Taking strong exception to imposing triple talaq across the country, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Wednesday accused the opposition of pursuing a highly reactionary form of politics and supporting the discourse which could take India back into the medieval age.
“All the laws you have common… only for the women you want a separate law. I think this is endorsement of fundamentalism, endorsement to the reactionary politics. The opposition is pursuing highly reactionary politics in the country and supporting the discourse which is taking back India to the medieval age,” RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha told ANI. Dubbing the demand of triple talaq as an attack on the dignity of women, Sinha called for equality between men and women.
“This is an issue concerned with gender justice and gender equality. In a modern world, no society can dare to have discriminatory law for women. There should be complete equality between men and women. India is lagging behind. We are signatory to the United Nations that there should be no discrimination with women. So, it is international, moral and constitutional obligation,” he added.
Sinha said if election and gender justice are related then it should be welcomed.
“It should be a part of manifesto of any progressive, democratic, liberal party that we are going to give complete equality between men and women irrespective of the caste, religion and language. If there is discrimination on the basis of religion, there can be demand for a separate criminal law,” he added.
The RSS ideologue further said if there is a common criminal law then there cannot be two different civil laws.
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi earlier on Sunday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about the triple talaq issue as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wanted to “polarise” voters ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
“It is really surprising but I am not surprised. But the Prime Minister instead of making governance, corruption, the Yadav Pariwar’s infighting … the Prime Minister wants to make construction of Ram Mandir and triple talaq (as) the core issue(s) of the BJP’s campaign in Uttar Pradesh,” Owaisi told reporters.
Breaking his silence on the issue, Prime Minister Modi had earlier this week opposed the practice of triple talaq. He said the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will ensure that the constitutional rights of Muslim women are protected.
“Female feticide is a sin. So what if the sinner is a Hindu. My government has taken a number of steps (to stop this practice). Daughters, mothers, sisters should be protected. One should not consider religion. Mothers and sisters should be respected. We have raised the issue firmly,” he said while addressing a ‘Maha Parivartan Rally’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region on October 24.
“Now, the issue of talaq has come up. Just like if any Hindu commits female feticide he will have to go to jail, similarly what is the crime of my Muslim sisters that someone says talaq over phone and her life is destroyed,” he added.
Urging TV news channels to not turn triple talaq into an issue of Hindu versus Muslim or BJP versus other parties, Prime Minister Modi said that the Centre had in its submission to the Supreme Court clearly stated that there should not be any atrocities on women and there should be no discrimination on the basis of religion.
“In a democracy, there should be discussion. The government has put forward its position. Those who want to digress from triple talaq are instigating the people…The lives of Muslim women cannot be allowed to be ruined by triple talaq,” he said.
The Centre had earlier on October 7 filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on triple talaq and polygamy validity.
According to the affidavit, the Centre said that there is no reason women in India should be denied their constitutional rights.
The government also said that polygamy and triple talaq do not adhere to constitutional values and, therefore, cannot be accepted.