A large section of Muslim women in India have been demanding an end to instantaneous triple talaq or talaq-e-bidat which they see as misogynist, unfair and un-Islamic. A number of petitions have been filed against triple talaq, the first one amongst them being the plea filed by Sharyara Bano who challenged triple talaq, polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ as being unconstitutional. Recently the Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) also filed a petition against triple talaq, supported by 50,000 signatures of Muslim women and men.
Twenty two countries around the world have already abolished triple talaq. While some have adopted secure family laws, the others do not recognize a divorce pronounced outside a court of law. In South Asia, Muslim majority countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh don’t follow this practice and Muslim minority country Sri Lanka, doesn’t recognize instant divorce according to its Marriage and Divorce (Muslim) act, 1951.
Funny enough with the State Assembly elections coming up, a spotlight has been thrown on triple talaq; with every party wanting to give its stance either to gather Muslim votes or strengthen their Hindu votes by perusing the topic. While BJP is using triple talaq as an example to push forward the Uniform Civil Code, the opposition like Congress, BSP and Trinamol Congress have decided to take a regressive stance by chortling along religious bodies.
Political parties in the mist of elections and voter bank seem to have forgotten about the Muslim women that this law is affecting. BJP and Congress, both taken as the polarising ends have always politicised this issue. The Rajiv Gandhi government passed the Muslim Women Bill to overturn the Supreme Court ruling in the Sharyara Bano case. Now the Bhartiya Janta Party has taken a surprisingly progressive stance on an issue which in the end is plagued by ulterior motives.
Regardless of their stand on the issue, the political parties come across as misogynistic entities standing alongside each other trying to gather votes while the Muslim women are fighting their battles, bravely.
Featured image credits: DNA
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