A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for “justice” to Muslim women facing triple talaaq, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday unequivocally voiced his support for a Uniform Civil Code in the country and said those who are silent on this “burning issue” are as guilty as those who are practising it. Not only that, he also equated their silence to being as grave a crime as that committed by those who were silent over the disrobing of Draupadi in the epic Mahabharata.
Speaking at an event to mark the 91st birth anniversary of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar here, the CM said anyone who remained quiet and didn’t oppose the custom — under which a Muslim man can divorce his wife by pronouncing the word talaq thrice — was as guilty as those practising it.
Drawing an analogy between triple talaq and the disrobing of ‘Draupadi’ in the Mahabharata, Yogi said, “These days, there is a new debate in the country on a burning issue. Some people are maintaining silence on this issue. I’m reminded of everyone staying silent when Draupadi was being disrobed, and she asks a question to the gathering as to who is responsible for this sin? No one was able to utter even a single word. At that time Vidur said that people who have committed the crime, those who are accomplices and those who have maintained silence on this issue are equally responsible,” the chief minister said.
Pointing to those who have preferred to remain silent on the contentious issue of triple talaq, he said that those in the political class who are keeping silent need to be put in the dock along with the perpetrators of the crime and their accomplices.
Making a strong pitch against the divisive issue of triple talaq, Yogi insisted that exploitation of Muslim women should end and justice be done to them and added that if there is one law in the country for everyone regarding marriage and crimes, then why shouldn’t there also be a Uniform Civil Code in the country?
“Chandra Shekhar ji ne kaha tha ke agar hamare faujdaari ke maamle aur shaadi-vivah samaan hai to Uniform Civil Code kyun nahi? (Chandra Shekhar said that when we have similar laws regarding criminal cases and weddings, then why should not we employ an Uniform Civil Code in the country?) For Chandra Shekhar the interest of the nation was more important than his own ideology. Our politics should not revolve around attacking the nation’s interest, but should be within the framework of the Constitution. The day we start working by remaining within the ambit of the Constitution, the situation of conflict and collision will not occur. And, then no one will dare to take law into their own hand,” he said.
It may be mentioned that the AIMPLB at its meeting here yesterday (Sunday) had asserted that Muslims have a “constitutional” right to follow their personal law of which triple talaq was a part. AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani had said the board has decided to issue a code of conduct and warned that those who give ‘talaq’ (divorce) without following the ‘Sharia’ (Islamic law) will face social boycott.