AUGUST 1, 2021



There has been a nationwide outpouring of condemnation, following the announcement yesterday by Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of Minority Affairs, declaring Aug 1 as ‘Muslim Women’s Rights Day’ to mark the anniversary of the Triple Talaq law.

Over 650 citizens – Muslim and non-Muslim women, men and trans persons, women rights activists, human rights activists, academics, students and hundreds of citizens across from across India have issued a strong statement today,

The statement condemns and rejects this cynical optics of using Muslim women’s rights, in the face of an unprecedented onslaught against the rights of the Muslims in recent years under the present government. It voices strong opposition to declaring 1 August as Muslim Women’s Rights Day, calling it the celebration of a law that is fundamentally anti-minority, anti-women, anti-constitutional, and seeks only to disparage the Muslim community.

The text of the full statement and signatories is given below.

Citizens’ Statement: August 1, 2021



And we say, respectfully, “How dare you!”

This government that has worked to ceaselessly one by one, decimate the constitutional rights of Muslims in India, now has the temerity to declare Muslim Women’s Rights Day on August 1. This, to celebrate its passage of its purportedly Anti-Triple Talaq law (Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019), that claimed to protect Muslim women’s rights, but in reality, had a more sinister purpose – to show Muslim men their place in a new India. To tell them that they can be criminalized even in civil matters. The Triple Talaq law was an abomination. It was then, and still is, nothing but a charade. Because no such law was needed to “protect Muslim women, or secure their rights” since the Supreme Court had already struck the Triple Talaq down. So, we voiced our opposition when the law was passed in Parliament in 2019, stating that – “You cannot pretend to save Muslim women while seeking to bring the Muslim community to its knees.” The sentiment is as true today as it was then.

This government has diluted Muslims’ rights to citizenship by enacting the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA). The very Muslim women, in whose name you have declared August 1 as a day of “their rights” invited their government, even begged their government, to talk to them when they were out on the streets, protesting the CAA-NPR-NRC, in a desperate bid to save their future, their children’s future, their family’s future, in their own country. You responded to those Muslim women with the utter contempt of silence. Without even the pretence of democratic dialogue.

This government instead mercilessly arrested those who protested the CAA-NRC-NPR under anti-terror laws like UAPA. It jailed Muslim women who dared to take to their streets to protect their rights to citizenship. It has deprived Muslim women of their youthful children, who languish today in jails. It has deprived Muslim women of husbands, who are incarcerated. It has placed in detention centres Muslim women, men, children and transpersons who could not produce “citizenship papers” in Assam.

This government has remained silent as Muslims have been lynched, and its leaders have garlanded the lynchers. The BJP both at the centre and through its state governments, has determinedly “gone after” Muslims under myriad laws, both old, new and proposed – beef bans, anti-conversion, including the recent Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020, and its proposed U.P. Population Control Bill. It has systematically tried to rob Muslims of their right to livelihood, and Muslim women of their agency.

This government has remained silent as men exhorted mobs to rape Muslim women (most recently in Pataudi). It has remained silent, without a single comment, tweet or tear, as Muslim women’s bodies have become the object of “Sulli Deals” by right wing online mobs.

Such a government has no moral right to declare any national day

in the name of Muslim women.

We collectively, as citizens of India – Muslim and non-Muslim women, men and trans persons across castes and regions – reject the cynical optics of a “Muslim Women’s Rights Day” by a government intent on reducing all Muslims to second-class citizens.

What we demand is the release of Gulfisha Fatima and Ishrat Jahan, both Muslim women, from unjust incarceration. On behalf of Sabiha Ilyas, a Muslim woman, we demand the release of her son, Umar Khalid from unjust incarceration. On behalf of Nargis Saifi, a Muslim woman, we demand the release of her husband Khalid Saifi from unjust incarceration. On behalf of Afshan Rahim, a Muslim woman, we demand the release of her son, Sharjeel Imam from unjust incarceration. On behalf of Fatima Nafees, a Muslim woman, we ask you to find her son, Najeeb. On behalf of Raihanath Kappan, a Muslim woman, we ask you to release her husband, Siddique Kappan from incarceration. On behalf of Ayesha Sultana, a Muslim woman, charged with sedition for stating that officials must follow Covid protocols in Lakshadweep, we ask you to unconditionally drop all charges. On behalf of Safoora Zargar, a Muslim woman, we ask that she, like all other Muslim activists, lawyers, journalists, students, be freed of the false and malicious cases filed against them by this government. There is a long such list, Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

After you have done that, please then sit with us. With all of us, Muslim and Non-Muslim women, men and transpersons, who believe in our democracy and its promise of equality. And then we can discuss that appropriate day of ‘declaration’ in the future, when Muslim women feel their rights are secure, and they want the whole nation to celebrate their rightful and visible place in this democracy.

We are,

 Farah NaqviDelhiWriter & Activist 
 Syeda HameedDelhiMuslim Women’s Forum 
 Aruna RoyDevdoongri, RajasthanMKSS 
 Ayesha KidwaiDelhiProfessor, JNU 
 Mohini GiriNew DelhiGuild of service 
 Poonam KaushikDelhiGeneral Secretary Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan Delhi 
 Hasina KhanMumbaiBebaak Collective 
 Teesta SetalvadMumbaiIndependent 
 Kavita KrishnanDelhiAIPWA 
 Annie RajaKeralaNational Federation of Indian Women 
 Subhashini AliKanpurAIDWA VICE PRESIDENT 
 Kavita SrivastvaJaipurPUCL 
 Rushda SiddiquiNew DelhiNFIW 
 Smita GuptaNew DelhiEconomist and Activist 
 Chayanika ShahMumbaiForum Against Oppression of Women 
 Meera SanghamitraHyderabadNational Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) 
 Jayati GhoshNorthamptonUniversity of Massachusetts at Amherst USA 
 A.SuneethaHyderabadWomen and Transgender Joint Action 
 Shabnam HashmiDelhiANHAD 
 Abha BhaiyyaHimachalJagori Grameen 
 Meena Saraswathi SeshuSangliVidhrohi Mahila Manch 
 Sehba FarooquiDelhiAIDWA Delhi 
 SAHELI Women’s Resource CentreNew Delhi NCRFeminist activists 
 Sharifa SiddiquiSecunderabadHyderabad Muslim Women’s Forum 
 Lara JesaniMumbaiPeople’s Union for Civil Liberties 
 Arundhati DhuruLucknowNAPM 
 AparnaDelhiPresident, National Committee, IFTU 
 Apeksha PriyadarshiniNEW DELHIBhagat Singh Ambedkar Students Organization, JNU 
 Nivedita MenonDelhiJNU 
 Zoya HasanDelhiProfessor Emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University 
 Khalida ParveenHyderabadAmoomat Society 
 Tara RaiMumbaiThe Feminist Collective 
 Admiral L RamdasAlibagFormer Chief of Naval Staff 
 Nikhat FatimaHyderabadJournalist, civil rights activist 
 Navsharan SinghNoidaWriter and activist 
 Nisha BiswasKolkataFeminists in Resistance 
 Prof. Mohan RaoBangaloreJan Swasthya Abhiyan 
 Anjali BhardwajDelhiSNS 
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 Mariam DhawaleNew DelhiAll India Democratic Women’s Association 
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 Nandini SundarDelhiSociologist 
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 Shakeel KhanMumbaiIndependent 
 Shadab ShaheenNavi MumbaiAffiliation 
 Vandana MahajanNew DelhiIndependent 
 Sonya J NairThiruvananthapuramIndependent 
 Dinesh SahniNew DelhiRetired 
 Rafia KhanNew DelhiIndependent 
 Komala VRBengaluruIndependent 
 AlwynNew DelhiIndependent 
 Sheba GeorgeAhmedabadIndependent 
 Sudha NBangaloreIndependent 
 MD.SHARIQUE EHSANKolkataIndependent 
 Siddhartha MitraDelhiIndependent 
 Kiran MoghePunePune Zilha Gharkamgar Sanghatana 
 ZarinNew DelhiIndependent 
 Zaara ShaikhMumbaiIndependent 
 Joheb GhoriJaipurIndependent 
 QurratulainNagpurJamate Islami hind 
 Satnam KaurNew DelhiSaheli 
 Savita SharmaDelhiSaheli 
 Bilal KhanMumbaiGBGBA 
 Dr. Tarannum SiddiquiDelhiIndependent 
 Rupsa MallikGurgaonFeminist activist 
 T R KidwaiNew DelhiIndependent 
 Mamta SinghLucknowIndependent 
 S. Durga BhavaniHyderabadNA 
 Dr Rukmini RaoHyderabadSocial activist 
 MOHD AZHAR NUMANISiddharth Nagar, UPAffiliation 
 Prabir ChatterjeeKolkataIndependent 
 Farhan SayaniNavi MumbaiAIMIM 
 Kamayani Bali MahabalMumbaiJan Swasthya Abhiyan- Mumbai 
 Afroja khatunKolkataIndependent 
 Kanwaljit DhillonChandigarhPunjab Women Collective 
 Mohammed AjeebBradford ukIndependent 
 Nikhil DeyDevoongri, RajasthanMKSS 
 Shanker SinghDev doongri, RajasthanMKSS 
 Shubhangi ShuklaDev doongri, RajasthanMKSS 
 Renuka PamechaJaipurWomens Rahbailiation Group 
 Mamta JaitlyJaipurVividha, Women’s Documentation and Resource Centre 
 Vijay Lakshmi JoshiJaipurPUCL, Jaipur 
 Tishna SenapatyJaipurPUCL, Rajasthan 
 Komal SrivastavaJaipurBGVS 
 Sarla Kumari YadavJaipurPUCL Jaipur 
 Sister carolAjmerPUCL, Ajmer 
 Anita ChaudharyJaipurPUCL, Jaipur 
 Pragnya JoshiRaniwada, JalorePUCL, Rajasthan 
 Dr. Shikha KapurNew DelhiAcademic 
 Tara AhluwaliaBhilwaraPUCL, Bhilwara 
 Lata SinghJaipurPUCL Jaipur 
 Meeta singhJaipurPUCL Jaipur 
 Akhil ChaudaryJaipurPUCL, Jaipur 
 Mewa BhartiJaipurRajasthan Mahila Kamgaar Union 
 Pushpa SainiJaipurWomen’s Rehabilitation Group 
 Shabnam AzizJaipurPUCL, Jaipur 
 Suman DevathiyaJaipurWomen’s Right to Fight 
 Meena GuptaSecunderabadIndependent 
 Ranjita BiswasKolkataIndependent 
 Kiran BangaNew DelhiIndependent 
 Dr Surinder JaipalLudhianaPunjab Women Collective 
 Muhammad TMumbaiPh.D. candidate 
 Walter FernandesGuwahatiNESRC 
 M R KidwaiNew DelhiIndependent 
 Nivedita JhaPatnaBihar Mahila Samaj 
 Nisha SidhuJaipurNFIW 
 Meenakshi BindoriyaJaipurNFIW 
 Isha SharmaJaipurNFIW 
 Sumitra ChopraJaipurAIDWA 
 Kusum SaiwalJaipurAIDWA 
 Seema JainBikanerAIDWA 
 Durga SwamiSri GangangangarAIDWA 
 Chandrakala VermaHanumangarhAIDWA 
 Neha MeghwalJodhpurAIDWA 
 Tara GhayalSikarAIDWA 
 Shrikanta ShrimaliUdaipurAIDWA 
 Asis Kumar DasDankuni, HooghlySocial Activist 
 Irfan EngineerMumbaiInstitute of Islamic Studies 
 Sunita SheelPuneIndependent 
 Dipa SinhaDelhiIndependent 
 Aysha KhanDelhiRight to Food Campaign 
 Bhanwar MeghwanshiBhilwara, Mandal, BhilwaraPUCL 
 MadhuriBadwani, MPJADS 
 Anuradha TalwarWest BengalPBKMS 
 SindhuJaipurSamta Manch 
 Ashima Roy ChowdhuryNew Delhi NCRFeminist activist 
 Zaheda SarwarJaunpur,U.P.Independent