While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, TV channels and the Supreme Court are all concerned over the ‘regressive’ practice of triple talaq, here are 10 facts that put the issue in perspective.
While a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court is to hear a batch of petitions seeking a ban on polygamy and halala and to decide whether triple talaq is against Constitutional principles, several scholars have questioned the Government’s eagerness to flag the issue.
As Fauzan Mustafa, Vice Chancellor of NALSAR, Hyderabad, says in the following article he wrote for thewire.in, as many as 1.2 crore children in India get married by the age of 10 despite laws banning child marriage. Eighty-four percent of these child marriages are among Hindus. But the government does not seem too worried about this ‘regressive’ practice.
Mustafa writes, “The BMMA shows the deplorable condition of Muslim women. But their condition is much the same as Hindu women from the same social class. The evil of instant triple talaq need only be replaced with the sin of ‘desertion’. Why is no one bothered about the plight of Hindu women on the issue of domestic violence, desertion and polygamy? The recent film, Parched, highlights this reality. The problems of poor women amongst all religious communities are similar and there is nothing special or distinct about Muslim women. The class character must be given due consideration in the analysis of any social problem.”
“Should the Supreme Court or government take crucial decisions to reform personal law on the basis of such unscientific research? The apex court should ask the Law Commission to conduct a major comparative study on this subject to know the ground realities of women from various religious communities. On its part, the government should release all the data from the socio-economic- caste census. Let this research be used as a starting point for a truly informed debate on the plight of women in Indian society – all women, regardless of caste, region or religion,” Mustafa adds.
In yet another report on the subject, an Assistant Professor of Sunni Theology Mufti Zahid Ali Khan is quoted as saying, “Triple talaq might be anti-human rights, it might be anti-women and children’s rights, but please don’t tell us it is unconstitutional. When the case of Jain religious practice of a ritualistic fast unto death came before the apex court, what did the court do? It allowed the practice to continue, affirming the fundamental rights of Jains to practise their religion without any judicial intervention. How come they can interfere when it comes to us?”