According to TOI, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Our ministry of minority affairs issued corrective measures and we ameliorated this restriction by phasing out a tradition that had been in practice for the past 70 years.”
Modi in Mann Ki Baat
“Today, Muslim women can perform Haj without ‘mahram’ and I am happy to note that this time about 1,300 Muslim women have applied to perform Haj without mahram,” the PM said in his monthly radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
“For decades, injustice was being rendered to Muslim women, but there was no discussion on it. Even in many Islamic countries, this practice does not exist. But Muslim women in India did not have this right. And I’m glad that our government paid heed to this matter.”
He also suggested to the minority affairs ministry that Muslim women who desire to travel alone must be allowed to.
“Usually, there is a lottery system for selection of Haj pilgrims but I would like that single women pilgrims should be excluded from this lottery system and they should be given a chance as a special category,” Modi said.
Policy in Saudi Arabia
A similar policy was recommended by a committee formed to look at the Haj Policy in Saudi Arabia. Women above 45 years were to go for Haj without being accompanied by a male. For that to happen, however, they must go in groups of four.