Even strong critics of the practice of triple talaq have not been pleased with the bill brought in by the Modi government criminalising triple talaq.
NEW DELHI — The move of the BJP government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi apparently “to prevent the continued harassment being meted out to the hapless married Muslim women due to talaq-e-biddat (instant Triple Talaq),” appears to be backfiring.
In less than 48 hours of the bill criminalising Triple Talaq passed in the Lok Sabha, even bitter opponents of Triple Talaq have come out against the bill and launched the hashtag #StandUpForMuslimMen.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, which was passed within hours of its introduction in the Lower House without much debate and ignoring all concerns, has provision for 3-year imprisonment for the husband who gives instant Triple Talaq.
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Women intellectuals and journalists, who have strongly opposed the practice of Triple Talaq, have severely criticised the bill arguing the bill only seeks to populate jails with Muslim men.
Eminent author and columnist Rana Safvi tweeted: “I am a Muslim woman and I am against the triple talaq practice as well as Triple Talaq Bill, which seeks to only populate Indian jails with Muslim men. #StandUpForMuslimMen.
I am a Muslim woman and I am against the triple talaq practice as well as Triple Talaq Bill, which seeks to only populate Indian jails with Muslim men. #StandUpForMuslimMen
— Rana Safvi رعنا राना (@iamrana) December 30, 2017
Day after the passage of the bill, she wrote a strong article in DailyO.in
“While fighting to get the instant triple talaq declared illegal and unconstitutional, I had argued as an Indian protected by the Constitution, as a woman who demands and expects equality, as a practising Muslim who is aware of her own rights as given by the Quran. Once again, I question the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 on the same basis. I am neither a lawyer nor someone who has studied law. But as a responsible citizen of a democratic country, I have the right to question my government. My basic question is why was something that was already declared null and void sought to be criminalised? In fact, the Supreme court itself did not ask this to be made into a law,” she wrote.
“Now to the question – why am I worried?
This bill, if passed into a law, prescribes a punishment of a fine and imprisonment up to three years for the husband. It is also a cognisable and non-bailable offence. Let’s understand what cognisable means: it means that a policeman does not need a warrant to arrest the accused.
It also means that the complaint can be made by not just the victim, in this case the wife, but by others too. In fact, any information against the husband can lead to an arrest. Care to think how it will be misused? Anyone with an axe to grind can easily get a Muslim man jailed. The way our courts are overburdened it may be a long time before justice prevails…”
Like Rana, many other eminent Muslim women including journalists Seema Mustafa and Irena Akbar are using the hashtag #StandUpForMuslimMen. Here are some tweets:
I am a woman and I am against the triple talaq practice as well as Triple Talaq Bill, which seeks to only populate Indian jails with Muslim men. #StandUpForMuslimMen
— seemamustafa (@seemamustafa) December 30, 2017
I am a Muslim woman and I am against the triple talaq bill which seeks to only populate our jails with Muslim men. #StandUpForMuslimMen
— Irena Akbar (@irenaakbar) December 30, 2017