Friday, 11 October 2013

Hindus flock to mosques for circumcision

Chennai: While his friends spent the summer enjoying the sights of various holiday locations, 13-year-old Surendar headed for a mosque – not for religious reasons, but for  undergoing ‘khatna’, otherwise known as ‘sunnath’ (circumcision), to overcome a medical problem.

“We were told it would take about three weeks for him to recover from the surgery and so we thought the summer vacation was the best time to get it done,” says Surendar’s father  K G Shanmugam, who lives in  Kolathur , North Chennai with his family.

He explains that his son, a class 8 student, suffered from severe pain when urinating and although admitted twice to hospital for treatment, found no relief. “My brother told me his son too had a similar problem and sunnath provided a permanent solution. We approached the mosque and they were kind enough to do the procedure for the boy last week. He is much better now,” he adds, sounding relieved.

Unani practitioner Syed Nawaz , who has been performing khatna for several years, says the number of Hindu boys coming for the procedure is steadily growing. “Almost 40 per cent of the boys I have attended to so far since  this summer vacation began were Hindus. When a Hindu family approaches me for help, I first explain the surgical process, the healing time and its health benefits,” the  hakeem adds.

S. Sulaiman, 62, of the Masjid-ur-Noor says his mosque on ECR Road in Thiruvanmiyur has been organizing free khatna camps during the summer vacations for the last five years. “We are happy that several Hindu families have understood the health benefits of khatna and are coming to us to have their sons undergo the procedure . We arrange for it with love and care, irrespective of religion”, he says.

Mosque vice-president, R Noorullah says the summer vacation is a busy time for hakeems specializing in khatna procedures. “Of course, they are busy during the other months too as several Hindu adults are opting for the procedure for health reasons. Many men from the film world too undergo khatna to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases”, he reveals.

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