Union Minorities Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Saturday hit out at the "Talibani mentality" that created hurdles in women's liberty, dignity and empowerment, saying people with that mindset had opposed making the practice of instant triple talaq a penal offence.
Addressing an event in New Delhi to mark "Minorities Day", Naqvi said those who opposed making the social evil of instant triple talaq a crime or raised questions on removal of restrictions on Muslim women travelling alone for Haj are "professional protesters" of the essence of the Indian Constitution.
According to a statement issued by his office, the Rajya Sabha deputy leader also hit out at those who were objecting to the constitutional equality regarding the legal age of marriage for women.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday had approved a proposal to raise the legal marriage age of women to 21 from 18 years.
Naqvi noted that while on the one hand, believers of almost all religions of the world live in India; on the other, a large number of atheists also exist in the country with dignity and equal constitutional and social rights.
He said the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked with the commitment to “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas” during the last seven years which has ensured significant reforms and inclusive development of all sections of the society, including the minorities.
The Modi government, the minister said, has provided a credible platform to indigenous artisans and craftsmen from every corner of the country through “Hunar Haat”. More than seven lakh artisans, craftsmen and people associated with them have been provided employment and employment opportunities during the last six years.
He also noted that the present government has given scholarships to about five crore students from six notified minority communities -- Parsis, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims. About 50 per cent of the beneficiaries are girl students. It has resulted in a significant decline in school dropout rate among the minorities, especially Muslim girls.
School dropout rate among Muslim girls which was more than 70 per cent before 2014, has now come down to less than about 30 per cent. Our aim is to make it zero per cent in the coming days, he asserted.
Minister of State for Minorities John Barla; National Commission for Minorities and Chairman Iqbal Singh Lalpura were among those who attended the event.