PM sets BJP's course on triple talaq in tune with govt's line in SC

PM sets BJP's course on triple talaq in tune with govt's line in SC
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's latest exhortation to BJP brass to treat the triple talaq issue as social exploitation of Muslim women --and not a campaign against Islam -- may appear to his first clear line on the sensitive issue.

But it is the line that the PM asked his government lawyers to state before the Supreme Court on the issue.

Triple talaq is a Sharia law that gives a man the right to end the marriage by verbally saying 'Talaq' thrice to his wife - a practice contested by many women and activists in the country.

Wrapping up the two-day BJP meet in Bhuaneswar on Sunday, Modi said his government was committed to the welfare of all sections and thus would like to fight any kind of  ‘soshan’ (exploitation). “But it should not be used to create divisions among the Muslim society."

In other words, Modi wanted his senior party colleagues to handle the matter by raising social awareness among the people.

Even during the recent Uttar Pradesh  polls, Modi had raised the Triple Talaq matter as an issue of exploitation of Muslim women.

In October last year, when he addressed a rally in Uttar Pradesh, Modi said he opposed the triple talaq practice among Muslims and in the same breath he condemned the prevalence of female foeticide in Hindu society.

The PM had then urged TV news channels to not turn triple talaq into an issue of Hindu versus Muslim or BJP versus other parties.

Modi said “The debate should be between knowledgeable persons from Muslim community knowing ‘Quran’. In Muslim community, knowledgeable and progressive people are there. There are educated Muslim women who can put their views forth.”

On March 30, the Centre had requested the Supreme Court on similar lines-- to widen the scope of scrutiny of constitutional validity of triple talaq as a mode of divorce among Muslims to include examining the legality of the practice of polygamy.

The apex court decided that a constitution bench will be hearing pleas contesting the practice of triple talaq from May 11 and will give the final verdict in the issue to settle the issue "once and for all." At the same time, the SC clarified that it would not touch upon the issue relating to uniform civil code while examining the legality of triple talaq.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board  had told the court to reject the pleas against triple talaq, saying they are misconceived. It held that the issue relating to practices of polygamy, triple talaq and nikah halala cannot be "re-written".

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