Manipur Governor, Najma Heptullah in a candid interview to Rajya Sabha TV has said that bodies like Muslim Personal Law Board are trying to control the community through their regressive views on Triple Talaq.
Lauding the Supreme Court hearing Heptullah said that Triple Talaq is anti Quranic and anti Islamic but stressed that there is nothing like a uniform civil code.
She said that the battle is lost the moment media starts talking about a uniform civil code.
Lambasting the opposition on projecting Prime minister Modi, BJP and RSS like a lion who is ready to pounce, Najma clarified that initiatives taken by the minorities ministry have brought he Muslims closer to BJP.
Here are a few excerpts of the interview given to Rajya Sabha TV Anchor Neelu Vyas
Q: Triple talaq case is hitting up, after 32 years of Shah Bano case and controversy between secular laws and personal laws are we going to see a beginning of the uniform civil code?
A: The moment we talk about civil code we lose the battle. We need a civilised code of conduct. Civilised laws are enshrined in the Quran, rights of a woman, daughter and wife. If you this battle to win we will have yto change our language. I am happy that Supreme Court is hearing on triple talaq. I have been involved since shah banos days. I was supporting the women’s rights bilaterally, internationally and unilaterally. I am a Muslim woman.
Q: Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister when Shah Bano case came up. His Cabinet Minister Arif Mohammed in his interview to various newspapers and TV channels has said that it was you who were responsible for upturning the Shah Bano judgement and also changing Rajiv Gandhi’s mind? This after you arranged the meeting the Muslim personal law board?
Rajiv Gandhi wanted to meet them. I did not arrange the meeting. I was a deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha. I was a prominent Muslim woman. Rajiv Gandhi invited me for the meeting. I spoke about mehr money, man promises the wife at the time of marriage. Marriage is a contract between the two people according to his status.
A: Arif does not know. He was not even present in that meeting. He does not know my view. After Rajiv Gandhi asked me to meet them I met them. I told them that I will meet them in the presence of law minister Ashok Sen. I told them that MPLB is violating the principles of quran and translating it incorrectly before the people. I was talking not only about triple talaq but also about mehr. MPLB violated all norms and till date they have not changed.
Q: Muslim personal law board has thrown the gender justice out of the window?
I know MPLB wants to control the community but our PM has put things in the perspective.
Q: Apart from pm there are other elements in bjp who reflect the message of uniform civil code trough their statements?
A: There is nothing like uniform civil code. PM matters not prachi or anybody leese. Even Quran says your religion is with you and mine is with me. Quran gives all the rights to own the property, to inherit property to do business on its own, marriage contract etc etc . Marriage contract talks about three witnesses. This is the girl, her parent etc etc. Triple talaq is a pre Islamic phenomenon. It’s not part of quran. That’s why we say triple talaq is anti quranic. Anti islamic.
Q: Why do political parties throw their weight around Muslim personal law board to appease the Muslim vote bank?
A: There is nothing to do with Muslim vote bank. MPLB is nothing but an NGO which is trying to put pressure and control the Muslim community. There are 100 million Muslim women in turkey, Indonesia, morocco , Jordan they have abrogated triple talaq, am not talking about few croroes of women who have given their signatures but think about 100 crore women across the Islamic nations who have shunned triple talaq.
- q) Why can bodies like Muslim Personal Law Board not present themselves with more dynamic and resilient picture or come up with a draft which reflects gender justice?
A: Of course they can. Women in other countries are coming out. Look at the way HW movement became alive in Pakistan. In 1955 they brought in an ordinance. If Pak, bangal can do it, even India can do it. They want to control the community.
- Q) Role of governors is becoming controversial; your role in Manipur, opposition says you should have called the single largest party to form the govt which was congress?
A: Nobody made any allegation made against manipur, congress had the numbers but BJP was smarter, they collected the letters of support, they staked claim. If congress had come before BJP, I would have accepted theirs
Q: Governors post should be a political, but there have been frequent accusations that governors have become agendas of the Centre?
A: Nobody saying not about me. I am doing my job to keep Manipur clean, creating jobs for youth, organising women skill development programs. We are paid, we are not retired people, and we have a public responsibility. Governors should perform their duty honestly.
Q: On the world freedom index India has slipped abysmally, govt trying to control the media?
I don’t think so, we have free press, too much freedom is there, and social media writes a thing and can get away. Media should do honest reporting
Q: Secular lobby says minorities living in fear, because of aggressive Hindutva agenda
A: When I became minorities minister there was so much hostility. Award vapsi was there, three months everything died down because of the kind of programs I launched for madrasa children, nai manzil , nayi roshni. Pm told me himself now no one taking about award vapsi.
Q: RSS outfits are taking law and oprder in their own hands in the name of nationalism even pm has denounced cow vigilante groups. Sometimes people settle personal scores through incidents. We have booked so many miscreants. It’s not that fringe elements are difficult to control. I know Manipur has a difficult situation. We should respect what army jawans do. Army’s role at the borders should be known to everyone. Poonch and rjouri are so difficult to handle. I have been to kargil, uutrakhand,
Q) Why is it that kashmir looks like lost battle for BJP?
A: It’s a won battle. Elected govt is there, only shopian and baramullah are disturbed. People coming out on streets are misguided. Once they understand they will come around.
Q: Modi govt will complete three years. Perception battle has been won. But what about their promises on 2.5 crore jobs agrarian crisis they still have not been met?
A: Backlog of so many years takes time. Same is the case in manipur. If process of development is correct and vehicles to deliver programs are right, we will be on the right track. Nobody has a magic wand, have patience.
Modi is talking about inclusive development. Men, women, minorities, no discrimination on the basis of caste religion caste gender. We are following sabka sath sabka vikas. I have seen ministries at loggerheads, everybody is working together and to bring prosperity and peace.