It all began when Narendra Modi, our Prime Minister in his last ‘Mann ki Baat’ address on the national television and radio, applauded his government’s initiatives for granting the Muslim women there due in the society.
Today, the opposition is up in arms against the ruling for passing a bill that aims to politicise the issue of talaq-e-biddat over providing relief to the women from the minority community.
The opposition sadly has not recognised the status of women in a community whose literacy rate is as low as 45%, and the gender ratio is 100:75. The community that was told to treat women with honour and respect by the prophet they follow, has made the women a mere accessory to have pleasure and produce children.
The sad state of affairs was brought into lime light when the brave Shah Bano, in 1982 contested her case upto the Supreme Court and won over for herslef and others like her a dignity, which was only trampled by the then Rajiv Gandhi government, under a new Act.
This got a wider attraction in debates and saw many Muslim women coming over to the courts of law to get alimony from their husbands and trying to assert their existence from behind their burqas.
The Supreme Court recently in an order declared the practice of talaq-e-biddat as unconstituional and subsequently the Lok Sabha approved a bill that remains the crux of the entire controversy.
The entire clamour is about the Rajya Sabha discussing the bill and putting their reservations on record against only one provision of the bill. The Muslim intelligentsia has branded the bill as a blatant invasion on the Quranic or the Sharia by the Right Wing rulers or even the debasement of Muslims to appease the majority community, which does not seem to hold ground really strong.
The Opposition has seemingly not taken note of the fact that the majority of the cases of divorces of Muslim that come to the Courts, the talaqnamas issued by the Maulvis, form the basis of these cases. The decrees are unjust, the alimony is unfair, while the pronouncement of ‘talaq-talaq-talaq’ by a man in a fit of rage, frustration, desperation or any other emotion or state of mind subjects the woman to be one thrown out of the marital bond in a moment’s time.
The Opposition has also forgotten to take note of the fact that the marital bonds are one of the most abused form of relations in the human civlisation, where most of the times, the women are the receiving end of the atrocious conduct, meanwhile a male in the patriarchal set up, enjoys absolute liberty to pursue his will, and when we talk about the minority, they need to evolve.
There is a problem in the implementation of Dowry and Domestic Violence related laws in the society and due to the penal provisions, the issues have started coming to light, while there is an abuse of the provisions, the Supreme Court has made a point to check the abuse of the law by the people. Thus the argument of criminalising a civil offence stands as a nullity.
The Opposition seems to play the ‘Minority Appeasement’ card by projecting the BJP as the enemy no. 1 of Islam, which is not the concern of our discussion, but the evolution of the Islamic society from the medievalist state to modern state is important. The upliftment and the protection of a law needs to be afforded to the women from the minority who do actually live in poorer circumstances than their Hindu and Christian counterparts.
Another premise remains that any law which isn’t backed by sanction, has no obedience forthcoming, while the law that is being branded as otherwise remains the most perfect tool to check the plight of the Muslim Woman,
The bill does not need a change while the society does need to accept that the times need to take us forwards.