great moment

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Dec 2017 12:20:12

THE event of passage of anti triple-talaq Bill by the Lok Sabha should e described as a great moment in India’s contemporary history. There is no doubt that the new provision will make life of millions of Muslim women much easier and happier as they would be protected by law from the vagaries of the system of triple-talaq. No matter the safeguards that had been provided in the Islamic tradition, triple-talaq had assumed the form of instant action. The new Bill is basically against ‘instant’ triple-talaq. There is little doubt that Muslim women would feel better and safer in their personal and married lives from now on. 

Of course, organisations such as the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) have resolved to take steps to improve the new Bill or even have its scrapped. The efforts to improve upon the draft passed by the Lok Sabha could still be made because that could be considered an integral part of the process of parliamentary democracy. Instances are available when certain improvements have got introduced in various Bills after passage by Parliament.

So, to that extent, certain positive changes could still be achieved if the AIMPLB makes efforts in the right direction without obliterating the public discourse on the issue. If the Personal Law Board feels that the Bill was brought in haste, it can still approach the Government to have introduced certain improvements in it. But if it is dreaming of having the Bill entirely scrapped, that may never be possible because the current Bill has come about after much thought and care and caution. The Bill got an overwhelming support from all shades of opinion in Lok Sabha, thus indicating that it has passed a democratic test.

Another welcome development regarding this issue is that a very large percentage of Muslim women have welcomed the Bill. They issued open statements welcoming it and even distributed sweets to celebrate the event. Various organisations of Muslims and Muslim women, too, have welcomed the new Bill as it would offer protection against the vagaries of instant triple-talaq. No organisation can afford to lose sight of this positive social development in the country.

Against this background, it is necessary for some Muslim organisation that are opposing the anti-triple-talaq Bill to understand the flow of popular opinion on the issue and then only chart their future course of action to oppose the Bill. For, if they still want to brazen things out, they will meet resistance even by an overwhelming majority of the Muslim community as well. Muslim leadership must realise that times are changing and modern ways of good living do not encourage the tradition of instant triple-talaq. Talaq, or divorce, may become necessary in any family out of certain compulsions that outsiders may never understand. Knowing this, appropriate safeguards had been provided in Islamic tradition. When those aspects got obliterated as triple-talaq became ‘instant’. It was that aspect that was being opposed by the nation’s larger community.

The purpose of the anti-triple-talaq Bill was never to interfere in the tradition of any community. But the Lok Sabha, that is Parliament per se, has every constitutional right to step in when things happen to slip from the society’s grip, as has happened in the case of instant triple-talaq. The larger Indian society, including bigger percentages of Muslim population, have welcomed the Bill. Any organisation that wishes to introduce certain improvements in the Bill may be welcome. Yet, those organisation must understand the dynamic process of law in general. Once they do that correctly, their ability to contribute to enhancement of India’s public life, too, would go up.