NEW DELHI, Jul 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said over 4,000 Muslim women performing Haj this year without ‘mehram’ was a “huge transformation” and asserted that more and more people were getting the chance to go for the annual pilgrimage with the changes made by his government in the Haj policy over the past few years.
Over 4,000 Indian women performed Haj without ‘mehram’ this year, the largest since the reform in 2018 which did away with the compulsion of a male companion with women on the pilgrimage.
In his monthly Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast, Modi said he has received a large number of letters this time from Muslim women who have recently returned from the Haj pilgrimage.
“This journey of theirs is very special in many ways. These are the women who performed Haj without any male companion or mehram and the number is not 50 or 100, but more than 4,000 — this is a huge transformation,” the prime minister said.
Earlier, Muslim women were not allowed to perform Haj without ‘mehram’, Modi said.
“Through Mann Ki Baat, I also express my heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Women coordinators were specially appointed for women going on Haj without ‘mehram’, the prime minister said, adding the changes that have been made in the Haj Policy in the past few years are being highly appreciated.
“Our Muslim mothers and sisters have written a lot to me about this. Now, more and more people are getting the chance to go for ‘Haj’. The blessing given by the people who have returned from the Haj pilgrimage, especially our mothers and sisters through their letters, is very inspiring in itself,” Modi said.
His remarks come amid the BJP’s assertions that various steps have been taken by the Modi government for the empowerment of Muslim women, including bringing a law banning triple talaq.