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Triple talaq anti-women, says Modi

I want to do more work than that done by all PMs elected from UP taken together, says Narendra Modi. File photo  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday spoke out strongly against triple talaq, arguing that in the 21 century the “lives of Muslim women cannot be allowed to be ruined” by the contentious custom.

Addressing a Bundelkhand Parivartan rally in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Modi raised the issue of triple talaq among Muslims while condemning the practice of female foeticide among Hindus, stressing that “sisters, mothers and daughters should be protected irrespective of community or religion.” “My government has taken strong steps (against foeticide),” he said.

He appealed the media to not give the debate on triple talaq a “Hindu-Muslim” colour, while calling for an informed discussion on the issue with the engagement of the experts and intellectuals from the Muslim community.

Hitting out at opposition parties, he said he was “shocked,” they were “hell-bent upon committing injustice to women in the 21st century,” in their “lust for vote bank.”

“Politics and elections have their own place. Getting Muslim women their rights as per the Constitution is the responsibility of the government and the society,” the PM said in Mahoba in Bundelkhand.

Though he made veiled references to the issue of triple talaq during his Dassara speech in Lucknow recently, it was the first time the premier directly expressed his opinion on rights of Muslim women in the ongoing debate.

“If a Hindu commits female foeticide he will have to go to jail. Similarly, what is the crime of my Muslim sisters that somebody (their husbands) utters talaq thrice over the phone and their lives are destroyed,” Mr. Modi said.

The PM said that in the government’s submission in the Supreme Court, after a petition against triple talaq by some Muslim women, the Central government had clearly stated that there should be no discrimination against women on the basis of religion.

“Democracy wants discussion. But there are people who want to digress from triple talaq and instigating people. Lives of Muslim women in the country cannot be allowed to be ruined by triple talaq,” Mr. Modi said.

Raising the pitch, he asked the crowd if the rights of Muslim women should be protected, if “Muslim mothers and sisters” be protected and they get equal rights.

In an appeal to media, especially television channels debating triple talaq, Mr. Modi urged them to not turn the discussion into a government versus opposition, BJP versus others or “Hindu-Muslim issue.”

He said the debate on triple talaq must engage the intellectuals and experts from the Muslim community. “The debate should be between knowledgeable persons from the Muslim community, who know their sastras, the Quran. There are progressive, educated and scientific people in the community. The discussion should be between those who want change in Muslim society and those who do not want the country to know what the issue is.”

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 11:14:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Triple-talaq-anti-women-says-Modi/article16080664.ece

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