Feel victorious, protected: Muslim women

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Aug 2017 09:10:40



MUSLIM women, who had knocked the doors of the Supreme Court opposing triple talaq, on Tuesday rejoiced at the historic judgement striking down the practice, saying that they have emerged “victorious” and now feel protected.

However, some women petitioners opined that the victory in its true sense would be achieved once a law comes into force, making the practice punishable.
Farah Faiz, Zakia Suman, Noorjehan Niaz and the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB) either described the verdict as a “moment of big victory,” “big relief” or as “half the battle won.”

“The Court has given a direction to the Government to frame a law. We have won half the battle. We will be victorious in the true sense only once the law is framed so as to make this practice punishable. There is no remedy for women against the practice till a law is framed,” Faiz, also the President of Rashtrawadi Muslim Mahila Sangh, said.

Advocate Chandra Rajan, who represented the AIMWPLB, said “It is a monumental, landmark verdict and the Supreme Court could not give more to the Muslim women. The court has protected every Muslim woman. After six months, a law will be in place and we are very happy about it.”

Niaz of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) expressed relief over the legal backing that the verdict has brought for the Muslim women.
“Now, Muslim women will be able to enjoy their fundamental rights and have a codified law that will guarantee them their fundamental rights. Just like the Hindu personal law which has legal backing, the law for Muslims should have the same,” she said.

Co-founder of BMMA Zakia Suman also welcomed the verdict but said that the battle for women’s rights will still go on.

“We welcome the historic judgement on triple talaq, but the battle for women’s rights will still go on. Our fundamental rights have been upheld by the SC order. This kind of a divorce exists because of patriarchal tyranny and we have been suffering this for the past 70 years,” Suman said.

Triple talaq , or verbal divorce, is practised by some in the Muslim community to instantly divorce their wives by saying talaq three times.

Several Union Ministers on Tuesday hailed the Supreme Court’s verdict on triple talaq as a victory of “gender justice and gender equality”, but said that it should not be linked to any faith.

Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “We should not adopt a rigid attitude, but choose a reformist approach towards social evil. The Central Government will talk to all the political parties on framing a law on this issue.”

He asserted that the issue was not related to any religion, but to “social reform”.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Centre had co-ordinated with Muslim women on the issue so that their view could be placed before the apex court as the Government’s stand.

Terming the verdict as a victory of “constitutional values”, Prasad said that there were apprehensions whether the Government would buckle under pressure the way the Rajiv Gandhi-led dispensation did in the 1980s. “But the Narendra Modi Government did not do so,” Prasad said.
Prasad was referring to the contentious Shah Bano case.

The litigation was a maintenance lawsuit, in which the apex court favoured maintenance to be given to the aggrieved divorced Muslim woman. This was overruled by the then Rajiv Gandhi Government. “This is not the matter of any religion. The point here is about the gender equality, gender justice and gender dignity. This is the victory of India’s constitutional values,” Prasad told reporters here.
Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitely said that the verdict “undoes” the injustice to Muslim women who were victims of a unilateral termination of matrimonial relationship.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore tweeted that it was a “huge step forward” for women’s rights. In a landmark verdict, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court by a majority of 3:2 on Tuesday ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims was “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.