Reform Vs Conservatism

(By Yamika Khanna, Non-fiction Editor, Paprikashta)

Her husband said ‘TALAQ’ twice, she suspects that is not true. Three is the number that serves the link. Twice gives her an opening to claim that the marriage is technically on. But just one word away, another talaq from his mouth would destroy her life and break her hope of reuniting with him and saving her family. TRIPLE TALAQ a threat as well as menace to all Muslim women is the topic which the society needs to think about and pay attention towards.
As the case of Saira Banu , a woman suffering because of the malpractice of Triple Talaq appeals before the Supreme Court for justice and ban on such life destructive practices making women more prone to crimes, harassments , domestic violence and various forms of injustice , making them accept the torture or the violence done by their husband or their in-laws because they are constantly facing the risk of getting divorced verbally and without going through a fair trial done by the legal system of the country a fresh set of questions and debate gets opened up which needs the attention of all right thinking citizens , legislatures , executives and most importantly the free judiciary of the world’s largest democracy . We need to make it clear that it is no more a male dominant world and such injustice and ill-treatment would not be accepted any more by the society and the country. The time has come to change the thinking of the patriarchs and the ambassadors of such practices or rather malpractices.
According to constitution of the country divorced women are entitled to monthly maintenance by their husband’s to sustain a living and lead a dignified life, But in case of triple talaq the women is only entitled to some amount of money decided during the time of their marriage . The value of money and the rupee changes almost every day , just imagine that if you got married around ten years ago ;is the value of money set during that time enough to sustain a living in this era , isn’t there any increase in the cost of various day to day needs ? We continually talk about the hike in price and value so can we actually conclude that the amount set a long time ago is enough to at least fulfil the basic day to day requirements of a woman? These struggles of the women make their lives miserable and make them financially dependant on their relatives for help or should I say their mercy, this causes poverty which further leads to depression, social, cultural and ethnic exclusion. Moreover there are cases when the husband declares talaq over the phone or through emails and the wife is expected to accept his decision and to not knock the doors of a court for legal assistance and aid.
This practice leads to a constant threat as they have no access to any kind of life or relation security and can be abandoned on even the slightest mistake , disobedience or while taking a stand for themselves. This is the reason for why the numerous dowry cases, marital rapes, domestic violence and crimes against the women go unreported; this is the hurdle we need to cross to fulfil the aim of women development and empowerment. If god says that to register a marriage or for the beginning of a marriage the consent of both bride and groom is necessary, then why not for divorce? If Quobool Hai is said by both of them to start a marriage then why not Talaq to end one? In addition what is the fault of a child who is suffering due to the malpractice? What about his/ her future, education but most importantly doesn’t he / she deserves the love and care of his/ her father? There are many such cases when after the divorce the man remarries and abandon the child from his earlier marriage, where he doesn’t provide the maintenance even for the child. He is busy nurturing his family , second wife and the children from her that he can no longer see the requirements of his abandoned child . He is trying to establish and settle down with his new family at the cost of the earlier one.
Some patriarchs also believe that there is even a method by which a woman can seek instant divorce in Islam. The KHULLA rightly named as that method which is used as an excuse for the existence of TRIPLE TALAQ. But is this method actually effective enough? To seek a KHULLA a Muslim woman may petition a qadi, or Islamic community panel, to grant her divorce if the husband refuses. Firstly if we compare KHULLA with TRIPLE TALAQ the method used here to seek divorce is not verbal or can’t be fulfilled by sending a letter or an email, it is a method requiring full paper work and going through a set process. Secondly the woman needs appeals in front of a religious panel if the husband refuses to provide her with the divorce. Here in this process the male dominance is established but no female representation is there in case of triple talaq.
TRIPLE TALAQ is not a fight against a particular religious or cultural group or section of the society but rather it is a fight against all those patriarchs, conservatives and dominant people who support this idea, it is a fight against the ill practices going on the name of religion, against injustice and inequality. I would like all the supporters and patriarch people to think their reactions and feeling if this happened with their own daughters, sisters or mothers. How would they think of their fathers if they did this to their mother’s, wouldn’t you get shattered by this idea? Your wives are also the daughter’s, sister’s and mothers of someone. Just imagine the hatred or the anger your child would have for you, could he/she ever forgive you for the pain that he/she and his/her mother faced.
More than twenty Muslim majority countries including Pakistan have scrapped this system. But in India it is still a topic for debate. We call ourselves developing country, but development does not only mean having better infrastructure, or being able to compete in the global world, it’s not only about having better research centres or developing smart cities. But rather the basic fundaments of development are equality, justice and representation of everyone. If we are not able to attain such basic requirements of development I don’t think that materialistic development can define the progress of a country because the progress of a country means the progress of its citizens and progress in their mind-set’s . No longer can the government and judiciary escape from taking any decision by saying it a religious matter or practice they need to take a solid action and demolish this system of malpractice because law is same for all and equality and justice a demand that now no longer can be supressed. This demand will grow stronger day by day till the system as well as patriarchs kneel on their knees and introduce reforms both religiously and legaly.

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