THE HISTORIC judgement by the Supreme Court striking down the ridiculous practice followed in some sections of the Muslim community is commendable. About time it was done away with. It is noteworthy, however, that the same has already been banned years back by several Islamic nations, including our favourite neighbour.
Triple talaq or should I say the instant triple talaq had of late become everyone’s favourite whipping boy (comes second only to the four wives conundrum) and though as a Muslim woman I do find it an extremely regressive and outdated practice, I know it has more to do with the patriarchy deeply embedded in our society than anything else! When I say our society I do not mean Muslim, I mean Indian. So while I’m glad it is out of the way, can we be as bothered about ‘all’ women across religions, castes, and economic demographics? Because, frankly, I think the status of women is elevated only by a single factor – economic independence. No religion, no law, no sharia, no nothing!
Furthermore, how is a divorce the issue? If a man doesn’t want to stay married to a woman or vice versa, the marriage is over. It may take a day a month or three. The issue is not that a Muslim man can arbitrarily divorce a woman and walks away, the issue is that more often than not the woman will be economically dependent on him and will not want divorce because her means of livelihood will be snatched away.
The issue is and should be maintenance! The problem related to maintenance is one which the Muslim personal law board should have dealt with in all these years but didn’t, just like they kept sitting on all other issues (due to obvious vested interests in keeping the community under their thumb.)
The triple talaq is the least deserving of problems plaguing the Muslim community today (lack of education, to me, is the biggest problem) and yet it garners maximum attention. Why?
The issue is no longer about the women. They are mere pawns in the political arena where this issue will be kept on the burner for as long as it suits the interest of the stakeholders. The Muslim leadership will use this issue to strengthen hold on the community by telling them that their faith is at stake and that they are being persecuted! The right wing will say that Muslims can never be part of mainstream because they refuse to adhere to any form of the uniformity in civil laws.
Basically its just another version of the lesson the British taught us before they left. Our politicians and religious leaders learnt that one lesson very well.
—Tazeen Husain is a freelancer based in Lucknow. She writes on topical subjects and is an avid movie reviewer.