New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tried to present himself as the messiah of Muslim women by getting the triple talaq bill passed from the Lok Sabha. He said that he has made the practice a criminal act that is now a “cognizable and non-bailable offence”. He also claimed that he has allowed the Muslim women to travel to Haj without any male relative.
Modi said that he has emancipated the Muslim women and went on to add that after years of suffering women from Muslim community have finally found a way out.
While addressing a conference via video-conferencing, Modi added that the Muslim women in the country were facing hardships due to the prevailing practice of instant triple talaq for years, “but now they have found a way to free themselves (from the practice).” He further said that the bill gives legal right to Muslim women against talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq and it makes the practice a “cognizable and non-bailable offence”.
Prime Minister even went on to take credit for allowing the Muslim women being allowed for Haj without male relatives. This is something that has been allowed by Saudi Arabian government and the Indian Government or the Haj Committee of India had no role to play in it. The allowance has been made only in the case of women older than 45 years of age. While speaking in his Mann Ki Baat, radio address, Modi today said his government has removed the restriction following which hundreds of women have applied to travel alone for the pilgrimage.
Women younger than 45 years of age are still legally barred by Saudi Arabia not to arrive for Haj without a male relative. Muslim women aged above 45 will be allowed to go for the pilgrimage without ‘mahram’ in a group of at least four. Modi said that the removal of the restriction of having a male guardian or ‘mahram’ may appear as a “small thing”, but such issues “have a far reaching impact on our image as a society”.
Prime Minister while speaking during the radio speech said when he first heard of the restriction, he was surprised as to who would have drafted such a rule. “Why this discrimination? And when I went into the depth of the matter I was surprised to find that even after 70 years of our independence, we were the ones who had imposed these restrictions. For decades, injustice was being rendered to Muslim women but there was no discussion on it,” Modi went on to add.