A nationwide condemnation has put the union Ministry of Minority Affairs, led by BJP leader and member of Parliament (MP) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, in a tricky spot for declaring August 1 as ‘Muslim Women Rights Day’ which also marks the anniversary of the “triple talaq law”.
The current nationwide outpouring of condemnation including over 650 citizens – Muslim and non-Muslim women, men and trans persons, women rights activists, human rights activists, academics, students, and hundreds of citizens across India have issued a strong statement today.
The law, officially called The Protection of Muslim Women (Protection of rights on marriage) 2019, has received backlash since its inception from Muslims and others.
Clause four, under Chapter two of the law, states that “Any Muslim husband who pronounces talaq (divorce) referred to in section 3 upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
Lawyers and activists and sects of Muslim women have criticized the law in the past for the unnecessary clause which calls for imprisonment of Muslim men which is an affront to constitutional values as an individual cannot be jailed for abandoning his wife.
Activists have condemned and rejected what they call “the cynical optics of using Muslim women’s rights, in the face of an unprecedented onslaught against the rights of the Muslims in recent years under the present government.”
The condemnation voices strong opposition to declaring August 1 as Muslim Women’s Rights Day, calling it the celebration of a law that is fundamentally anti-minority, anti-women, anti-constitutional, and seeks only to disparage the Muslim community.