‘They’ve entered our homes now’: Mehbooba Mufti opposes BJP on triple talaq bill
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti on Monday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led-central government of attempting to break Muslim homes through the Triple Talaq Bill and warned against creating a “Zia-ul-Haq’s Pakistan in (Mahatma) Gandhi’s India”.
The PDP leader said that she was speaking against the bill as “a Muslim and a woman who has also gone through a broken marriage”, at a time when there is an “assault on the family structure of Muslims”.
Mehbooba said that Muslims take pride in “our family structure and bonding” which is very strong and is also true of other religions in the east unlike west.
“Unfortunately after the economic onslaught on Muslims through curbs on meat and leather which has ruined the economic state of Muslims, they have entered our homes now, by bringing the Triple Talaq Bill. It not only disturbs our family life but will also affect the economic state of Muslim women and men,” Mehbooba said, while addressing a press conference here.
Married to a relative, Mehbooba, 59, was divorced early in her life and brought up her two daughters, both in their twenties, alone.
Mehbooba said that the biggest challenge for a woman after a broken marriage is her economic well being and the upbringing of her children.
“When we talk with the BJP about reservation for Muslims, they reject any reservation whether in education or jobs on religious lines, but when it comes to this kind of law made on religious lines, they go to the parliament,” she said.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2018, which proposes to criminalise the practice of Muslim men giving divorce to their wives by uttering the word “Talaq” thrice in quick succession, was passed by Lok Sabha on Thursday. However, a united opposition on Monday, thwarted the government’s attempt to push the instant Triple Talaq Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
“An attempt to pass this bill; what message are you sending to 25 crore Muslims in the country. You have already cornered them enough by putting a ban on beef and leather. Now by breaking their homes what message are you conveying to them,” Mehbooba said.
“Not a single Muslim MP has supported this bill in parliament. The BJP has majority but it is not about brute majority, there should a consensus,” Mehbooba said.
She also warned against interfering into Muslim lives. “Don’t interfere in our religion and if you do, you will face the consequences in coming time”.
The former CM also accused the BJP of not following the legacy of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“BJP always claims that they want to further the legacy of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, they claim of humanity and ‘sab ka sath sab ka vikas’ but this kind of bill and entering the homes of Muslims for their division is awful,” she said.
Mehbooba said all Muslims including those of Jammu and Kashmir have stayed in India because of “Gandhi’s secular India”.
“I want to tell the government at the Centre that you are not doing any service either to your country or to Hindus. We do not want to create a Zia-ul-Haq’s Pakistan in Gandhi’s India,” she said.
“Muslims want to abide by Supreme Court rulings whether in Babri Masjid case or on this issue, we are ready to abide by that. On the other hand, they don’t abide by the Supreme Court decision on Sabarimala Temple issue. And on Babri Masjid they say whatever the decision of SC, the temple will be built there,” she said.