Man goes to Madarsa to understand Muslim viewpoint, is accused of interference

Dehradun based Alok Bhatt decided to take an extra step and learn about common Indian Muslim’s views on issues like triple talaq and Uniform Civil Code (UCC), but little did he know that he will find himself in middle of a controversy and unknown calls following this rather admirable effort.

Alok, who is an active Twitter user, visited a local Madarsa on Saturday and talked to a few children studying there and other men accompanying those children or managing affairs of the Madarsa. Later, he shared his experience in shape of a series of tweets.

In his tweets, Alok praised the hafiz (caretaker) of Madarsa for being welcoming and talked to a few students about their studies, career plans, etc. Later he talked to a couple of men about their views on ongoing debate over triple talaq and UCC.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

One of the men, Alok spoke to, opened up and told him about his sister who was divorced by her husband and she was left to fend for herself. He accepted that it was unfair on his sister, but claimed that triple talaq was part of the Holy Quran, as was told to him by a Maulavi the previous day.

Alok was given some pamphlets, which were distributed in the Madarsa for the women in local community to fill up. Muslim women were supposed to sign these pamphlets and declare that they were “fully satisfied” with rulings of Islamic Shariah, particularly about marriage, inheritance, and divorce, and that they “fully support” the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (which has vowed to retain the triple talaq practice).

Pamphlet to support personal laws
A sample pamphlet that Alok saw in the Madarsa (a higher resolution variant can be seen by clicking here).

It should be noted that the Law Commission has asked people to send their views on UCC and other related issues, and it appears that Madarsas are being used to create this public “support” in sync with views of the AIMPLB. This “wave of support” will later be conveyed to the Law Commission, declaring that Muslim women in India are happy with the status quo.

But are they really happy? When Alok probed the man further and asked for his views on triple talaq given what his sister had to undergo, the man got emotional, and said – what can we do? we are poor – and went inside.

Alok later shared his experience on Twitter and made a case about importance of understanding Indian Muslims by having a dialogue with them as a commoner – a conclusion anyone can hardly disagree with.

However, phone calls started coming in the following day after his series of tweets were shared by many. People claiming to speak on behalf of Muslim organizations told him that he shouldn’t have visited the Madarsa and talked about issues like talaq to young children (even though he talked to them only about studies).

There was a call that virtually accused him of trying to “interfere” in religious matters and of “misinterpreting” Islam. Perhaps this accusation flew from the fact that Alok had asked one Maulavi about proof of triple talaq being present in Quran – an argument many Muslim scholars too have made (that triple talaq is nowhere mentioned in the Quran).

These phone calls didn’t stop and Alok found himself in the middle of a controversy that he never intended to trigger. His tweets had suddenly become “controversial”. He even tweeted “I will NOT delete the tweets” last night, but found the pressure from certain quarters a bit too much.

“My entire intention was to reach out, but I was being accused of interfering,” Alok said when OpIndia.com got in touch with him, “As tone of calls changed, I realized that perhaps it is better that I don’t talk about this. I don’t want to get into some legal trouble, being accused of blasphemy or creating enmities between communities when my intentions were just the opposite. What better proof of my clear intention than the fact that I left my telephone number with the Madarsa teacher?”

As a result, on Monday morning, Alok deactivated his Twitter account.

He still can’t believe that he had to face this after such an honest dialogue without any ill will or bias.

“It was so poignant, humbling, and yet so troubling experience when I heard the story of someone’s sister,” Alok told OpIndia.com on phone, “But I didn’t know that I will have to face calls from unknown people asking me to explain my visit and intentions.”

Alok told OpIndia.com that he will wait for the “controversy” to die down and then will decide whether to be back on Twitter.

And while Alok decides not to tweet or say anything on the matter, those pamphlets are being signed by Muslim women, who perhaps don’t even know what they are signing on, telling the Law Commission that they don’t need any change.


Share This Post and Support:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Most read articles recently

Nehru Gandhi family celebrates birthday in aeroplane

A Pulitzer Prize winning report on Priyanka Gandhi’s aeroplane trip by Mausambi Singh

Priyanka Gandhi took an IndiGo flight from Delhi to Lucknow, and it was a flight to remember.
Christian Michel documents: Rafale delayed because of Eurofighter lobbying and Sweden's Bofors 'leverage' over Gandhis?

Christian Michel documents: Rafale delayed because of Eurofighter lobbying and Sweden’s Bofors ‘leverage’ over Gandhis?

These documents that point towards the Gandhi family are secret notes about Eurofighter lobbying faxed by Christian Michel to Guido Haschke. 

Anti-BJP accounts on social media, including Huffpost, Scroll journalist, celebrate death of Manohar Parrikar

As the sad news of passing away of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar came in, social media was filled with condolence messages from people in every spectre of life, from politicians to celebrities to ordinary netizens, irrespective of their political affiliation. Manohar Parrikar was known for his simplicity and...

More than 70 vessels including INS Vikramaditya, nuclear submarines, battleships were deployed near Pakistan after Pulwama Attack: Indian Navy

Carrier Battle Group led by INS Vikramaditya, nuclear submarines and other battleships of Indian Navy were at the North Arabian Sea after the Pulwama attack
When Manohar Parrikar found $3 billion of our money lying forgotten in a US account

When Manohar Parrikar found $3 billion of our money lying forgotten in a US account

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had revealed that he had found $3 billion (or Rs 20,000 crore) of Govt of India money lying forgotten in a US account.

India Today uses the photo of a Hindu girl to highlight the high rate of child marriage among Muslims in Kerala

Recently a detergent brand was highly criticised by people for releasing a Hinduphobic advertisement targeting the festival of Holi.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra: How Congress’ ‘masterstroke’ may have just been a damp squib

The first 50 days of her official induction in Congress have been quite disappointing to say the least
Sharad pawar claims the IAF conducted air strikes on his suggestion

The man who concocted a bomb blast for secularism claims the Balakot air strikes were done on his suggestion

Sharad Pawar said that PM Modi and Defence Minister were absent in the meeting in which he advised the security officials to take down the terror hideouts

Bhim Army pours scorn on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Priyanka Gandhi apparently is proving a disaster as Congress general secretary in-charge for east Uttar Pradesh
PM Modi continues his Main Bhi Chowkidar campaign on Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi changes his Twitter name after many supporters started the trend

In continuation with his 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign, PM Modi changes his Twitter display name by prefixing 'Chowkidar' to it

Latest articles

Connect with us

146,928FansLike
118,548FollowersFollow
29,382SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these


Share This Post and Support: