Thursday, December 3, 2020
Home News Reports Truth about Modi government 'taking credit' for women travelling alone for Hajj

Truth about Modi government ‘taking credit’ for women travelling alone for Hajj

In November last year, it was reported that the Modi government had lifted the ban on Muslim women, aged above 45 years, travelling to Hajj without a male guardian (Mahram). The same was said by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his radio address Man Ki Baat yesterday.

While the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) objected to this move by the Modi government (their objection came only after Prime Minster mentioned it in his radio address to the nation), some journalists and ’eminent personalities’ have been peddling a totally different narrative:

As seen in the above image, an article published on India Today’s DailyO claims that Saudi Arabia and not the Modi government should be receiving credit for women being able to travel alone for Hajj. The article in the content quotes these guidelines provided by Saudi Arabia, when it comes to women Hajj travellers:

“Women over the age of forty-five (45) may travel without a mahram with an organised group. They must, however, submit a no-objection letter from her husband, son or brother authorising her to travel for haj with the named group. This letter should be notarised.”

Even though the article was giving credit to Saudi Arabia for letting women travel alone, it strangely didn’t mention as to when did the Saudis actually bring in such a reform.

A journalist associated with the Telegraph though claimed that the rule was changed by the Saudis, ‘last year’:

As a result of all this, many, such as this ‘journalist’ and senior Congress leader, decided to attack the Modi government:

So what is the truth of the matter? Did the Modi government unfairly claim credit for a reform, where he played no role in?

It is true that the government of India can not change the rules for entry into Saudi Arabia. However, unlike what is claimed by the Telegraph journalist, Saudi Arabia had not made any visa rule change ‘last year’ to enable women above the age of 45 to go to Hajj without a male guardian. Such a rule appears to have existed for long.

This article published way back in 2001, which sought to guide United States’ Hajj pilgrims about the procedures to get a visa for their pilgrimage, talks about this relaxation for women above 45 years of age.

Apart from this, even a 2012 CNN report talks about Saudi Arabia sending back 1000 Nigerian girls for not being accompanied with male guardian, stated that, “Saudi law requires each female pilgrim under the age of 45 years to have a male sponsor during the pilgrimage journey, regardless of nationality” i.e. a distinction for women above 45 years of age was available much before ‘last year’ as some journalists are claiming.

This ironically was also confirmed by AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who said that such a regulation was issued ‘many years ago’ by Saudi Arabia:

Owaisi though contradicts himself when he blames Modi for taking credit while acknowledging that such a regulation was issued many years ago. Then shouldn’t have a Prime Minister changed the rules ‘many years ago’ to bring it in sync with Saudi visa rules? Why were rules not changed untill Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister?

This though raises another question, what ‘ban’ did the Modi government actually lift, when as per Saudi regulations there was no such ban at all?

First of all, rules have been changed for those applying through the Hajj Committee of India i.e. those seeking the Hajj subsidy and wanting to travel though the official travel channel between Saudi Arabia and India. These rules are framed by the Government of India, and not by the Saudi Arabia.

Kamal Farooqi, a member of the committee that recommenced to do away with the requirement of having a Mahram for women above 45 years of age, had said in October last year that this was done after consulting various stakeholders. Nowhere he said that this change in rule was required because of any change in visa rules by Saudi Arabia.

Further, if one checks the website of Embassy of Saudi Arabia where Hajj visa details are given, the clause about Mahram requirement has not been changed at least since 2013 (older snapshots are not available on archive.org and in all probabilities the rules would have been similar to those for other countries i.e. women above 45 years of age allowed without Mahram when traveling in groups).

So the claim that there was any “recent change” in visa rules specific to Mahram requirements for women above 45 years of age does not appear to be based on any documentary evidence. It is more likely a rhetoric to put Modi government in an embarrassing position.

Essentially, Saudi Arabia allowed Indian women above 45 years of age to travel in groups without a Mahram for many years, but the Hajj Committee of India had stricter rules. These rules could have been relaxed earlier, including during the UPA years, but was done only this year. And if Modi government is taking credit for it, it is not unfair.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Darshan Pal, the coordinator of the farmer protests, was a founding member of Maoist organisation PDFI. Read details

Darshan Pal, who demanded special parliament session to repeal farm laws, was convenor of 51-member executive committee of Maoist group PDFI

Even pandering doesn’t get India Today a free pass: Here is why ‘liberals’ are today cancelling Rajdeep and Rahul Kanwal

'Liberals' are cancelling India Today, Rajdeep Sardesai and Rahul Kanwal over their coverage of the allegations against Shehla Rashid

Raut gives bizarre analogy trying to defend party after Azan row: Here are 4 things that he could have meant

Sanjay Raut came up with an absurd analogy in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana to ward off criticism over azaan recitation competition

The return of ‘Award Wapsi’: As farmers protest continue, former Punjab sportspersons want to return awards

Punjab sportspersons have claimed that they will go to Delhi on 5th December and put their awards outside Rashtrapati Bhavan

Indonesian radical Muslims change words of Azan from ‘hurry to the prayer’ to ‘rise up for Jihad’: Here is what happened

A verse of the chant, which originally means “hurry to the prayer”, has been changed to “hayya alal jihad”, or “rise up for jihad” in Azan

Kangana Ranaut served legal notice for mistaking an elderly woman in farmer protests for Bilkis Bano of Shaheen Bagh

Kangana Ranaut had commented on Twitter that the Shaheen Bagh Dadi was available on hire for appearing in protests. She had deleted her tweet later.

Recently Popular

Ex-Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s father Yograj Singh joins Farmer’s protests, justifies “Indira thok di” comment

Multiple videos of Yograj Singh, Yuvraj Singh's father, have gone viral on social media where he has been giving provocative speeches amid the ongoing farmer protests

Indian man proposes to his Australian girlfriend during Ind vs Aus cricket match, here is what happened next

While India's performance has been below par, netizens found happiness in the unusual proposal that became the highlight of the match.

Even pandering doesn’t get India Today a free pass: Here is why ‘liberals’ are today cancelling Rajdeep and Rahul Kanwal

'Liberals' are cancelling India Today, Rajdeep Sardesai and Rahul Kanwal over their coverage of the allegations against Shehla Rashid

Webchutney: A marketing company with a ‘liberal’ CEO that seems to be dragging Swiggy through the mud

Food delivery app Swiggy recently stoked controversy by responding to a troll account taking an extreme political side

No politicians, farmers only: Centre bars Yogendra Yadav from being a part of farmers’ delegation for the discussions

Yogendra Yadav, a political activist and self-proclaimed psephologist, had wanted to be a part of the discussion but the government objected to his presence.

After US elections, Facebook and Twitter are getting ready to interfere with Indian elections: Why the centre must take note before 2024

With Twitter's admitted Left-wing bias, nobody needs to wonder which side they would choose to censor and the trajectory is rather evident with the censorship of Malviya's tweet.

Darshan Pal, the coordinator of the farmer protests, was a founding member of Maoist organisation PDFI. Read details

Darshan Pal, who demanded special parliament session to repeal farm laws, was convenor of 51-member executive committee of Maoist group PDFI

Govt of India orders Wikipedia to remove an image showing wrong map of Jammu and Kashmir

This matter was flagged by a Twitter user asking government to take action against Wikipedia for displaying a wrong map of India

‘Jinnah did everything that is banned in Islam’: Images of alcoholic drink ‘Ginnah’ named after Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah go viral

A photo of a gin bottle 'Ginnah', eponymously named after Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, has gone viral on social media websites

Even pandering doesn’t get India Today a free pass: Here is why ‘liberals’ are today cancelling Rajdeep and Rahul Kanwal

'Liberals' are cancelling India Today, Rajdeep Sardesai and Rahul Kanwal over their coverage of the allegations against Shehla Rashid

Pro-AAP blogger Dhruv Rathee wants foreign interference in country’s internal matters to offer Indians a solution

Dhruv Rathee claimed that India’s institutions have already been hijacked and have become puppets at the hands of Modi government

Captain Amarinder Singh hits out at Arvind Kejriwal, Kejriwal hits back but ends up making no sense: Read what happened

Arvind Kejriwal accused Amarinder SIngh of playing 'low level politics', after Singh slammed him for notiyig a farm law they are opposing

Yogi Adityanath responds to Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, busts claim about UP wanting to take film city away from Maharashtra

CM Yogi had announced that country's biggest Film City would be established at Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.

Raut gives bizarre analogy trying to defend party after Azan row: Here are 4 things that he could have meant

Sanjay Raut came up with an absurd analogy in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana to ward off criticism over azaan recitation competition

Zombie Mink: Hundreds of mink carcasses emerge from the burial trenches in Denmark after mass-culling exercise

Dubbed as Zombie mink, the farm mink that were culled to prevent Covid-19 outbreak have 'emerged from their graves' in Denmark.

The return of ‘Award Wapsi’: As farmers protest continue, former Punjab sportspersons want to return awards

Punjab sportspersons have claimed that they will go to Delhi on 5th December and put their awards outside Rashtrapati Bhavan

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
492,287FollowersFollow
20,300SubscribersSubscribe