Single Muslim women keen for Haj pilgrimage must get preference: PM

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He pointed out that such a restriction is not prevalent in many Islamic countries. "You will be surprised to know that terrorists had set his ancestral home on fire in 1990", Modi said.

Modi urged citizens to organise Mock Parliaments in every district of India. Our youth are coming forward in areas like skill development, innovation and entrepreneurship and are achieving success.

While referring to Muslim women and their rights, the prime minister did not mention about the bill passed by Lok Sabha last week which bans the practice of instant triple talaq.

"It had come to our notice that if a Muslim woman wants to go for Haj, she must have a "Mehram" or a male guardian, otherwise she can not travel". "But Muslim women in India did not have this right", Mr Modi said and maintained it was a matter of satisfaction that his government "paid heed" to this matter and the Ministry of Minority Affairs has taken "corrective measures".".we ameliorated this restriction by phasing out a tradition that had been in practice for the past seventy years. "You too can be the makers of 21st century India and this opportunity comes into being, very specially, on the 1st of January", he said.

He said he has suggested to the ministry of minority affairs that they should ensure that all women who have applied to travel alone be allowed to perform Haj. "I was amazed by spirit they had, the enthusiasm in their hearts and the dreams they nurtured". Recounting the inspirational story of Anjum Bashir Khan Khattak, the topper of Kashmir Administrative Service examination, Modi said, "He actually extricated himself from the sting of terrorism and hatred and topped in the Kashmir Administrative Service Examination".

He said terrorism and violence were so widespread there that his family had to leave their ancestral land and flee.

"As a child, Anjum never gave up hope". He chose a different path, a path of serving the people, he said.

"But 26th January, 2018, will especially be remembered through the ages".

He said this Republic Day, not one but ten chief guests would grace the January 26 parade at Rajpath. This is unprecedented in India's history...

"ASEAN completed its 50 years of formation in 2017, which also marked 25 years of India's partnership with ASEAN".

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