In tabling the Triple Talaq Bill on the first day of the newly constituted 17th Lok Sabha, the Modi government has made its intentions and priorities clear. It is wrong to try to give people the impression that Muslim men alone abandon or divorce their wives. Remember, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a party opposed to women’s entry into the Sabarimala temple despite the Supreme Court’s assertion of it as women’s fundamental right. So much for its commitment to gender equality.
Why a party that represents Hindu Right displays so much love and concern for Muslim women would make a rewarding study. How Muslim men are attacked by the Hindutva foot-soldiers just for wearing their skull caps and having long beards springs to mind. The government holds the view that the Bill is not about religion or politics, but about justice and equality. But the provisions of the Bill make it amply obvious that it was brought to target Muslim men and not because the BJP or the Modi government is convinced that the practice of divorce by triple talaq is repugnant to the modern world.
Incidentally, all major religions hold that women should be subordinate and subservient to men. All right-thinking people would agree that the triple talaq has to go. But the BJP’s move to abolish it is politically motivated. Invalidating triple talaq is one thing; making the pronouncement of triple talaq a criminal offence and sending the man to jail for pronouncing triple talaq, already outlawed by the Supreme Court, is an entirely different thing. It is a very flawed anomaly that the husband is sent to jail leaving the woman and children to fend for themselves even while the marriage remains valid. It is not known how any man can utter triple talaq to divorce his wife and have his way when the country’s top court has declared it unconstitutional and null and void.
G David Milton
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