NEW DELHI, Jan. 1: After years of hardship, Muslim women have found a way to free themselves from instant triple talaq, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modisaid on Sunday in his first remarks on the issue after The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, was passed in Lok Sabha on Thursday. Modi also said that “great traditions” such as Sivagiri pilgrimage or Kumbha mela “help the country get rid of evils within” and “bring the nation together”.
Inaugurating the 85th annual pilgrimage at Sivagiri Mutt here through video-conferencing, Modi said, “Social reformers such as Jyotirao Phule, Savitribai Phule, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and Dayanand Saraswati had waged long battles to protect the pride and honour of women. Now their souls will rejoice seeing the great strides made to protect the rights of women in our country.”
He said, “Everyone knew that Muslim mothers and sisters had been facing hardship for long over the practice of triple talaq. After years of struggle, they have found a way of freeing themselves from (the practice) of instant triple talaq.”
The Sivagiri Mutt is the headquarters of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Sangham, a religious organisation established by social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, who fought against the caste system. Modi said social reformers of the 19th and 20th centuries such as Sree Narayana Guru had linked their spiritual journey with nation-building.
“The nation awakened when people started to think above casteism. People of the country want to see the nation free from weakness within. Organisations such as the Sivagiri Mutt could play a critical role in that…. Be it Sivagiri pilgrimage or Kumbha Mela, such great traditions help the country get rid of evils within. These types of pilgrimages bring the nation together,” he said.
In 2018, India will achieve new heights with the policy of “reform, perform and transform”, Modi said. After “strong actions against black money, corruption and benami dealings, fighting against extremism and casteism, the country would be taken to new heights in 2018, ensuring development for all,” he said. TIE