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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Triple Talaq Bill: India’s New Legal Tool to Discriminate against Muslim Men?

The Indian Parliament has passed the much-debated Triple Talaq Bill, under which a Muslim man will be punished with a prison sentence leading up to three years, along with heavy fine penalties should he chose to divorce his wife. Muslim men will also be required to provide financial assistance to their wives, and the custody of the children will rest with the mother in case of mutually agreed separation.

News Desk |

On Tuesday, the Indian parliament approved a bill to bring an end to the Muslim practice of instant divorce, popularly known as “Triple Talaq”. The bill was finally ushered in after two years of contemplation and debate, after Supreme Court’s verdict that the triple talaq violated the constitutional rights provided to Muslim women in India.

The Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament, passed the bill for Muslim Women, under the Protection of Rights on Marriage, garnering a 99-84 approval from parliament members. The practice of instant divorce will now be punished with a sentence of up to three years in prison, alongside a heavy fine.

Modi said, “The abolition of Triple Talaq will contribute to women empowerment and give women the dignity they deserve in our society.”

Moreover, as per the legislation, Muslim men will now be obligated to provide financial support to their wives, and should the couple choose to separate, the custody of the children will be awarded to the mother.

Read more: India’s Supreme Court Strikes Down ‘Instant Divorce’ for Muslims

India Rejoices: Muslim Men Harassed?

India’s Hindu nationalist party, BJP, is touting the recently-passed bill as a victory for India, and the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, believes that the bill has provided justice to Muslim women, while Muslim opposition leaders lashed out that the bill can be used to harass and discriminate against Muslim men.

Tweeting from his official account, Narendra Modi stated, “An archaic and medieval practice has finally been confined to the dustbin of history! Parliament abolishes Triple Talaq and corrects a historical wrong done to Muslim women. This is a victory of gender justice and will further equality in society. India rejoices today!”

Modi thanked all the political parties and MPs who supported the bill and allowed it to be passed, stating that “they have risen to the occasion and this step of theirs will forever be remembered in India’s history.”

The Indian Prime Minister went on to say, “This is an occasion to salute the remarkable courage of those Muslim women who have suffered great wrongs just due to the practice of Triple Talaq.”

Modi added, “The abolition of Triple Talaq will contribute to women empowerment and give women the dignity they deserve in our society.”

Read more: Indian Muslims unite to save their Religion and Country

Asadudin Owaisi, President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, condemned the bill for discriminating against Muslim men and marginalizing Muslim women. The Muslim opposition leader argued that the bill was not in the favor of Muslims, and will be used as a pretext to harass Muslim men.

Owaisi noted, “This law is against Muslim women & marginalizes them even more. The law forces a woman to stay in a marriage with an imprisoned man who’d verbally & emotionally abused her. It puts the burden of proof on Muslim women & forces her into impoverishment.”

Asadudin Owaisi added, “Existing laws provided stringent & comprehensive safeguards to ALL women – regardless of faith. Laws such as the Domestic Violence Act provide for multiple remedies to women who may have faced verbal, emotional or physical abuse in a domestic relationship.”

Read more: Muslim Women Welcome Govt’s Triple Talaq Stand, Want Ban At The Earliest

Owaisi stated, “It is a testing time for those of us who believe in the rule of law & the guarantees of non-arbitrariness, freedom of religion & right to distinct culture enshrined in the Constitution.”

Labeling the newly ushered bill against the Muslim norm of instant divorce, Asaduddin Owaisi noted, “Triple Talaq Bill should be seen only as one part of many attacks on Muslim identity & citizenship since 2014. Mob violence, police atrocities & mass incarceration won’t bog us down. With a firm belief in the Constitution, we’ve withstood oppression, injustices & denial of rights.”

Read more: Triple talaq unconstitutional, violates rights of Muslim women: Allahabad HC

Addressing the discussion on the Triple Talaq Bill in the Indian parliament, NK Premachandran, leader of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, questioned the credibility of the bill. He questioned, “Why are you not enforcing imprisonment for divorce in the Hindu and Christian communities? Why alone in Muslim community? This is discrimination against Muslim community.”

Meanwhile, BJP leaders, journalists and civil society members are congratulating India’s Muslim women on the passage of this historic bill, which provides them relief against patriarchal values. Many have ushered forward to congratulate and commend Narendra Modi’s hardliner stance against Muslim laws, which have remained unchanged across the subcontinent for centuries.

Read more: Modi govt reintroduces Muslim ‘triple talaq’ divorce bill, to tough opposition