Rajiv Gandhi strengthened Triple Talaq, but it was Nehru who truly pioneered it

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triple talaq yogi

The controversy surrounding the abolition of triple talaq with took a new turn even as the Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath went on to make scathing remarks against the practice, its perpetrators and those failing to bring justice to the Muslim women.

Yogi Adityanath probably made the boldest statement in the recent chorus against the arbitrary practice even as he likened the practice of triple talaq to the disrobing of Draupadi.

While drawing this analogy, CM Yogi quoted one of the greatest intellectuals of the Mahabharat epic who while answering Draupadi as to who was responsible for the misdeeds that had been committed observed that it were not only the perpetrators who were liable but also those who supported it and who conveniently chose to remain silent even as the unmentionable sins were committed.

CM Yogi could not have drawn a more accurate analogy. In today’s time the All India Muslim Personal Law Board along with the Muslim clerics can be said to be committing the sin of keeping Muslim women in regression and at their husbands’ peril while the political outfits supporting this either on the pretext of religious freedom or by conveniently remaining silent on the issue can be said to be supporting the perpetrators in the continuance of this obnoxious practice.

We therefore try to explain why the UP CM has made an impeccable argument and why the practice must now be done away with in a single stroke.

POPULAR DISCONTENT:

The UP elections lent a strong voice to the opponents and the victims of triple talaq but the demand for doing away with triple talaq and other such practices in the traditional Islamic law in India has always been brewing in the Indian society. Even when the Nehru Government pushed for a Hindu Code bill followed by a series of legislations transforming the Hindu law with the first law minister of India BR Ambedkar acting as the draftsman of the Bill, there were demands from the opposition to either drop the idea of meddling with the Hindu law or bring comprehensive changes in all the communities and bring them at par.

Though this did not mean a uniform civil code in the true sense of the term some basic concepts of modern law could be introduced in the personal laws of every community.

The then Prime Minister Nehru while rejecting such demands observed that once the Government had introduced such a bill abrogating it would send a wrong signal to the international community and though he had extreme sympathy for bringing similar changes in the Muslim community the time was not ripe for doing the same due to the wounds of the partition.

His statements implied an undertaking that once things settle down and the events of partition are no longer afresh in the minds of the Muslim community the State would introduce a path breaking reform to rid the Muslim women of centuries of injustice.

This extreme sympathy changed into autonomy of the religious clerics, religious freedom, minority protection and ill conceived secularism. Now, any victim who opposed the archaic practice was charged with blasphemy and any legislator who tried to shed light on this issue was dismissed as a Manuwadi and Hindu extremist.

MANDATE OF UP ELECTIONS:

The recent UP elections were multi faceted and one of the key issues which proved to be the last nail in the coffin for the so called secular parties was the issue of triple talaq.

The BJP rightly evoked this issue at a critical stage and it seems that the Muslim women who constantly live in a fear of being thrown out of the marital bond arbitrarily without any guarantee of being paid maintenance allowance with the women of other communities rallied behind the BJP.

They finally saw a political outfit which was ready to undo the injustice which had been meted out to them. They played a momentous role in making sure that the BJP did not only get a majority but a clear and historic majority. Now, the Central Government must walk the talk and at least introduce a bill or initiate a discussion in the Parliament on this underrated issue.

Conclusion:

The UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seems to have understood the issue inside out and has done the right thing by trying to keep the issue in limelight. He understands that the legislature is only acting as an accomplice to those who are delaying the inevitable. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has made an attempt to usurp and subsume in itself the Parliament’s right to determine the Personal Laws of a community. This is not the true position and the Personal Law Board is able to exercise the right of framing the Muslim Personal Law only because the State is reluctant to reform the Muslim Law.

The AIPMB should not be allowed any time extension to bring reforms from within the community as it is persuading the Government. The requisite reforms have not come from within the community for the last 70 years and won’t come for the next 70 years because those who are supposed to bring the reforms are themselves the wrongdoers. Its time that the Legislature stops implicitly and passively supporting this highly regressive practice.