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Modi has failed in his obligations: Congress

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New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had failed in his “constitutional and moral obligations” by not against those spreading hatred.

“The prime minister has fallen well-short of what his constitutional and moral obligations are,” Congress leader Anand Sharma told the media.

Referring to the September 28 lynching of a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh following rumours that he ate beef, Sharma said Modi broke his silence only after President Pranab Mukherjee did.

“He spoke only after the president was forced to express his serious concerns over culture, values, ethos, particularly in regard to India’s pluralistic society, democracy, co-existence and tolerance,” he said.

“The prime minister makes people believe he has transformed India, which he has not. He has rather not been able to preserve India.

“Even constitutional guarantees are under assault,” Sharma added.

The Congress leader’s comments follow the widely denounced Muslim man’s lynching, the killing of rationalists and the return of awards in protest by dozens of award winning writers.

Sharma said the situation in the country was causing “grave concern” to citizens who were “feeling insecure”.

Sharma said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah’s reported pulling up of BJP leaders for making hate statements was “a cosmetic exercise”.

“But nobody is going to be fooled,” he said.

Reacting to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s criticism of vandalism, Sharma called for “tangible action against elements, organisations and forces who have smashed India’s name in the international community”.

He said: “Those who have a divergent viewpoint from the ruling establishment or the BJP, the RSS and Sangh Parivar are targets of direct attacks.

“Even eminent Indians who have protested have not been heard but they have been humiliated.”

(IANS)

 

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Triple Talaq Now Banned In India

While most Hindu personal laws have been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched.

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Indian Muslim women talk while walking through a market in Ahmadabad, India. VOA

India’s government on Wednesday approved an ordinance to implement a top court ruling striking down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce.

The government decision came after it failed to get approval of Parliament a year after the court ruled that the practice of triple “talaq” violated the constitutional rights of Muslim women.

Most of the 170 million Muslims in India are Sunnis governed by the Muslim Personal Law for family matters and disputes. The laws include allowing men to divorce by simply uttering the Arabic word “talaq,” or divorce, three times — and not necessarily consecutively, but at any time, and by any medium, including telephone, text message or social media post.

Muslim
Triple Talaq continues to plague lives of  women, VOA News

The government will have another six months to get Parliament’s approval for the ordinance to become law. But in the meantime, suspects can be prosecuted using the ordinance.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that nearly 22 countries, including neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned the practice and appealed to the opposition to approve the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill.

India’s Muslim Law Board had told the court that while they considered the practice wrong, they opposed any court intervention and asked that the matter be left to the community. But several progressive Muslim activists decried the law board’s position.

Muslim
Muslim women hold placards during a protest against a bill passed by India’s lower house of Parliament last week that aims at prosecuting Muslim men who divorce their wives through the “triple talaq,” or instant divorce. VOA

After the Supreme Court verdict, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government introduced a bill criminalizing the practice and it was approved in December by the lower house of Parliament, where his party commands a majority. But it couldn’t get the approval of the upper house, where the opposition controls the majority of seats.

The main opposition Congress party is opposing a three-year prison sentence for the offenders and wants a parliamentary committee to discuss the issue to reach a consensus. It favors a lesser sentence.

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In India, triple talaq has continued with the protection of laws that allow Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities to follow religious laws in matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption. While most Hindu personal laws have been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched. (VOA)

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