“If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.”
The Supreme Court has banned the 1400-year-long practice of triple talaq by a majority of 3:2. In the verdict Chief Justice of India JS Khehar find himself in the minority. Justices RF Nariman, UU Lalit and Justice Joseph scrapped triple talaq. The court also appealed to the political parties to rise above politics and consider a legislation to codify Muslim Personal laws. The CJI and Justice Nazeer said reforming personal law was squarely within the domain of government. The court said maladies in Hindu personal law — sati, devadasi system and polygamy — were all abolished by enacting separate laws and codifying Hindu Personal Law. The court also said Islamic countries, the world over had taken steps to correct Shariat to eliminate triple talaq and it was the time, India took a similar step. The union government is of the view that there is no need to bring in a law on triple talaq as the ruling of the Supreme Court is law of the land.
The verdict has finally brought down the curtains on the issue with finality. It is long overdue in a country where women rights have a long way to go anyway, whether Muslim or not. In fact the issue of rights of women in whole of Asia has a long way to go. We have skewed sex ratio, discrimination and misconception about the female sex itself. The practice itself is retrograde. What is the reason of keeping it when 20 countries along with Muslim majority nations have abolished Triple Talaq. Among those who have done away with the practice are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. It is not that the abolition of Triple Talaq will lift the Muslim women immediately but it will give a sense of security and give them a fighting opportunity.
Now Muslim women in India will not be shackled with this 1400 year old retrograde law to walk along with men and women of all other communities. This is one step towards equality for women in the country. We have still got to tackle literacy, economic participation, perception and opportunity. The women of India will have to come forward to take part in nation building and in public life. Whatever one might say, in India we have a robust democracy which is appreciated by the developed nations and women will do well to get into the rough and tumble of politics. Women should taste the taste of what it’s like to be at par with men or even better. One thing is for certain that the men of the nation should have an open mind. Men should treat the women their equal. Political parties could start by giving more tickets in elections to women leaders to increase their participation in public life. The equality of men and women in India will take us towards becoming a developed nation.