New Delhi, April 29
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the Muslim community to ensure that the triple talaq issue was not “politicised”, and hoped that intellectuals from the community would come forward to fight the practice.
Comment: Triple talaq — myths and misperceptions
Addressing an event marking the birth anniversary of Kannada philosopher Basaveshwar here, Modi voiced the hope that Muslims in India would “show the path of modernity” to their counterparts across the world.
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“There is so much debate on the triple talaq these days.
“Looking at the great tradition of India, my mind is filled with the hope that powerful people will emerge from the community in this country (to) eradicate outdated practices, evolve modern systems,” he said.
Read: UP minister says triple talaq misused to 'satisfy lust', draws flak
In his 40-minute speech, the Prime Minister spoke about women’s empowerment, equality and good governance.
“It is the strength of our country’s soil that people from the (Muslim) community will emerge to save our mothers and sisters from this trouble,” he said, referring to the practice of triple talaq.
“I will urge people from the community to not allow the issue to get politicised,” Modi told the gathering at the event, which was also attended by Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar.
PM, BJP politicising triple talaq issue for electoral gains: Oppn
Meanwhile, the opposition charged the prime minister with politicising the triple talaq issue to gain electoral mileage even as a BJP minister in Uttar Pradesh said Muslim men use it to change wives and satisfy their "lust".
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said no other political party except the BJP and its ideological mentor, the RSS, were trying to politicise the issue.
The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said no Muslim believes in triple talaq while moving around and the practice is adhered to as per the holy Quran in which certain norms and time-frame has been laid.
"When the society is already discussing this issue of triple talaq and the court (the Supreme Court) is looking into it, then why is the BJP unnecessarily coming in between Muslim women and their Muslim husbands. The BJP should not make attempts at creating a new vote bank," he told reporters here.
Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said Modi was speaking of such issues with an eye on the Karnataka assembly elections slated next year.
"The prime minister spoke all such things, eyeing the upcoming election in Karnataka," he said.
Criticising Modi for his comments on triple talaq, SP leader Mohd Azam Khan said the prime minister should also speak on other problems being faced by Muslim women.
"Modi should speak about the other problems (besides triple talaq) of Muslims women," Khan said.
He said the prime minister should also show sympathy with those Muslim women who have lost their sons or husbands due to violence by cow vigilantes.
Referring to Gujarat riots of 2002, he said Modi should also talk about the violence in the state that destroyed the homes of many Muslim women.
JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said Modi should not speak on issues which are pending in the court.
"First you bring improvement within yourself (community), then you talk of betterment of Muslims," he said.
BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli, however, defended the prime minister, saying the Modi government is working for the dignity of every Indian.
"The comments have to be seen as a benchmark of women rights in terms of constitutional right of equality," he said. — PTI