AMID THE nationwide debate over triple talaq, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged Muslims not to view the issue through a “political lens”, and expressed hope that “enlightened members from within the community” would lead efforts to end the practice. Addressing a function to mark Basava Jayanti, in honour of Kannada philosopher Basaveshwara, Modi said: “Teen talaq ko lekar aaj yeh ek bahut badi behes chal rahi hai. Bharat ke mahan parampara ko dekhte hue, mere bheetar ek aasha ka sanchaar ho raha hai… ki is desh me samaj ke bheetar se hi taqatwar log nikalte hain, jo paramparon ko todte hain, nasht karte hain, aadhunik vyavasthaon ko viksit karte hain… Musalman samaj mein se bhi aise prabuddh log paida honge, aage aayenge, aur Muslim betiyon ko, unke saath jo gujar rahi hai, jo beet rahi hai, unke khilaf wo khud ladai ladenge, aur kabhi na kabhi raasta nikalenge.”
(“There is a debate about triple talaq. Looking at the great traditions of our nation, a hope is rising within me… that powerful people will emerge from within the community who will break the traditions, demolish them and develop a modern system… Enlightened people from within the Muslim community will emerge and come forward to fight against all that Muslim daughters have to undergo… They will find a way out.”)
“Aur Hindustan ke hi prabuddh Musalman niklenge jo duniya ke Musalmanon ko raasta dikhane ki taaqat rakhte hain. Is dharti ki yeh taaqat hain… Ye Bharat ki mitti ki taqat hai ki teen talaq ke sankat se gujar rahi hamari maataon, behenon ko bachane ke liye usi samaj se log aayenge,” he said.
(“India’s enlightened Muslims will show the way to the rest of the community across the world. This is the strength of the soil of India… that people from within the community will come out to save our mothers and sisters who have to suffer triple talaq.”)
“Aur main Musalman samaj ke logon se bhi aagrah karunga ki is masle ko rajniti ke daayre me mat jaane dijiye. Aap aage aaiye, samasya ka samdahan kijiye (I appeal to the Muslim community not to let the issue slip into the realm of politics. Come out and find a solution),” he said.
While his government’s stand against triple talaq has been criticised by prominent Muslim bodies, Modi sought to draw a parallel with Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s fight against social evils. “Society criticised him when he talked of widow re-marriage. But he remained firm… and got it done,” he said.
“People should get homes and access to power without discrimination. Farmers should get fertilisers and insurance benefits without any distinction. That is the meaning of our government’s message of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’,” said Modi. He also released a digital volume of Basaveshwara’s works, titled Vachan, in 23 languages. Modi later walked up to the audience to meet the family of Kannada scholar and rationalist M M Kalburgi, who was killed in Karnataka last year.
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