Prime Minister

Guwahati, January 2, 2018:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ignited controversy when he made his stance clear on the Sabarimala, stating that every temple has its own tradition, referring to the Kerala’s tradition of restricting women aged 10-50 from entering the temple premises, while casting the Islamic tradition of ‘triple talaq’ as a human rights issue.

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In an interview yesterday, Modi was asked about his progressive stance regarding the ‘triple talaq’ issue, where the central government stood up for Muslim women and stressed on the need to bring Muslim women into the mainstream, whereas has dealt with the Sabarimala temple issue with kid gloves and has been stuck in customs and traditions. Asked about the difference in outlook of the BJP towards the two communities, the Prime Minister responded: “Many Islamic countries have put a ban on Triple Talaq, so it is not a question of faith. If it was, all countries would have embraced it. Even Pakistan has outlawed it. Thus, it is an issue of gender equality, an issue of social justice. It is not a religious issue. India is of the opinion that everyone should have equal rights, but every temple has its own tradition. There are some temples which do not allow men to enter. We should look at the female Judge of the Supreme Court’s ordinance, and not give it a political flavour, because being a woman herself, she has looked at the problem and provided a solution accordingly.”

The BJP government has found itself in the crossroads in dealing with the two issues and while it has vehemently opposed the old Islamic tradition of ‘triple talaq’, it has been more sensitive in treading on the religious sentiments of Hindus in support of keeping the Sabarimala temple’s restriction on women aged 10-50 making pilgrimage to the temple. Modi’s perceived double-standard regarding the two issues drew flak on Twitter, with Twitterati accusing the Prime Minister of favouring Hindu sentiments over those of Muslims.

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