India

Don’t politicise triple talaq, find solution: Modi tells Muslims

Prime Minister Narendra Nodi garlanding the statue of Kannada philosopher Basaveshwar during his birth anniversary, in New Delhi on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Nodi garlanding the statue of Kannada philosopher Basaveshwar during his birth anniversary, in New Delhi on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that he hoped progressive Muslims would come forward and help “Muslim daughters” in their fight against triple talaq.

Speaking at a function in New Delhi to honour Basaveshwara, a Bhakti saint and founder of the Lingayat sect in Karnataka, Mr. Modi said: “I appeal to people in the Muslim community not to make this [triple talaq] a political issue. Come out and find a solution. That solution will have its own majesty, and generations will remember you.”

The choice of occasion for the speech was significant since Basaveshwara fought orthodoxy in the 12th century Karnataka, leading to the founding of the Lingayat sect, now a numerically and politically dominant community in the State. Linking Basaveshwara’s fight for progressive values in society to other campaigns, Mr. Modi said: “I hope progressive Muslims will come forward and help our Muslim daughters in their fight [to] find a way out.”

While other political parties such as the Congress have maintained that reforms in Muslim personal law have to come from within the community, the BJP has been stridently advocating against triple talaq, including in the Uttar Pradesh election campaign.

During the party’s national executive meeting in Bhubhaneswar earlier this month, Prime Minister Modi was quoted as saying, “We are not questioning the validity of triple talaq to create a conflict within the community but want to highlight the need for justice and to end shoshan [exploitation].”

On Saturday, Mr. Modi also said the youth of today were ignorant of the teachings of the Bhakti-era reformers. “Call it loopholes in our education system or our propensity to ignore our own heritage, the youth today know nothing of how eminent and evolved Indians like Basavanna spoke against evil social practices and in favour of women’s empowerment as far back as 700 years ago,” he said.

India’s history, he added, was not only about defeat, poverty or colonialism. “India gave the message of good governance, non-violence and satyagraha” to the world, he said.

Mr. Modi paid tributes to the former Vice-President, B.D. Jatti, who founded the Basava Society in 1964. The programme saw the release of 23 translated volumes of Basaveshwara’s Vachanas (teachings). It was held under the aegis of the Basava Samithi headed by Arvind Jatti, son of B.D. Jatti. Union Ministers Ananth Kumar, Sadananda Gowda and Ramesh Jigajinagi, as well as BJP Karnataka unit president B.S.Yeddyurappa, were present.


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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 11:03:49 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/triple-talaq-should-not-be-seen-from-political-prism-modi/article18300825.ece