Markandey Katju: Discard burqa, support abolition of oral talaq

Markandey Katju, Oral Talaq, Muslim women, India, Sharia

New Delhi, May 3, 2016: Justice Markandey Katju, former chairman of Press Council of India and former Judge of the Supreme Court of India and an avowed self-claimed ‘rationalist’ stoked fires today when he wrote a Facebook post titled “The need for Muslims to become modern.”

In the post Markandey Katju wrote “ I have always supported Muslims whenever any atrocity or injustice was done to them. But I am an opponent of outdated backward feudal customs and practices among all communities, e.g. the caste system among Hindus and looking down on Dalits.”

Markandey Katju further stated that:

“Similarly, I am strongly against oral talaq and burqa among Muslims, and I support the demand of a uniform civil code.
Sharia law has done great harm to Muslims, and has contributed in keeping them backward. The time has come when it must be abolished ( just as the old Hindu Law was abolished in 1955 and 1956 by statutes ). It is only due to vote bank politics and bigotry of some die hard feudal minded Muslims that this has not yet been done. So I support the recent demand of some modern minded Muslim womens organizations in this connection.

The very fact that oral talaq is permitted to only Muslim males, but not to females shows that Sharia treats women as inferior. But some claim that Sharia was made by Allah, and so cannot be abolished. This is nonsense and humbug. Customary non statutory law was not made by anyone, but evolved in accordance with the social syste prevalent at that time. In the middle ages women were everywhere regarded as inferior to men. Thus, according to the old non statutory Hindu Law, a man could marry as many wives as he wanted, but a woman could marry only one husband. This shows that the old Hindu Law too treated women as inferior.”

Not stopping at this alone, Markandey Katju attacked burqa and also strongly opposed oral Talaq:

“Similarly, wearing burqa is a stupid backward practice. If a woman wears a sari or salwar kameez surely she is not nude. Why should women be kept in a cage ? It is time now that Muslim men tell their wives and other female relatives to discard burqa, and support the demand for abolition of oral talaq.”

 As if this was not enough to create a controversy, Markandey Katju in reply to a query regarding women entry in Temples wrote “Women should go to scientific institutes, engineering colleges, medical colleges etc instead of wasting their time in temples.”
He further also replied to another comment which asked him to respect religion as he is a former judge, and wrote “I will hurt sentiments based on stupidity and feudal backward practices of all communities, whether Hindu or Muslim or any other.”
Markandey Katju also wrote: “In a comment on my post criticizing wearing of burqa, one person said that a woman should have a right to wear what she wants. Absolutely. She should have a right to remain stupid if she wants. There is no law against remaining stupid, or in supporting stupidity”
Former Justice Markandey Katju enjoys a big following on Facebook.