Opinions

Triple talaq law a curse for Muslim men and women

I’m surprised or not really, as I have been writing all along that anything possible in these fascist-ridden times, by this Right-Wing government’s obsession with the Triple Talaq issue. So much so, that though there are hundreds of actual grievances facing the Muslim community in the country but those seem to be side-lined and kicked aside by the sarkar of the day. As it has decided to focus only and only on the hyped Triple Talaq issue.

Mind you, Triple Talaq is not permitted in Islam. It’s one of those social evils that has crept in like several other social evils hitting not just one community but all communities. In fact, as living or survival conditions are worsening in the country so social evils are spreading out amongst the masses.

Over the last few years it’s become a well-executed political strategy not to miss out on a single given opportunity to paint Islam in all possible negative shades. What has been done to counter these extremely damaging notions? Nothing at all! On the other hand, the notion of Triple Talaq is played up although such incidents, of men divorcing their wives in this bizarre fashion, are rare. And when such incidents take place they are blown out of proportion and the impression that’s relayed is that Muslim men are a barbaric lot and their women a herd of cattle! Which is far from the truth.

The truth is that in today’s Hindustan the Muslim community is battered and shattered on every single front. The community is lagging on the socio-economic fronts, and together with that, there’s a lack of confidence in the community to counter the communal propaganda unleashed by the political rulers of the day. Distractions and diversions are thrown in the way so that the picture gets hazy and dented. Lack of leadership in the community and zeroing of avenues and platforms to speak out from, has only compounded the grim reality. So much so that till date no strong voice has emerged to say loud and clear that Triple Talaq is totally un-Islamic. Even in those television discussions or those so-called debates the sane voice is over-powered or near-throttled.

The reality is that Islam has actually provided ample clear guidelines and precautions and codes of conduct. Unfortunately, we sit unaware of them. And as the well-known lawyer Danial Latifi had detailed to me during the course of an interview, the crucial ‘why’ he had decided to take up the controversial Shah Bano case. I quote from the interview he gave me, "I found Shah Bano to be an over smart woman who took full mileage out of the case. Why I took up her case? It was not as though I who opted to fight for her…I was simply watching the proceedings of this case with a whole galaxy of lawyers, including the then chief justice of India, Justice Chandrachud. It was then, whilst her case was being argued by a junior lawyer, that the chief justice intervened and asked me, why don’t I, as a senior lawyer, fight for her. So I had no choice but to fight for her."

Latifi had made it very clear that Shah Bano had got her due maintenance on the basis and "strength of Quran's provisions." As he'd detailed to me, "First of all, despite the contrary belief, marriage is a very serious business in Islam.Coming to the chapter on talaq, it is this chapter that lays down all the details including the procedure for talaq and the importance given to the arbitration aspect and, of course, the maintenance aspect. The fact is that triple talaq is un-Quranic. In fact, one particular line from the Quran - wa lil mutalaqati mata’un bil ma’roof, haqqan alal muttaqeen (unto the divorced woman, a provision that is reasonable is obligatory, an obligation for the righteous) - is enough to provide her status and a decent maintenance. And whilst fighting for the Shah Bano case I quoted this line and the minute I showed this line to the chief justice he said that line was enough to get her due, her maintenance. So Shah Bano got her due maintenance on the strength of Quran's provisions."

Latifi was against the Common Civil Code and he had blamed the BJP for making it into some sort of a political issue - "I repeat that I’m not in favour a Common Civil Code. It is not needed. Also, because it has become a political issue and the BJP and its allies are looking for an issue and want to rake it up. I personally feel that Muslims do not need it."

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If the Right Wing sarkar at the Centre was genuinely concerned about the Muslim community of the country it would have reached out to the community by improving their pathetic socio-economic conditions. Pick up a copy of the Sachar Committee Report or any of the latest reports, the facts and figures will relay the shocking details to the very survival conditions of the Indian Muslim. On almost all spheres they are on the lowest rung. Why? Because of the communal elements in governance and the blatant biases in the very functioning of the State machinery. And, of course, the scenario gets compounded by the poisoning getting unleashed so very systematically against the entire community, as though the Musalmans are a brutal and barbaric lot.

If this government was actually concerned about the Muslim community, it would have reached out to the Muslim women and children and men affected in the Gujarat pogrom of 2002. The Muslim survivors of the communal anarchy in Western Uttar Pradesh are still sitting uprooted, with their political tormentors set free…terrorizing an already terrorized community, so much so that an average Musalman is petrified to speak out against his tormentors. Many affected Muslim families have given up all hope of getting justice or compensation.

Mind you, this scenario will only get bleaker and darker and definitely more complex with the passing of the Triple Talaq Bill. Needless for me to bare out these details but let me do so, for the sake of the fence-sitters.

Upcoming a new alibi to imprison the Muslim man. All that needs to be done is to force or threaten or bully a Muslim woman into saying that yes her husband uttered  ‘Talaq, Talaq, Talaq!’ With that the man goes behind bars for three years and the woman and her children are left at the mercy of the State and whatever it unleashes.

In fact, the Right–Wing government’s frenzy into having this Bill passed without consulting the community (no , I don’t mean Muslims in the BJP–RSS fold or grasp!) and without finding ways and means to empower the Muslim community, only raises suspicion and doubts and nothing else.

Today Indian Muslims sit extremely wary of the dangerous and dubious ways of a certain agenda getting implemented! They are aware of the political moves and are apprehensive of what lies ahead for them, for their very survival.

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