Breaking his silence on the hugely contentious issue of triple talaq, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today denounced the practice among Muslims and deprecated attempts to politicise the issue.
“Now the issue of talaq has come up. Just like if any Hindu commits female foeticide he will have to go to jail, similarly what is the crime of my Muslim sisters that someone says talaq over phone and her life is destroyed,” he said addressing a “Maha Parivartan Rally” here in the Bundelkhand region in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
Urging TV news channels to not turn triple talaq into an issue of Hindu versus Muslim or BJP versus other parties, Modi said that in its submission to the Supreme Court, the central government had clearly stated that there should not be any atrocity on women and there should be no discrimination on the basis of religion.
“In democracy, there should be discussion. The government has put forward its position. Those who want to digress from triple talaq are instigating people…in the country, lives of Muslim women cannot be allowed to be ruined by triple talaq,” he said.
In his speech, the Prime Minister asked the audience whether the rights of Muslim women should be protected or not and whether they should get equal rights or not?
“I am surprised that some political parties of the country in their lust for vote bank are hell-bent upon committing injustice to women in the 21st century. What kind of justice is this?
“Politics and elections have their own place but getting Muslim women their rights as per the Constitution is the responsibility of the government and the people of the country,” he said.
Asking the media to not turn the issue of triple talaq as a matter between the government and the opposition, Modi said, “The debate should be between knowledgeable persons from Muslim community knowing ‘Quran’. In Muslim community, knowledgeable and progressive people are there. There are educated Muslim women who can put their views forth.”
“When you do TV debate do not turn it into Hindu-Muslim issues. Debate should be between those who want change in Muslim society and those who do not want 125 crore Indians to know what is the issue,” the Prime Minister said.
Meanwhile, alleging that the Central government is “politicising” the triple talaq issue, Women India Movement, a social organisation of Muslim women, today said it would not allow any “interference” with Muslim Personal Law.
“The Central government is politicising the practice of triple talaq to gain advantage and polarise Hindu votes in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, which will not be accepted,” National President of the organisation Yasmin Farooqui told reporters here.
She alleged that it was the “conspiracy” of the Union government to “enforce” Uniform Civil Code for Muslims, which is a violation of right to freedom given by the Constitution.
“The Muslim women are ready for any sacrifice under the leadership of All India Muslim Personal Law Board if the government does not stop this interference,” she said.
State president of the organisation Mehrunissa Khan said the Centre should instead focus on providing education and basic amenities and eradicating other social evils, like liquor, in the country.