This is contentious but I am still going to poke my, a mile long and wide, nose right into it. Please don’t mind any aggression, or, do. No apologies, whatsoever.
I personally would never pin down anything about any precise religion because I believe, humanity is above all religions. Though, the practice of Triple talaq in Islam has my mind blown. Now Triple talaq apparently is an Islamic practice where a “man” can divorce his wife by saying “talaq,” the word for divorce, three times successively. However, Islam has given divorce as the last option only if nothing else works out and there is no way the marriage can survive…but it is obviously not the preferred route as per the current situation. Islamic law specifically gives men the primary right to dissolve marriages. And, only a man can divorce his wife. Women can’t exercise the same when the so called men are on their shitty behavior.
India, famous as the cradle of civilization, is home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the world and we are more than proud of it, but unlike most Muslim-majority countries, it has not yet taken the plunge to ban the practice of triple talaq. (Thanks to the Vote bank politics in India). However, the practice has been outlawed for years in Pakistan and Indonesia. (See, we can learn something from our “delightful” neighbor).
A non-literate or semi-literate woman (along with her children, if any) can be forced out of her house with no choice on such a little notice to die alone on the road or to be raped by potential rapists. Imagine the agony that she goes through after years of marital alliance and mental security that ended after the utterance of three words. Then, under nikah halala, a woman wishing to wed a man from whom she is divorced must first marry someone else.
Now, I don’t care about religions. All I know is that marriage is a sacred bond, a responsibility that is held together with limitless love and unshakable faith between two people. And, this Islamic practice is not fair at all. India’s 90 million Muslim women face the threat of a sudden, oral, and out-of-court divorce.
What is even more absurd is that there have been voluminous cases that made headlines for men practicing triple talaq even via instant messaging apps like WhatsApp. Oral divorce is the convenient and most common method of taking a divorce among Muslims. It is indeed a matter of grave importance for a democracy like India. The preposterous practice is unconstitutional as well as violates article 14 of our esteemed constitution. High authorities in the Muslim community are adamant to not lose the kind of austere authority and dominance they enjoy within the ambit of their religious institutions. They expect apex court to not meddle with their personal law, which is perfectly fine, I think. Why don’t they themselves make amendments to their sharia law according to the 21st century adhering to democracy’s essential principles: free speech and individual liberty, gender equality and equal rights, freedom of political association, and so on, so that women in their community don’t have to knock on the door of the constitutional body asserting their fundamental rights available under constitution!! Rights of women are being compromised every second of the day which is ultimately the violation of human rights. The instant divorce is thankfully not blindly followed by all sects of the Muslim community in the country, nonetheless, is a hostile and the most disparaging form of divorce practiced by the Muslim community. The figure of talaq(s) is not central, what is significant is that it is being exercised capriciously against women by Muslim husbands.
What is alarming is that Muslims wives suffer this tyranny of all times living in the largest democracy of the world.
It is understandable that Islam may not change; the Quran will not change. But the followers of Islam can certainly change for better. We can practice religion and humanity hand in hand. Also, When we speak of reform among Muslims, we expect instant transformation. But restructurings of religious communities occur over epochs. There is definitely a prospect of change since democracy is the only proxy that presents multiple turning points in an individual’s life.
It gives me a great pleasure to say that In India, a generation of youth has largely abandoned their parents’ belief in caste, creed, and religion and turned it into a norm through the proliferation of egalitarian values.
The Indian government can bring in a new law that is compatible with the 21st-century liberties and values involving women’s rights, as part of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC). The judiciary must understand that women that are coming to its doors are in trying situations, whatever being the sources of that, which needs to be addressed within the realm of the Constitution.
This is a defining moment in the history of Indian democracy. It is a wake-up call for India to act stringently for a better India. Now, the only hope for Muslim women is the Supreme Court and the people of India.