Muslim women have applied to perform Haj without 'mehram', says Modi

Rahul Gandhi

"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", the PM said in his Mann Ki Baat address.

Highlighting the importance of voting, Prime Minister Modi said it is the biggest power granted by a democracy, as voters have the leverage to transform the nation.

Modi, during his monthly radio address of 'Mann ki baat', termed the policy of allowing Muslim women to perform Haj only in the company of a male guardian as "injustice", saying that the removal of the restriction of having a male guardian or "mahram" may appear as a "small thing", but such issues "have a far reaching impact on our image as a society".

"Just now, while talking to you I got an idea whether we could organize a mock parliament in every district of India?" "Peace, Unity and Goodwill" will be the driving forces for New India, said Modi. "The Indian democracy welcomes the voters of the 21st century, the "New India voters".

Modi said youth will be exposed to new opportunities. "I was amazed by spirit they had, the enthusiasm in their hearts and the dreams they nurtured". The PM spoke about the "Swachh Survekshan 2018", which will be carried out from January 4 to March 10 next year to evaluate the cleanliness of India's urban areas.

Modi then mentioned one Anjum Bashir Khan Khattak, who topped the Kashmir Administrative Services Examination despite being surrounded by terrorism and hatred in and around the Valley. People born in the year 2000 or later; those born in the 21st century, will gradually begin to become eligible voters from the 1st of January, 2018.

"India looks forward to welcoming ASEAN leaders for Republic Day 2018 celebrations".

Prime Minister Modi also appealed to the nation to take concrete steps in the country's transformation from Positive India to Progressive India in the New Year. "Republic Day 2018 will be celebrated with leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries coming to India as Chief Guests", Modi added.

The year 2017 has been special for both ASEAN and India.

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