The issue of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 is being hotly debated within the Indian Muslim society. Muslim scholars, politicians, social workers and even laymen and women are simply bewildered by the haste shown by the government in bringing the bill criminalizing the act of instant triple talaq. Here we take a look as to what Urdu media says on the issue.
While expressing his surprise and bewilderment at the sudden passage of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board spokesperson, Maulana Sajjad Noumani says that the bill is aimed at filling prisons in the country with Muslim men. He said that the government aims the fragmentation of the Muslim society through the latest bill.
The way such a sensitive bill was so suddenly and surreptitiously brought to the Parliament and passed in such a haste, gives an indication as to what the government wants to do with the Muslim society. He went on to add that had the government’s intention been good, it would have first invariably held consultation with the Muslim ulama and Muslim legal experts on the issue.
Maulana Noumani asked the members of the Rajya Sabha to not let the bill pass from the lower house of the Parliament and send it to the Select Committee for review. He said that nikah or marriage is a civil contract and issues arising out of it should be solved through civil mechanism and not through criminal act.
He said that the members of the All India Muslim Personal law Board (AIMPLB) were startled after going through the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017. He said that the members were shocked by the provision of criminal act in civil issue. He said that under the bill not just wife, even if any person from the locality approaches the police with such allegations, the bill gives power to the police to act against the husband. He said that the behavior of the police with Muslims is not known to everyone.
The Maulana went on to add that “while the Law Minister is giving the example of Muslim nation, he didn’t tell the nation that in Muslim countries, instant triple talaq is not a criminal offence. He said that the Law Minister has fooled the nation and the Parliament by mentioning the Muslim nations in the context of triple talaq.
Roznama Sahara in its editorial says, “The triple talaq bill, criminalizing the act, has been passed from the Parliament under extreme cacophony. While the bill completely ignores the provisions of Islamic jurisprudence and the Shariah, it also brings husband and wives at such a juncture where a small mistake can completely destroy them.
The Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the bill is not an interference in the Islamic shariah, but an effort to provide justice to the deprived Muslim women.
There is no denying that the instant triple talaq is an abominable act, but the way the issue of Muslim women’s oppression in the Muslim society has been talked about and the miserable condition of divorced women was propagated, it not a good precedent. When the Supreme Court made the act of triple talaq null and void, the hurried response of the government in bringing the bill and making it a criminal offence has put serious question marks on the intention of the government. The act negates the apex court ruling but also makes the lives of Muslim couples miserable.
We are not against the law on triple talaq. But there was need to discuss the issue with Indian Muslims’ most respected platform, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Muslim legal experts and other community leaders on the issue. Had this been done, the bill wouldn’t have been full of lacunae and shortcomings.
Given the haste shown in bringing the bill, even common man is perplexed and force to think whether this is an effort to polarize the 2019 Lok Sabha election and terrorize the second largest community in the country.
Translated by Syed Ubaidur Rahman