Even as the BJP and the Opposition are still calculating if there was a shift in Muslim votes towards the saffron party in UP that contributed to its landslide victory, over a million Muslims from across the country – mostly women – have already signed a petition moved by RSS-affiliated Muslim body Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) against the practice of triple talaq.
The Muslim body – RSS pracharak Indresh Kumar is the liason from the Sangh’s side who “guides” the MRM – has also called for a nationwide discussion on the issue that involves all the stakeholders.
“This is a problem of the community and the stakeholders within the community as well as the representatives from the state and the government must come and sit together to start a debate on this so that Muslim women can claim a human status,” the organisation told Mail Today
BJP: TRIPLE TALAQ STAND HELPED PARTY IN UP
As the party itself puts it, one of the major contributing factors, as it claims, in its victory was a definite support from Muslim women who were moved by the party’s stance on triple talaq as a repressive practice that needed to be done away with.
“Three factors, I suppose, defined our victory in the UP polls: first was Ujjwala scheme that provided LPG cylinders to poor women; second was construction of toilets under the Swachh Bharat programme, which also appealed to women; and last but not the least, our stand on triple talaq,” said Sidharth Nath Singh, party secretary and newly elected MLA from Allahabad West.
While the signature campaign of MRM is still on, the outfit had warned the traditionally conservative clergy of the community to desist from making a religious issue out of a practice that was a social problem.
“The fact that the BJP was able to get Muslim votes in UP, the fact that they also won the Muslim-majority Deoband seat – that is long supposed to be the stronghold of orthodox Ulema – suggest that the party and the central government need to heed the voice of the Muslim women. Their support in polls is a tacit approval of the BJP’s stand on the issue,” said MRM national coordinator Mohammad Afzal.
“The fact that the BJP did not field a single Muslim candidate for the UP polls did not deter women of the community to at least in part vote for the party,” claimed another functionary of the MRM on conditions of anonymity.
Afzal also said the traditional clergy of the community needed to wake up. “The fact that a terrorist was killed and his father denounced him in the light of the latter’s love for the nation and then a girl is issued a fatwa against for singingâ€¦all these things point to the changing scenario in India. They should wake up now and stop trying to convert the social evil of triple talaq from a social problem into a religious problem.”
Even the great grandson of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a tall Muslim Congress leader of Indian history, extolled Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “positive attitude towards the Muslims”. “The Ulemas are taking the Muslim community not in the medieval ages, but the dark ages and towards the stone age,” said Firoze Ahmad Bakht.