Arif Mohammad Khan, ex-Union Minister in the cabinet of Rajeev Gandhi , in an interview given to the Times of India’s Rohit E David has given rich insight into the current political situation in India. Arif Mohammad Khan, who famously resigned at the overturning of the Shah Bano judgment, spoke on various subjects ranging from Triple Talaq law to the current debate on ‘Secularism’ in Indian politics.
On being asked whether triple talaq bill was a political move by the BJP to woo a section of the minority he diligently put the logic behind the current government’s move forward and also exposed the inherent discrimination in the cruel practice.
“Triple Talaq is an enormity which violates the Quran and our sensibilities. Even after the Supreme Court declared it to be unlawful, more than 100 cases of Triple Talaq were reported in three months. The members of the Personal Law Board openly declared that despite the judgment, the practice shall continue — now since the Modi government has promulgated a law through an ordinance making the practice a punishable offense, not a single case of Triple Talaq has been reported.”
He also appealed to refrain from politicizing Triple Talaq by adding, “Have a heart, do not politicise everything. And then, my question is — what is wrong with appealing even to a section of people on the basis of something very humanitarian and fair that the government has done?”
Finally, praising PM Narendra Modi for taking this progressive step to protect the rights of Muslim Women. He said, “I can say with humility that when the political dust and din is over, then people would realise the importance of this law which has liberated Muslim women from the evil practice of Triple Talaq — and they will only thank Narendra Modi for this historical decision.”
The Triple Talaq bill saw resistance from various opposition Parties and many religious organizations. However the Narendra Modi Government with its firm resolve was successful in criminalizing the practice of triple talaq through Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2019.
On being asked about the culture of minority appeasement in so called secular parties, he said, “I have no comments but one thing I have already said that what the opposition did under the influence of the Muslim Personal Law Board to stall the Triple Divorce Bill in the Rajya Sabha revived the memories of the Shah Bano case when the then-government used its legislative powers to overturn a Supreme Court judgment that had awarded a small sum of less than 300 rupees to a destitute Muslim woman, who was subjected to triple divorce by her prosperous lawyer husband.”
Also remembering Jawaharlal Nehru, Mr. Khan added: “I am sure Panditji, wherever he may be, would be immensely pleased with Narendra Modi for having accomplished what Panditji had dreamed for.”
When asked if Muslims were moving away from ‘secular’ parties, Arif Mohammad Khan said, “You want me to believe that a political alliance with MIM of Asaduddin Owaisi and Muslim League is secular and BJP is communal?”
This interview comes at a time when the opposition parties are trying hard to mold the narrative, ultimately to promote a skewed and divisive discourse. However their attempts will surely fall in the face of truth and facts.