KICKING UP a row, Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Swami Prasad Maurya has said that Muslim men are misusing the practice of triple talaq to “continuously” change wives and satisfy their “lust”.
“BJP Muslim mahilaon ke saath khadi hai. Jo akaran, bewajah, aur manmane tareeke se jab chaha talaq de diya… Koi apni havas ko pura karne ke liye lagatar patniyan badalte rehne ka kaam kare… apne hi bachchon ko, apni hi patni ko sadak par bheekh maangne ke liye majboor kar de… To swabhavik roop se isse na aap achcha kahenge, na koi doosra achcha kahega),” he said.
(“The BJP is with Muslim women. Those who give talaq without any reason, at their will… They continuously change wives to satisfy their lust… forcing their own wives and children to beg on the road… Nobody will call this right.”)
Maurya was speaking to mediapersons while attending a function at the residence of a BJP worker in Basti district on Friday evening. “Is prakar ki jo peedit mahilayen hain, bhuktbhogi mahilayen hain… BJP unko samman dilane ke liye kaam karegi (BJP will work to restore the honour of women who are victims of such practices),” he said.
Demanding an apology from Maurya, Muslim cleric Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahli said: “Such irresponsible and uncivilised statements are not expected from a cabinet minister. He should apologise for his unparliamentary language. He has attacked the community. Census 2011 data shows that the percentage of people who marry more than once is more in other communities.”
Asked about Maurya’s remarks, Cabinet minister and government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said, “He is a senior leader and his sentiments expressing concern for women are good. But the selection of words should be appropriate, so that opposition parties and pseudo-seculars do not get any opportunity.” He said the BJP has made its stand against triple talaq clear.
Ahead of the state assembly elections, the BJP, in its election manifesto, had said it would collect the opinion of Muslim women and present it in the Supreme Court. The state government has already started holding meetings with NGOs to discuss the possible mechanism for this.