Narendra Modi Government has recently taken a welcome step. It’s about the affidavit which was filed by Union Law Ministry (headed by Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad) in Supreme Court with connection to a matter about constitutionality of Triple Talaq and Polygamy issues.
The affidavit openly opposes the practices of Triple Talaq and Polygamy. We will try to analyse and understand some crucial points about the issue in this article.
To make readers more familiar with the concept of Triple Talaq and Polygamy practiced in Muslims; we start with some basic explanation. Triple Talaq means a Muslim Husband can divorce his Wife by saying Talaq Talaq Talaq in single sitting or at multiple occasions.
India has a Muslim Personal Law (which has its origins in Sharia Code) functioning till now. Muslims and their Civil Life are governed by the Muslim Personal Law. This obviously has impacted the lives of Muslim Women in the worst possible way, making their life ‘pathetic’ in actual sense.
All the practices which are harmful, derogatory and anti-welfare get shelter behind the Personal Law for Muslims. This, in turn, is providing a ‘Constitutional Shelter’ for the evil practices of Sharia Code.
The condition is further more dangerous, when we take into account recent statement by All India Muslim Personal Law Board in Supreme Court. AIMPLB has officially said that, “Courts have no right to decide about Muslim Personal Law.”. The Pseudo-Secular Brigade of our country hasn’t uttered a single word here.
In addition to the ‘Triple Talaq’ practice, the Muslim Personal Law provides shelter to the ‘Polygamy’ for Muslim Husbands. The civil code envisages women as ‘Property’ of their Husbands, a ‘Material’ to be covered in Burqa, and as Secondary Citizens of Community.
Recently, Smt. Maneka Gandhi has said that the status of Muslim Women is far better in many Muslim Countries than in Secular India. This can be held as a factual statement or Irony, but it is a painful reality for everyone who cares for ‘India’.
Now let us take a look at the causes of this problem. At the time of Constitution’s development, due to several reasons (Political Compulsions mostly), the Civil Law wasn’t made ‘Common’ for all over India. This left scope for personal laws.
And thanks to Dr. Ambedkar’s luminary work, Hindus are under a FAIR civil law, which abolished Manu Smriti and other traditional practices which was derogatory to Women of Hindu Community. But unfortunately, Muslim Personal Law prevailed.
Despite the ‘Directive Principles’ of Constitution under Article 44, the Congress Party, that was in Power for most of the time after independence; never actually tried for ‘Uniform Civil Code’.
Irony is Congress calls itself Secular and labels BJP as Communal. But Congress has actively supported this Jinx which has been haunting Muslim Women in the country. ‘
Country has witnessed the sin which Congress and its leadership has committed in ‘Shah Bano’ case. Congress has not only remained inactive against the Jinx of Talaq and Polygamy. Congress has actively supported this curse for their ugly political ideology. Congress lost the right to call themselves secular, when they reversed a Positive Decision of Supreme Court with help of their Numerical Strength in Parliament.
The TIME has changed though. A Party which has always been the supporter of Uniform Civil Code is in Power with full majority. This affidavit of Union Law Ministry is certainly a good start in that direction. It can be viewed as a little but positive step towards Uniform Civil Code.
But, the affidavit is not firm enough. It may be structured so as to push the issue without major opposition. A firmer stand is expected, especially when a Govt led by Narendra Modi is in center. The affidavit says – “The practice of Talaq is quashed in some Muslim Countries too, so India should move on too”.
This stand is safer as it will not face stern opposition. But actually an honest and truly effective stand could have been – “Let the Theocratic states and Islamic Sharia do whatever. We are Sovereign, Secular country.
And the Evil Practice of Talaq and Polygamy must be quashed even if any religion supports it, for the sake of Public Welfare.” So, the affidavit is not strong enough as I expected it to be. But, it is indeed a good positive step and we expect more, stronger moves in this matter from Modi Govt.
To conclude, I want to stress upon my original point again. India is secular sovereign nation state. So, if we don’t grant the benefits of Secularism to Nine Crores of Population, we can’t avoid a tag of hypocrite as a country. And this is the right ‘muhurta’ too.
As a strong, nationalist Govt in center, people expect some solid, bold steps towards Uniform Civil Code from NaMo and his team. This will be a ‘Political’ Win-Win for BJP too. Because they can either succeed and take credit or will be able to expose those Sickulars who oppose such move.