Sabarimala vs Triple Talaq: Dear PM, There’s No Choice Between Hindu & Islamic Oppression of Women

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Sabarimala vs Triple Talaq: Dear PM, There’s No Choice Between Hindu & Islamic Oppression of Women

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

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mong PM Narendra Modi’s most dubious distinctions is the fact that he is the only Indian Prime Minister never to have held a press conference during his tenure. However, when in a New Year’s miracle, he gave a rare interview yesterday to ANI, it was easy to see why NaMo so studiously avoids talking to the media. Immediately, he was accused by the Opposition and the public alike, of coming across as scripted, evasive, and unwilling to engage with interviewer Smita Prakash’s softball questions. Many complained that he simply repeated talking points from speeches and his monthly Mann Ki Baat address, and focused on criticising Congress loan waivers instead of concerns within his own administration.

Still, the PM managed to make his views crystal clear when it came to two contentious issues: The recent Supreme Court ordinance on Sabarimala, and the legislation against triple talaq that is currently under review in the Rajya Sabha. In 2017, the SC had banned triple talaq, an Islamic law that only requires a man to state “talaq” thrice in order to divorce his wife, when a multi-faith bench ruled 3-2 against the practice. A progressive step for sure that ought to be celebrated. Since then, however, the BJP can’t stop talking about how concerned they are, and what a win this is for our Muslim sisters – even if the criminalisation of the practice leaves our Muslim brothers in a bit of a lurch, and even if our abandoned Hindu sisters remain outside the purview of this progressive law.

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