Bhopal: Local Muslims have criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement in Maan Ki Baat broadcast on December 31 that a policy has been made wherein Muslim women above 45 years can go to Haj without their male guardians or Mahram. They said PM said nothing new because most women are already going for Haj without Mahram.
Rafi Sabbir, an Urdu playwright said, “There is nothing new in PM’s statement. My grandmother went to Haj alone six years back. It is a political stunt of government. Government is befooling people by diverting public attention from unemployment and inflation.” He said that if PM is so concerned about Muslim women’s welfare, then he should arrange free Haj visit for women who are poor.
“Hadees and Quran do not permit going to Haj without husband, father, son, brother. Modiji ke kahne se kya hota hai. We will follow what Quran says,” said 42-year old housewife Ayesha Mumtaz. Sadat Bharti, a theatre actor and director said, “It it historical decision taken by Modiji. It is made to prepare ground for upcoming Lok Sabha elections.” Bharti said that one should leave the decision on women whether they want to go with or without Mahram.
“Who is Modiji to decide this? A woman whether she is Hindu or Muslim takes decision after consulting her family. Mehram is for women’s safety and not for doing injustice to her,” he added. “There are many rituals in Hindu in which presence of male is compulsory. It is just like that. Haj cannot be complete without Mahram,” said 47-year old Heena Qureshi who works in a private firm.
Hameed Ulllah Khan ‘Mamu’, secretary of Iftekhar Cricket Academy said, “How can we allow a woman to go to unknown country specially those women who never went to another city alone. It is fine with women who are independent, they can travel alone. Mehram is for women’s safety.”