Without any backing from political parties and organisations, he organised the first march of Muslim women in Mumbai demanding equal rights and scrapping of the talaq system. Interestingly, when Dalwai proactively initiated a Muslim reform movement, the BJP was not even in the picture and its earlier political avatar, the Jan Sangh, had not even thought of any such move. The Congress was wary of undoing archaic community laws when Dalwai stirred social circles by demanding the scrapping of all forms of talaq and polygamy in the s. Marriage and divorce must be governed by constitutional provisions, he insisted. An ardent atheist and rationalist, Dalwai faced opposition from all quarters during his lifetime. Despite considerable effort, he could get together a mere seven Muslim women to participate in the march organised on April 18, , but it was a first step.

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Shelves: indian-politics-and-history All Muslim leaders unanimously complain that injustice is done to Muslims in India. However, they have a strange definition of injustice. They suggest, indirectly no doubt, that the very fact that India has a Hindu majority is in itself a great injustice to Muslims. How else can one understand the programme of the Mashawarat which demands sovereign rights for the Muslim community?

In their own way, Muslim leaders are continuously trying to remove this injustice. One of the methods of ensuring All Muslim leaders unanimously complain that injustice is done to Muslims in India.

One of the methods of ensuring justice is to claim that Pakistani infiltrators in Assam are not Pakistani at all. A second method is to demand the granting of Indian citizenship to those Pakistanis who are illegal residents of Bihar, West Bengal and some other states of India.

A third method is to oppose family planning. A professor from Aligarh University was quite frank about this. He said: "Hindus cannot keep us permanently in a minority. Remember the history of Canada? How did the question of Quebec arise? Those citizens of Quebec who are of English origin are Protestants and they practise family planning.

But those who are of French origin are Catholics who never planned their families nor are doing so even today. As a result, the number of French-speaking Catholics in Quebec has increased in relation to the number of English-speaking Protestants. Now the French-speaking Catholics have started protecting their own rights and interests. We shall follow the same example.

If not today, fifty years hence; if not fifty, a hundred years hence. This country will eventually be swept by an Islamic tide. There are other leaders of Indian Muslims who say the same thing although they couch it in clever phrases. They say, "Our religion does not permit family planning.


‘Hamid: Unsung Humanist’ documentary reintroduces community reformer Hamid Dalwai to young India

The historic April 8, rally in Mumbai also campaigned against polygamy and nikah halala, a religious law that requires a woman to marry another man and consummate the union if she wants to reconcile with her husband after divorce. The court has also agreed to examine the validity of polygamy and nikah halala. Subhash, a veteran Marathi stage and film actor, decided to make her directorial debut with a film about Dalwai in , when the reformer was posthumously honoured at an award function. Raised in family of socialists, Subhash said her house was frequented by Dalwai and other pioneering thinkers. Subhash read some of these books during her college years, but immersed herself in all his literature before making the documentary. He, like Dalwai, was raised in orthodox Muslim family.


Muslim Politics in Secular India

The MSM has been working on issues like triple talaq, Muslim women liberation, uniform civil code, modern education for Muslim community, awareness among Muslims on family planning and population growth for the past 50 years. It all started when Hamid Dalwai, along with seven Muslim women, took out a historic march in Mumbai against triple talaq on April 18, He took a strong stand against communal policies and politics in Islam that were damaging society. This committee later came to be known as the Muslim Personal Law Board MSM activist Wajir Patel of Amravati, a close aide of Dalwai, started a movement in for creating awareness among Muslims on family planning. Despite threats from fanatics, Patel reached out to more than Muslim families and convinced them to undertake family planning.

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