By Pervez Bari:
Jaipur: It seems the claims made by Narendra Modi led Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) government while introducing “The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017” or famously known as Triple Talaq Bill is falling flat. Contrary to the claims of Muslim women being favour of the bill, it is being seen that these declarations are far from reality.
An unprecedented mammoth and historic silent rally was taken out by Muslim women of Rajasthan in Jaipur on February 28 to protest against the bill. Earlier, such rallies were also organized in Kota, Bhopal and Kolkata.
On Wednesday a large number of Muslim women from across Rajasthan, came out of their houses to participate in a silent procession to express their angst against the centre’s Triple Talaq Bill, like other various cities of other states of India. The Pink City was virtually turned “black” albeit virtually, as a large number of Muslim women clad in black burqa thronged the streets.
Holding placards, with varies slogans written, they were seen rejecting the proposed bill and demanding no interference in Shariat (Islamic law) by the government. Some of the placards read “Talaq Bill Wapas Lo Wapas Lo (Get back, triple talaq bill), Teen Talaq Bill Personal Law Mein Madakhlat hai (Triple Talaq Bill is interference in Personal Law)” among others.
This was one of the biggest gatherings staged by Muslim women in the country to raise their voice against the Triple Talaq Bill. The rally began at 10:00 a.m. from Char Darwaza, winding their way via Ghat Gate, Nawab Ka Chauraha, Moti Dogri Road they finally converged into a meeting point at the Muslim Musafir Khana.
Later the rally was addressed by the Women Members, in-charge of AIMPLB’s Women Wing and office bearers of AIMPLB, including AIMPLB secretaries – Maulana Mohammad Fazlurrahim Mujaddidi and Maulana Mohammad Umrain Mahfooz Rahmani.
The Secretary Maulana Mohammad Fazlurrahim Mujaddidi described the defect of the proposed controversial Bill, popularly known as Triple Talaq Bill, and informed that the content of the Bill is a violation of Article 14 and 15 of the Constitution. “The Bill is anti-social as it converts a civil matter to a criminal offence. The Bill envisages to criminalise instant Talaq-e-Biddat (instant Triple Talaq), has been termed as ‘anti-Constitutional, anti-Shariah and anti-women’,” he said.
Another secretary Maulana Mohammad Umrain Mahfooz Rahmani took a jibe at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for introducing the Bill. “If he (the PM) is pointing fingers towards us, then why he has deserted his wife?” he asked. “More than 22 lakh Hindu sisters have been deserted by their husbands but the government is not concerned about them,” he added.
Dr. Asma Zehra, AIMPLB’s Women Wing convener, said, “Muslim women have been holding protest march across the country demanding the bill to be rolled back, as they are happy with Shariah law.”
Highlighting the problems of women in the country, Dr Asma said, “Approximately, over 15 million girls are killed in the wombs and 28,000 are burnt to death for dowry every year. The government is least bothered about the real issues and has unnecessarily raked Triple Talaq issue. Muslim women are not unhappy with Triple Talaq,” she said.
AIMPLB member Yasmeen Farooqi said, “By taking on to the streets in huge numbers to voice their views against the Bill in several parts of the country, Muslim women have smashed the government’s claim that it wants to ‘liberate’ Muslim women.”
She also criticized the President of India mentioning about Muslim women in his addressed to the Joint session of the Parliament.
Among the women participants in the rally was 90-year-old lady, who is the mother of Maulana Mohammed Fazlurrahim Mujaddidi, the secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, (AIMPLB).
.Later a delegation of AIMPLB’s women office-bearers and members called on Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh and apprised him about Muslim women’s views and emotions on Triple Talaq Bill. They also presented him a memorandum about the Triple Talaq Bill to be forwarded to the President and Prime Minister of India.
There are glaring Flaws in the proposed Bill on Divorce:
Not has the Government forbidden the act of triple divorce and made it is punishable act through this Bill; the bill has been drafted with the aim of depriving Muslim husband and Muslim Women of his/her rights to the divorce and Khula. The drafted in such a way that it is not only banning Triple Talaq but against the all types of Talaq or Talaq System as a whole.
In the “Definitions” section, divorce has been defined as: “Talaq-e-Biddat” or any identical form of Talaq through which husband may pronounce immediate and irrevocable divorce.
This bill is marred by strange contradictions. For example, according to this law, divorce will not come into effect and yet the husband will be liable to pay a penalty and serve a 3-year-imprisonment.
It is common knowledge for any student of Shariah that the above Definition forbids even Talaq bain as a cognizable act. For there is no room for revocation in this form of divorce and it is with immediate effect. Divorce arising out of Khula is forbidden according to this Bill. Its consequence will be that if a wife who is keen on seeking a separation from her husband will be forced into live with him, without her will.
Contradicts Supreme Court Judgment 2017:
During the Triple Divorce case in Supreme Court, the attorney general had clearly stated that their objective is to put amend to the entire Talaq System. However, in view of the learned judges’ ruling that arguments will be restricted only to the lawfulness or otherwise of Triple Divorce, the attorney general focused only Instant Triple Divorce.
In its judgment Supreme Court recognized all forms of divorce other than Instant Triple Divorce as an essential part of Islam and Muslim Personal law and ruled out any change in these.
The Government introduced this Bill in the Parliament, which aims at demolishing the whole institution of Talaq. For misleading public, however, the Government strongly carried out the propaganda that its intention was to forbid only Instant Triple divorce.
This law takes away the right of child’s custody from husband and grants this responsibility to wife. At the same time, husband will bear the maintenance of wife and children. On the one hand, it insists that divorce does not come into effect and the marital tie remains intact, yet its consequences indicate the dissolution of the tie and the separation between husband and wife. For when a couple leads normal life, the need for a separate law for the custody of children and maintenance of husband and wife does not arise.
A major flaw in this law is that it vests women with the right of custody and bringing up of children. However, the prevalent Guardianship and ward, Act places premium on child’s interest. Husband or wife who ever can protect child’s interest better will have custody.
Another serious flaw in the law is that it deems the act of divorces as a non – bail able and cognizable crime. Police may arrest a husband even without a court warrant. Worse, police may initiate this action not only on wife’s complaint, but also on anyone’s complaints, even if his wife denies that no divorce ever took place
The Civil contract is penalized converting civil matter into criminal offence.