As I have started writing on #Astitva – A woman’s existence , I notice that the no. of social issues raising questions on a woman’s existence are just not coming to an end . I started from A – Abuse and I have reached T – Triple Talaq .
Triple Talaq or Talaq-e-Biddat is a practice where a Muslim man can divorce his wife just by uttering the word ‘talaq’ three times , either saying face to face or in written or on electronic media . Once a Muslim man has given such talaq (divorce) simply by uttering the word thrice , but then feels like he was wrong and wants to marry that woman again , he cannot remarry the woman unless she marries another man , consummating the marriage and then that new husband divorces her . This mariage of the same woman with her new husband is called Nikah halala. So in a way the divorce occurs twice . And you know what’s the meaning of consummating the marriage ? It means sleeping with her new husband . So she can’t remarry her previous husband unless she has had sex with new husband also .
For this nikah halala , there is a criminal gang of one night grooms also operating , which was exposed by India Today . Read about it here .
You see how social customs have been objectifying a woman since long back . Notice the gender inequality and the bias involved . She has been considered as an object ,it’s a man’s wish and he was given right to abandon this object whenever he wanted . Observe the deep rooted patriarchy ! Who gave men the rights to make their own laws ? Did their Allah say that men were superior and women inferior ? Does their Kuran mention about male -female distinction ? Do their holy principles say anything about triple talaq ?
Shayara Bano’s story – The first petitioner for Triple Talaq fight
The fight against Triple Talaq was started by Shayara Bano , a 35 year old Muslim woman from Utrakhand . Her husband had pronounced Talaq-e-Biddat . She became the original petitioner demanding this as void . She argued that such a practice of talaq violated the fundamental rights of Muslim women and it should be declared unconstitutional .
Shayara Bano had got married in 2001 . She faced domestic violence and physical assault at the hands of her husband and in-laws. She kept tolerating all this for the sake of her two children . But In 2015 , when her husband wrote talaq talaq talaq in a letter to her , she gathered the courage to speak and fight . She initiated the fight, approached the supreme court of India and many activists came forward to support her , the media also helped by highlighting her experience . In the journey , many other victims of triple talaq also joined . Her petition seeked Talaq-e-Biddat and nikah halala illegal as they violated the fundamental rights of a woman . Her husband opposed by mentioning triple talaq a part of muslim personal law . Shayara Bano did have to face lot of discouragement and harassment but she didn’t give up . She said her fight was against the social patriarchal customs , giving power to abandon a woman so easily . She finally won when the supreme court mentioned Constitution above all the religions .
Some other victims of Triple Talaq
Shayara Bano was given talaq talaq talaq by her husband in a letter to her . Another victim Ishrat Jahan was divorced by her husband on phone . Her husband called her from Dubai , uttered thrice and disconnected the phone . Another victim Aafreen , who faced mental harassment and dowry demands , received a letter announcing talaq when she had come to her parents house . There are many more victims of Triple Talaq , some getting talaq on facebook or whatsapp or Skype . What a terrible use of social media !
Triple Talaq bill
The result of Shayara Bano case was that Triple Talaq bill was passed which says that “talaq-e-biddat” shall be ‘void’ and ‘illegal’. This is also followed by consequence that whoever pronounces talaq-e-biddat shall be punished with imprisonment . This is a historic win for Muslim women ; a step in the empowerment of women .