The Chairman of State Minorities Commission serving Andhra Pradesh and Telangana sees the Law Commission’s questionnaire asking the public for responses on the Uniform Civil Code and ‘triple talaq’ as an “attempt by the government to brand Muslims as anti-nationals”.
“The government is trying to create a sort of atmosphere where the Muslim community gets agitated and does something which is not desirable and, in turn, they are branded as anti-nationals…those who do not follow the Constitution of India and all that,” Abid Rasool Khan said.
“The community is falling into the trap of the right-wing elements and agencies who are working in tandem,” he alleged. Khan described the exercise of asking for opinions without the government putting a draft of the Uniform Civil Code in the public domain as “very absurd and not heard of”.
“You are not telling other religions how are you going to alter their rights, you are not touching the other communities. Ministers on TV do not talk about the HUF (Hindu Undivided Family) taxation benefits. All these things make me weary that there is a hidden agenda behind the questionnaire,” he told PTI.
Stating that every 200 sq.km, one can see a different culture in India, Khan said the questionnaire should have had a minimum of 500-600 questions. “In 16 questions, you are trying to do it. So, what the government is basically doing is framing a policy to show the Muslims as anti-national and unpatriotic…who do not follow the Constitution and democratic principles. I strongly object to this,” he said.
Khan requested the Law Commission to withdraw the questionnaire, adding that the government should first put a draft of the Uniform Civil Code “they are talking and threatening about” in the public domain and give “ample time” to all the communities.
He noted that the questionnaire did not “talk about the Sikh community, the Kodagu community in Uttar Pradesh which allows five husbands to a woman, which is common in most of the villages in the hill areas of the state and Nagaland where the wife can be changed with a small gift given to her”.
“The way it is being handled, it is just a poll publicity tool before the Uttar Pradesh election and then it will sink in a boat,” Khan said and termed the exercise a “political gimmick”.
He said Muslims would resolve issues such as ‘triple talaq’ and polygamy “within the community” and they are “on the verge” of doing so. “Why are others so worried about it? Is there no other issue like child marriage? No issue like polygamy exits in the Hindu community?” he asked.
Khan claimed that even a BJP woman MP was a “polygamist”. “So, why are they not looking into their own closet before looking at Muslims and creating a scene where we (Muslims) are shown as wild, uncivilised and all that,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)