A debate on Hindi news channel News Nation took an ugly turn when Maulvi Sajid Rashidi, who was there to discuss the issue of triple talaq with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shazia Ilmi and other panellists, said that she is a not a good Muslim because she celebrates Holi with Hindus.
Ilmi took to Twitter on Saturday to express her opinion about the incident. “News Nation Anchor should have refrained Sajid Rashidi when he said Shazia is not a good Muslim because she celebrates Holi with Hindus,” she tweeted. In a series of tweets on Sunday, she said news channels should not provide a platform to ‘Talibani Mullahs’.
This is not an isolated event. Ilmi was reportedly not allowed to speak on the issue of triple talaq at a seminar organised at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University last month. She is just one of the many progressive voices in the Muslim society that the Islamists have tried to silence. Others, such as Tarek Fatah and Taslima Nasreen have also been threatened with violence to stop them from talking about triple talaq and other important issues.
This comes at a time when the debate on freedom of speech has claimed wider audience in the country. The Left-leaning groups like All India Students' Association and Student's Federation of India, who claim to be progressive and supportive of free speech, have systematically ignored the violent encroachment on the of rights of progressive voices by the Islamists.
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