Hindu nationalist Yogi Adityanath said those silent on the triple talaq issue are as guilty as those who quietly saw Indian epic Mahabharata's Draupadi being disrobed publicly. Photograph: (Zee News Network)
The chief minister of India's most populous state also called for a uniform set of personal laws in the country
Hindu nationalist Yogi Adityanath, the head of India's politically most critical state, has likened politicians keeping mum about the triple talaq issue to those who remained quiet during the forcible disrobing of a woman in one of the Hindu epics.
Referring to an episode in Mahabharata where a key character Draupadi was disrobed in front of several people, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh said: "These days there is a new debate in the country. Some people are maintaining a silence on this issue. This reminds me of Draupadi being disrobed in an assembly and she asks a question to the gathering as to who is responsible for this?"
"Those who are the accomplices and those who maintained silence on this issue are equally responsible," Adityanath said.
In Islamic law, a man can say the word 'talaq' (divorce) thrice to dissolve his marriage -- a custom that has come under heavy scrutiny in India, especially from Muslim women and right-wing political parties.
He also condemned those who were against the common civil code in India -- a common set of personal laws for all citizens of the country, irrespective of their religion.
Currently, Indians are governed by different personal laws depending on their religion.
Yogi's remarks come a day after his Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticised the triple talaq, saying the practice was holding Muslim women back.
On Sunday, India's Muslim personal law board -- who have stoutly defended the Sharia practice of divorce -- softened their stance, saying they would ensure that the triple talaq would be exercised in the rarest of the rare cases.
They also plan to socially boycott people who use the divorce procedure without giving valid reasons or wantonly.
The constitutional validity of triple talaq is currently under review in India's Supreme Court.
Last year, a high court in India had said that the Islamic practice violated the equality of women.
The federal government had, earlier this week, told the Supreme Court that the practices of 'triple talaq', 'nikah halala' and polygamy had an adverse impact on the social status and dignity of Muslim women and denied them the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Rights activists and several Muslim women have also railed against the Islamic practice of triple talaq.
But the Muslim personal law board maintain that the issue of triple talaq remains outside the realms of the judiciary.
(WION with inputs from PTI)