Muslim leaders from across the country on Sunday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the country’s largest rally protesting the government’s move to abolish triple talaq.
Minority MPs and ministers of West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress who shared the stage also expressed their solidarity.
“In no way we can allow the abolition of triple talaq. From this stage, we are asking Narendra Modi to stop his dictatorship. He should withdraw his announcement of a uniform civil code. We are not going to tolerate this,” said Trinamool Congress MP Sultan Ahmed at the Park Circus Maidan, where the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) organised a mammoth rally at the culmination of its three-day conference in the city.
The gathering of more than two lakh people made it probably the biggest protest against the uniform civil code. The Maidan was filled to capacity and the crowd even spilled on to the road, affecting traffic movement at the seven-point crossing and adjoining areas for hours.
Prominent Muslim leader and state mass education and library minister Siddiqullah Chowdhury passed athe Bengal government’s message.
He said that in a meeting on October 22, chief minister Mamata Banerjee clearly mentioned that the state government in no way would support the decision of the NDA government at the Centre.
“She said the central government had written to her seeking the state government’s opinion on abolition of triple talaq and introduction of a uniform civil code. Mamata Banerjee said her government has officially replied that it doesn’t support the idea. The state government is with us,” Siddiqullah assured the crowd.
Earlier on Sunday, after the 25th general meeting of the AIMPLB, the organisation’s secretary, Zafaryab Jilani, said the decision of the Modi government was intended to gain some political dividend in the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh election.
“Most of the electoral promises of the government, before coming to power, have remained unfulfilled. So in order to divert public attention from the burning issues, Modi is raising such topics. It is a Modi vs secularism issue. They are following their political manifesto of implementation of uniform civil code and are interfering with the Muslim personal law,” he said.
Meanwhile, the law board on Sunday announced a helpline and a phone app for Muslim women to help them out with family issues.
The helpline has been registered and the cell phone app and a WhatsApp group are on the way. The helpline will work across the nation in eight regional languages apart from English and Urdu. Apart from the helpline, a website is up and running. The AIMPLB also set up a women’s wing after 43 years of the organisation’s establishment.