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Q. Triple talaq issue: In the backdrop of growing opposition to the triple talaq issue, comment on the issue of triple talaq.
Jun 02, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

In news-

Recently about 50,000 Muslim women and men have signed a petition to abolish the triple talaq system of divorce, which has come under severe criticism various groups for its widespread misuse.

Triple talaq issue-

Muslim laws allow many ways to end a marriage between couples. Triple talaq is system to divorce ones wife by husband pronouncing talaq (I divorce you) three times, with this marriage between both ends.

But the practice of giving divorce, regardless of the consent of woman, by pronouncing talaq three times at one go is the most obnoxious. With the advent of digital media, talaq is now being given by sending an SMS, watsapp or an email in some cases. Incidentally, the practice of triple talaq does not exist in most of the Islamic countries.

Why it is bad practice?

  • It is unilateral, arbitrary and whimsical right of a Muslim male to divorce his wife without her consent. Hence it denies the notion of gender justice and violates the constitutional right of equality.

  • Triple talaq is unconstitutional practice because it is so blatantly unjust, unfair, arbitrary and discriminatory. Hence it defies any definition of justice or equity.

  • The Constitution guarantees minority communities the right to freely practise and propagate their religion. But practice of triple talaq subverted the rights of muslim womens in the name of rights guaranteed to minorities by the Constitution.

Impact-

  • In recent times the number of impoverished muslim women has risen as a result of a rise in practice of triple talaq system. Many Muslim women are uneducated and cannot provide for themselves, thus, triple talaq only serves to magnify their hardships.

  • The husbands can use it to their advantage and divorce their wives over petty issues and frivolous reasons.

  • Living as a divorced woman in a highly patriarchal and judgmental society is very difficult. 

  • To be a divorced woman in India invites scorn in our society, where marriage is considered both sacred and necessary to be engaged with different social circles.

Suggestions-

  • The recent campaign against triple talaq has afforded us a chance to reform not just this practice but many more issues related to other personal laws also.

  • It is time to introduce the concept of the mandatory consent of women in matters of marriage and divorce.

  • To ensure the gender justice and to achieve the objective of making women safe at home, in office and at public places, time has came to implement the uniform civil code. 

  • In the past, the apex court has used the opportunity accorded by cases relating to divorce, alimony and maintenance for muslim women to urge the government to pass the uniform civil code.

  • Hence parliament should make sincere efforts to pass the uniform civil code and even judiciary to step up and invalidate those laws which subverts the constitutional rights of women.

Conclusion-

The issue is not whether a religious community has the right to live by its personal laws but whether any community has the right to live by rules that subvert the rights guaranteed to every citizen in the Constitution. In democratic setup women rights should not be subverted in the name of religious rights. Practices that violate democratic rights weaken democracy and dilute the protection that minorities derive from constitutional democracy.  To ensure the gender justice, we need to abolish the heinous triple talaq system and sincerely make efforts to roll out the uniform civil code.


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