Is the BJP against Muslim Family System

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The BJP Government has been targeting all the wrong issues which have no significance in the country's growth. It is involved in issues which are causing problems to people rather than solving them. Every Government usually tries to solve bigger threatening problems first, and solves smaller problems later. With this it is actually creating more problems than solving existing problems. It has brought havoc on Indians lives by creating problems of Demonitisation, GST, Petrol hikes, LPG hikes, and more.

The BJP's bias against minorities & Dalits has long been proved. It does not give a ticket to any minority in many elections like those seen in the UP Elections of 2017. It has kept some persons like Muktar Naqvi for showing some minority face. After the win of 2014, BJP has made its agenda to target Muslims & their personal laws. It tries to find flaws in the culture and traditions of minorities. It is no surprise as they detest other cultures because they believe all other cultures are foreign to Indian lands.

The big corporate media houses which are hand-in-glove with the ruling Government bring these issues everyday and divert people's attention from the major issues of the country. Many activists who were part of such debates on these harmful channels are found to be lacking in basic knowledge of religion and constitutional laws. The Constitution of India guarantees freedom of religion and practices to all citizens. When the Constitution allows practicing of personal laws, why does BJP interfere in a community's issues?

One burning issue of the country is child marriages. Instead of being agile and responsive, the Government is sleeping on it, no action is being done on child marriages. Presently child marriage in India is voidable and not invalid. It means the underage girl can chose to stay in the marriage, or come forward and complain. Very few girls have the chance to come forward and complain. In early 2018, UNICEF released a report stating that the number of underage girls getting married in is 15 lakhs. Such child marriages lead to problems like abandonment of school education, early & risky pregnancies, etc. The Government has no resolution to tackle such problem.

Latest news about an Ordinance being signed by the President of India making instant triple talaq, a criminal offence, is another feather in the BJP's problems cap. Resentment is seen at large in the Muslim community and questions are raised against such Ordinance, like paying maintenance by husband sitting in jail, amicable reconciliation between the couple after the husband comes out of jail etc. Last year, the Supreme Court of India made instant triple talaq as void, ie it would not be a valid way of divorce. Even after such decision by the Apex Court, and the matter not being passed in Rajya Sabha, the BJP wants to score some brownie points and make it an achievement for coming Lok Sabha Election Campaign.

Faizan Mustafa, Vice Chancellor of Nalsar Law University, Hyderabad talking on the Ordinance, argues in his Indian Express article " ... imprisonment of 3 years for triple talaq is excessive, arbitrary, irrational, and thus violative of Article 14 of the Constitution....In criminalising any act, the state must demonstrate “compelling state interest”. Ordinances are to be promulgated when there is immediate need of a law and Parliament is not in session. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 is pending in Rajya Sabha. Political needs do not justify the use of  the extraordinary power to promulgate an Ordinance......The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Ordinance says the Supreme Court held triple divorce unconstitutional. In fact, the court merely set aside the practice. The Ordinance itself may be struck down as unconstitutional on the grounds of harm theory, and arbitrary and excessive punishment."

Khaleda Parveen, a Social Activist from Hyderabad says, "Such a law actually causes problems instead of solving them. When the bill is still pending in Rajya Sabha, why was this ordinance brought. This urgency is nothing but political gimmick. When a husband is in prison for 3 years, how will he give maintenance to his wife? The wife will be boycotted by family of husband. The man will become a criminal, his children will be affected.Will he accept the wife after being in jail for 3 years? The women will have confusion as religiously she assumes she is divorced after utterance of three talaq's, but legally she is not divorced.This law will bring women on roads, and add problems to women who are already distressed"

Dr Asma Zehra, a Social Activist who runs a hospital in Hyderabad says "The Government adopted undemocratic means to bring this ordinance, such ordinance is a failure of the government. No selection committee formed, no discussion in Rajya Sabha, no expert opinion was taken. It wont give any security to Muslim women. Such an ordinance is against the values of Democracy"

Asma Raheem, a Lawyer at Hyderabad High Court says " Crimes are defined in a State only if it is in larger public interest. This issue of triple talaq is actually between two individually. Such bringing of ordinance is on weak ground, and in my opinion its striking down will be successful. This enactment of law nothing but political targeting done to cause distress to the minority community"

 

Jaleesa Sultana, Convenor, Tafheem Sharia Committee, Muslim Personal Law Board says " In the name of being savior to the Muslim women, this law is made, which actually is harmful and will cause affect on other ways of separation in a Muslim marriage like Khula, Liyan, Zihar. Practice like Khula actually helps woman when she does not want to live with the man. Sometimes in such case if woman is divorced, she may marry again and start new life again. This law will work against women even if woman wants to stay away from the man. Muslims have low divorce rate, i.e they rank 4th in Government ranking of community divorce rates. Marrying and staying with husband is higher than other communities, and abandonment cases are low. In Muslim community women either stay or get separated. Marriage is a civil contract in Muslim law, then why is this criminal provision added to it. When you say uttering triple talaq will cause divorce, why is the punishment being given. The Muslim community has huge poverty with many daily wage workers, and in such case if a person is in jail for 3 years, how will his family feed itself, where is the maintenance going to come from? Causing such ill will amongst people, may also lead to violence against women. If the BJP Govt. has so much 'hamdardi', let it uplift people by providing education, jobs etc. More serious cases like mob lynching cases are not being responded to where it is highly urgent to do so. "

 

Samina Subhani , from Muslim Women Intellectual Forum says "The law brought by the Government says that if a man says talaq 3 times in one sitting, it is not divorce and he has to face 3 yrs jail, also they are supposed to stay together afterwards. Islamic Scholars tell Muslim men not to say talaq thrice in one sitting, but each talaq be given with one month gap, but if its said thrice, then the relationship comes to an end, and subsequently the woman and man staying again together is a sin. If man says he will not keep her,  he will be forced by the law to keep her, the man will be actually forced to do something against his own will. The men who indulge in such an act are those who have uncontrollable anger, or are not bothered about Islamic Law, and why should the country's law force a woman to continue living with such a person who cant control his anger, there is no problem in getting separated and avoid becoming victim of such person's anger. All communities have the right to follow their religion and their personal laws, Govt. should have consulted Muslim scholars, before taking such arbitrary decision before interfering in a community's personal law."

 

Shafeeq Mahajir, Senior Lawyer at Hyderabad High Court says " There is no concept of triple talaq in Islamic law. Writers like Mulla, Tayyabji, brought a concept called 'Mohammaden Law' by amalgamating Muslim personal law followed by some scholars where in such law of triple talaq was recognised, and the English law. The Supreme Court has pronounced on something which has nothing to do with Islam. It is found that not even 0.01% is prevelance rate of triple talaq among muslims. If the Government was actually sympathetic to the Muslim women, it should have rehabilitated the raped women of Gujarat riots, the widowed women of lynching happening throughout India. Bringing such ordinance is futile, pointless, waste of time and money. Its done to divert attention from main problems of the country like poverty, unemployment, wholly deteriorated education system, lack of development for scientific systems, appreciation to sportsmen, spiraling prices, falling Rupee value, political interference in universities, lack of accountability by political establishment. Instead an ordinance must have been brought for abandoned wives of Hindus, including the wife of the present Prime Minister. Although Bigamy is a criminal offence for non-Muslims, its high rate of prevalence is not checked. "

The Muslim personal law board has been working from last many years for internally educating the Muslim community and non-Muslims for eradicating wrongful practices. This is the best way to remove misconceptions amongst the people. Criminalising such practice will only cause havoc in the family system, and will lead to break down of marriage system. Marriage being a pivotal unit of the society, break down of marriages will impact the society immensely.

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