Supporters livid after Muzaffar Ali said this to a question on the Persian poet's sexual orientation.
The popular Persian poet, whose name is synonymous with the Sufi order, is known to have met a 60-year-old mystic, Shams al-Din of Tabriz, in October 1244. The two often spent months together in isolation, giving rise to much resentment among Rumi's followers. Three years later, Shams disappeared mysteriously. Legends say he was only a spirit, while others speculate it was murder. It was then that Rumi wore the white that is now associated with the dervish order he pioneered, and began to whirl in the way the ascetics typically do.
But to say Shams was his beloved is foolish, says Ali of the mystic's much-debated sexual orientation. "Aisa kuch nahi hai. Agar woh gay hote, to aisi hi cheezon mein phans jaate. Everyone has the right to interpret and misinterpret, but these allegations about Rumi are baseless," he fumed.
Full report here Midday