, Dharmendra had written his name as Deol Dharmendra Kewal Krishn concealing his Muslim name Dilawar Khan and wrote the name of his first wife in the respective column. When his political rivals brought the issue to the notice of election authorities and the general public, he denied his conversion to Islam and change of name. But Delhi magazine Outlook published a photocopy of his Nikahnama (marriage document) which clearly said that Dilawar Khan Kewal Krishn (44 years) accepted Aisha Bi R. Chakravarty (29 years) as his wife on 21 August 1979 at a mehr of, Rs 111,000 in the presence of two legal witnesses…’ The nikah was solemnised by Maulana Qazi Abu Talha Misbahi Faizabadi. 

Two Congress leaders of Madhya Pradesh, Akhtar Baig and KK Mishra filed a lawsuit against him in Indore’s sessions court demanding rejection of his nomination papers on account of submission of false information and concealing his conversion to Islam and adoption of a Muslim name, demanding trial under section 420 of IPC.

According to Akhtar Baig and Congress leader from Rajasthan, Nawal Kishore Sharma, under Hindu Marriage Act, a Hindu cannot take a second wife if the first wife is still alive. However, he can marry for a second time if he has divorced his first wife or embraced Islam. «

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