Triple Talaq Verdict-A Ray of Hope
22nd August 2017 is all set to be written down on the pages of Indian history as we cross another milestone towards Women’s Rights and their protection. After a long period of controversies, the Triple Talaq practice has been struck down by the Supreme Court of India as unconstitutional. Three judges on the five judge Constitution bench decided against triple talaq while two ruled in favour. This issue has also given rise to the need of Uniform Civil Code in India (replacing personal laws based on scriptures of the major religious communities in India with a common law for all).
Triple Talaq (also known as talaq-e-mughallazah — Irrevocable divorce) is a practice of divorcing women by uttering the word ‘talaq’ 3 times. The pronunciation can be oral, written or sent via electronic means. The presence of wife is not necessary during the pronouncement. Originally, a waiting period had to be observed after each pronouncement so that the couple gets a chance to reconcile. But the recent practice gives way to instant talaq by saying talaq in 3 quick successions. After a period of iddat, during which it is ascertained if the wife is pregnant, the divorce becomes irrevocable. Though frowned upon, this practice was legal until now.
Shayara Bano- The face of Rebellion
The 35-year-old, Shayara Bano, becomes the first Muslim woman to file a suit against the norm of Triple talaq. She hails from Kashipur and was married to Rizwan Ahmed from Allahabad.
She claims that her in-laws reportedly tortured her for a four wheeler and cash. She had to go through multiple abortions because her husband did not use any contraceptives. She has been on the prescription of anti-depressants ever since. Shayara received the Talaq-nama from Rizwan last year in October while she was in Kashipur with her parents.
With the support of her family, she filed a case challenging instantaneous Triple talaq, polygamy, and halala (a practice in which divorced women have to consummate a second marriage if they want to go back to their former husband).
Shayara is the mother of a 14-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, both of whom she has sadly not met since April as they are under the custody of her husband.
The Triple Talaq came as a privilege for Muslim men who sought to have a quick divorce and leave their wives high and dry. The women are forced to leave behind their homes with no backup plan. They are also shunned by the society following the stigma related to a divorced woman. The Muslim law does not even promise alimony to the victim.
A woman is left at the mercy of her husband and her in-laws. This practice is more prevalent in the illiterate and financially weaker part of the Muslim community. As soon as the girls get married, the sword of talaq hangs above their heads. Despite all their efforts, the future remains insecure.
Some go back to their abusive homes at their husband’s whims. This is where another social evil halala plays its part. The woman is allowed to return only when she marries another man and fulfills her marital rituals. Thus another divorce is enacted, allowing her to go back. Halala has given rise to a well-organized crime ring where women are sexually exploited in the name of religion.
We’ve come all the way to the 21st century and yet we drive a nail into humanity’s head by treating our women like objects.
19 countries including Muslim dominated ones like Pakistan, Iran, Dubai, etc deem instant talaq as a crime.
Beacon of Hope
Following the Supreme Courts’ decision, the verdict gives Muslim women equal status as the rest of the team. Their future isn’t uncertain anymore. The Supreme Court has advised the legislature party to pass a law cementing their verdict.
The path breaking judgment brings India at par with other women liberated countries and thus breaking our regressive image at the global level.
India has thus become a safe haven for Muslim women and gives them the power to protect their honour.
The Welcoming Carpet
Women from all over the country rejoiced at the addition of another feather to their wings. In Surat, the sky was painted with fireworks to welcome the new era in the history of women.
Twittersphere was filled with eminent celebrities who applauded the decision.
BJP President Amit Shah says, “This is the victory of basic constitutional rights and right to equality of Muslim women.”
Shayara Bano expressed her joy by saying that this is a historic moment for Muslim women and emphasized that the judgment of Supreme Court should be accepted. While we, the other women of this country, regardless of our religion are on cloud nine, for we are women and are bound by no discrimantion!