New Delhi: When a study asked Indian Muslim women whether the system of oral triple “talaaq” be banned, an overwhelming majority (92.1%) of them said “Yes”, according to a Times of India report.
Divorcing one’s wife by saying the word “talaaq” (divorce) three times, has been a practice unique to the Muslim community and it has been legally adopted in the Muslim personal law. But, many consider it discriminatory as only the husband can divorce his wife and not vice versa.
The study which interviewed around 4,710 Muslim women, was conducted by NGO Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) which has been working towards bringing reforms to the Muslim personal law. The study was conducted between July and December, 2013.
The study found that around 91.7% of Muslim women do not want their husbands to have a second marriage. Other findings include: 73% Muslim women were from families earning less than Rs. 50,000 per year; 55% were married before reaching 18-years; 78% were homemakers; 82% had no property in their name; and 53% Muslim women reported that they had faced domestic violence.
The report also revealed that around 83% Muslim women wanted an arbitration process before the divorce was granted and 83.3% women believed that Muslim family law should be codified.
The Times of India report quotes Noorjehan Safia Niaz, one of the authors of the report as saying: “An overwhelming number of women demands reforms in Muslim personal law. They want an elaborate codified law based on the Quranic justice framework to cover matters such as age of marriage, divorce procedures, polygamy, maintenance and custody of children.”
Election season in India is like a festival for many. For some parties’ workers, it is an occasion for joy, and merrymaking too. This is also the time when leaders respond to your phone calls! They hardly miss to send you even birthday wishes, thanks to the automated reminders that help even unkind leaders to put on the face of kindness and generosity with ease.
Well, a flurry of promises is now being made. Some are logical while some are very illogical. Some are even unconstitutional and outrageous. And this all goes to prove that certain political leaders can go to any extent for votes. Their aspirational leaders speak out without thinking. The prime objective is to please the voters. Moreover, making promises does not cost anything.
In the process of pleasing some, certain leaders have grievously hurt many others. They are also now unashamedly getting at Triple Talaq Act. They are bargaining with the certain voters over this as a saleable commodity. Is it not a sore point with female folks? Just imagine how hurt the fathers of million daughters in the country must be. Again, a sane person should agree that Triple Talaq has been heavily misinterpreted and thus abused for centuries, as all the laid down strict conditions are ignored and moral associated overlooked. Even our immediate neighbor Pakistan, an Islamic country has long abandoned it because of the increasing misuse of the Islamic law.
Yes, we well know how hard the present government had fought with the adversaries to bring in the bill against this regressive custom. Modi government certainly deserves the praises for this bold step forward. This bill will definitely save both men and women in many aspects. Women from their husbands’ atrocities and men from committing sin!
But now, with the MP election around the corner, the certain parties are stooping low to take advantage of this much-abused practice. In their course of campaign, the leaders are claiming that they will revoke the bill if voted to power. What is most disgusting is that even the woman leaders of Congress party, without a sense of guilt, are boasting about that their party will instantly restore the Triple Talaq. Is it not a very dangerous development itself? True, when people lust after one thing, they simply forget that they are walking on the path of vices! Where are the conscious intellectuals in the country now, like those award-wapsi groups; and why is the media holding back from denouncing the perpetuation of the baneful practice? This is indeed a real tragedy!
Do we want the cutting edge of modern technology to be used to break off the marriage? Many marital ties have been severed by mere a phone call? Are women doormats or disposal items? One very upset mother of three daughters says — ‘this misused practice has literally reduced the millions of talented women to living corpses!’
If the election and democracy are only to help get society to be more godless then we are definitely heading towards the anarchy. So damning, the leaders, who commit themselves to ensure the bright future for the society and better governance, can thus set about dragging the society into the whirlpool oppression, repression, and frustration. How on earth could we trust such kind of leaders and bet on their integrity? Have they not equally brought a bad name to other leaders of integrity? Come on, let’s wake up and cry hard for the leaders of principle and moral who in fact can honestly promise to douse the fire of vices. If we don’t cry now, Triple Talaq, and such other vices, might go digital, and burn millions of households.
Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali.