TRIPLE TALAK BAN
No one in his sense approves of Triple Talak (summarily divorcing wife by pronouncing Talak three times by the husband). But then, there are people whose senses are blurred by religiosity, so the practice is legal among Muslims. And certainly it should be banned by law. That such a law was not enacted even after 70 years of independence is regrettable. The Congress party alone could not be blamed for this lapse, as other parties including the BJP were in power in the past. Now of course the Narendra Modi government should be congratulated for bringing a bill – Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) – to Parliament for the purpose.
However, there are reasons for past governments for not bringing such a Bill to Parliament. After Independence, Prime Minister Nehru thought that the Muslims who opted to remain in India should not be antagonised by bringing a sudden radical change. He got enacted the Hindu Code Bill which actually is on the lines of modern Western society, gave equal rights to women including prohibition of Hindu men having more than one wife. This was opposed by Hindu orthodoxy, the same nucleus of present day BJP men, but no one could overrule Nehru at that time. So, a common civil code for all Indians remained in the Constitution for all these years as a Directive Principle of State Policy.
While no political party except the Muslim fundamentalists opposed the present Bill in the Lok Sabha, all that the opposition asked was to refer the Bill to a Select Committee for wider discussion. They contented the Bill, as it came before Parliament, was complex and could harm the woman victims than the accused husband. Even Muslim women organisations that had approached the Supreme Court to ban triple Talak had these apprehensions. Since the BJP had not a majority in Rajya Sabha, it could not be passed.
The controversial clause in the proposed Bill was “whoever pronounces a triple Talak upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and a fine.” By this law, the erring husband could go to jail, boarding and lodging assured by the Government, but his wife and children could be made destitute with no financial support. This would be a punishment for the victim than perpetrator of the crime.
The real relief to Muslim women can be had only when a Common civil code that has been lying as a desirable object in the Indian Constitution, will be enacted by the Parliament. The root cause of Talak is mostly because Muslim men are allowed more than one wife.