The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan calls upon the All India Muslim Personal Law Board [AIMPLB] and the likes of Sadhvi Prachi, Yogi Adityanath-Sakshi Maharaj to immediately halt politicking an important public issues of which they have little or no understanding leave alone any commitment to public welfare. These organizations and individuals should quit positioning themselves as the spokespersons either Hindus or Muslims. Both have no right to speak on behalf of any community as both have no acceptance or validity in the larger society. In fact, the regressive and rigid positions taken by both these groupings on various social issues smack of their patriarchal and conservative thinking that belongs to the medieval age. Besides, these elements have done nothing to contribute constructively to society and they have only mastered the art of spreading hatred and dividing society on religious lines. We ask, what is their contribution to issues such as poverty alleviation, girls’ education, womens’ equality, peace and communal harmony? Both these groupings have taken fanatical, illiberal, antiquated positions whenever any issue concerning woman’s position in society has arisen. Be it marriage between persons of different faiths, woman’s right to divorce, womans’ right to work, rights of gay persons etc these groupings have opposed social change in unison. They are two sides of the same coin called regression. Their sole contribution to society is towards creating a divide between communities and imposing a narrow, regressive and anti-women understanding of Hindu and Islamic religions.
The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan believes that Yoga is a historical system that finds favour with people not just in India but all over the world. In today’s world individuals have a free choice to practice or not practice Yoga or any other belief system. The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan believes that the real danger is about making any system compulsory and against the will of people. As long as any system is voluntary it should not be opposed on any grounds including religious grounds. Our Constitution has enough safeguards against imposition of beliefs on those unwilling to accept it. Indian citizens have their own way of making their own preferences without help from both these groupings. Indian society can be spared the tyranny of self-styled religious leaders both of the Hindu and Muslim variety.
BMMA is national rights based movement of Muslim women to ensure social, economic, legal and political rights of Muslim women. The Movement is active in 13 states and has a membership base of 60,000 women. It believes that Muslim women under their own leadership must strive towards achieving their Constitutional rights as citizens and work towards better educational and social development of the Muslim community.
Dr. Noorjehan Safia Niaz
Co-Founder, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan
Founder and Managing Trustee, Ashana Trust
BMMA Blog: bmmaindia.blogspot.in