After 70 years since the Indian Constitution was first framed, the highest Court of the Country has finally given its verdict on Triple Talaq. A million Indian Muslims (mostly women) had signed the petition to end triple talaq in India. The Supreme Court has stated that triple talaq is unconstitutional and has asked the Government to frame laws on the same within 6 months. These laws will regulate the marriage and divorce laws for Muslims in India.
Talaq is the Arabic word for divorce. Triple talaq was used by Indian Muslims under Muslim Personal Law (Sharia Law) to divorce a wife by saying talaq thrice, writing it or by texting it. It could be used to instantly divorce a partner. Triple talaq was a part of Muslim Personal Law in India and that was the reason why it was used for so long.
Let’s not forget that Saudi and several Muslim majority Countries had banned triple talaq long back. This list includes Pakistan. It’s about time we work towards equality for all women and Muslim women will not accept anything less than equality guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
Whats Next? Polygamy!
If the Supreme Court could work towards gender equality for all women, especially Muslim women who are at a serious disadvantage with respect to equality laws in India. Under Muslim Personal Law, a man can have up to 4 wives. Polygamy is consistent with Arabic practices and not Muslim Law. The next step would be to ban polygamy altogether, irrespective of personal laws. Under the same law a wife can be claimed as soon as she attains the age of maturity (menstruation) or 15. This needs to be changed to the legal age of marriage at 18 for women.
A Uniform Civil Code
The Muslim Personal Law Board will constantly oppose anything progressive in the name of religion. The Board sees itself as the upholder of law in India. But it cannot be at the cost of an individual’s human rights. In any case, a Uniform Civil Code should be formulated and implemented to negate separate laws for different religions.
Recently, in retaliation to the Supreme Court Verdict, Maulana Mahmood Madani stated that triple talaq will be carried out in India and the divorce will be considered valid. A person may be punished for it, but the divorce will be recognized. His view is that the Supreme Court is infringing on a person’s fundamental right to practice religion.
Recently, the Supreme Court declared the Right to Privacy a Fundamental Right, read more here.