Muslim Women’s Forum Demands Withdrawal of ‘Talaq’ Ordinance

Hyderabad, Sept.22 (NSS): Strongly opposing the Ordinance  by the Centre  on ‘Instant Talaq’, Hyderabad Muslim Women’s Forum today demanded its immediate withdrawal and also withdrawl of the Bill pending in Rajya Sabha.

Address the press at NSS media center  here,  Kaneez Fathima, Civil Liberties activist,  BS Sherin of English and Foreign Languages University, Rubina Mazhar of SAFA,  Asma Rashid of English and Foreign Languages University,  Nazia Akhtar, Independent Researcher, and others of  the Forum  also  demanded  that the Government should involve  the Muslim women through widespread consultations with Muslim women organisations and individuals  while making any Law related to them.  They contended that the Triple Talaq law  is a simplistic, opportunistic  and morally vacuous law that cannot address the complexity of issues that Muslim women face today, in and outside the family.

As Muslim women, we are well aware that the threat or practice of instant talaq  is present in the community.  But, we believe that it comes out of patriarchal social and familial attitudes, rather than religious sanctions. Muslim women, like women from any other community in India face domestic violence, desertion, failure of the husbands to maintain the family.  These are as much related to male dominance n the society as to the poverty, unemployment, discrimination and violence that the Muslims face in contemporary India. Whether it is instant talaq or other modes of talaq, these problems will continue to persist”, they pointed out.

They further pointed out that the Bill passed by the Lok Sabha itself was totally unnecessary as the Supreme Court itself has ruled, on numerous occasions, that instant talaq is illegal, including in the most recent Shayara Bano case.   They also said that when desertion of wives and children remains a non-punishable offence in the country, the turning of a civil wrong—a particular mode of divorce- into a crime makes us believe that it is a politically motivated move.

The Centre issued the Ordinance, in the face of opposition in Rajya Sabha, even as the Supreme Court had cautioned that law making through Ordinances should be avoided, especially when the bills is under consideration in the Parliament. They said that it should be noted that marriage is a civil contract for Muslims who have practiced it as such.  “But none of the women’s organizations or affected parties has ever demanded this criminalization”.

They further  contended that the Government has made it (the law) to appease its own political constituency – the polarized Hindu voters.   Muslim women are being used as ‘political capital’ by the Government in its campaign trail against the Opposition parties.

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