Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the "discriminatory" practice of Muslim women being barred from visiting Haj without a 'Mehram' or male guardian has been abolished.
Addressing the nation through the 39th edition of his 'Mann ki Baat' radio programme, Prime Minister Modi said around 1,300 women have applied to visit Haj without a male guardian.
"It had come to our notice that if a Muslim woman wants to go on Haj, she must have a 'Mehram' or a male guardian, otherwise she cannot travel. This is a discriminatory practice, and hence we have changed this rule," he said.
Further, Prime Minister Modi suggested that single women pilgrims be excluded from the lottery system implemented to select Haj pilgrims.
"Usually, there is a lottery system for the selection of Haj pilgrims. However, I would like to suggest that single women pilgrims be excluded from this system," he said.
On the Mann Ki Baat programme, Modi also said that Republic Day 2018 will be celebrated with leaders of all ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries coming to India as chief guests.
In a bid to empower the Indian youth, Prime Minister Narenda Modi also proposed to organize a mock parliamentary session in every district around August 15 next year.
(Inputs from ANI)