Supreme Court decision on triple talaq: Where do political parties stand on archaic Muslim divorce law?
In the SC's verdict on triple talaq the minority asked the Centre to bring in legislation on the issue. Here is the stance taken by various parties on the issue.
The Supreme Court's much-awaited verdict on triple talaq was delivered on Tuesday. The court was split 3:2 as the majority held that the practise was illegal and unconstitutional. However, the minority — which includes the outgoing Chief Justice JS Khehar — has asked the Centre to bring in legislation to govern the practice.
The full text of the judgment is available here.
The practise has attracted a fair share of controversy and political parties have not shied away from making statements on it. Here is the stance taken by various parties on the issue.
The ruling party has made its stance pretty clear on the issue as an authority no lesser than the Prime Minister has hailed the Supreme Court judgement, adding that it's a powerful measure for the empowerment of Muslim women.
Judgment of the Hon'ble SC on Triple Talaq is historic. It grants equality to Muslim women and is a powerful measure for women empowerment.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 22, 2017
Earlier too, the prime minister had said that he hoped that progressive Muslims will come forward and help “Muslim daughters” as they fought against triple talaq. The party has also relentlessly advocated against the practice, including in the recent Uttar Pradesh election campaign.
Moreover, when the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had told the Supreme Court that it will tell Qazis to "advise" the bridegroom and bride during nikah to do away with triple talaq, the party had said that it hoped that the board will also welcome legislation doing away with the practice.
The party would in fact welcome the court's invitation to legislate on the issue as in May, M Venkaiah Naidu, then a Union minister in the Narendra Modi government, had said, "Our government has made its stand very clear on triple talaq. If necessary, it will bring a legislation against it.. after allowing the community to reach a consensus through deliberations."
The main Opposition party has been much more cautious on the issue. In principle, many leaders are against triple talaq especially in light of its abolition in many Muslim countries, according to The Economic Times. However they are wary of taking an explicit stand on the matter due to the religious and political dimensions of the issue. Instead, they had taken a general line of the matter being sub judice to avoid committing to either side of the debate.
This was further borne out of the quote given in the report by Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad who was careful to call it his personal view. He said, 'Firstly, it is a very sensitive matter. There are more than one view even in various sections of the Muslim community and even among clergies on the issue of triple talaq.... Therefore, I think any effort to arrive at a decision should be in consultation with religious leaders and with different sections of the community.”
Congress leader Kapil Sibal, on the other hand, is intricately linked to the matter as he has represented the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) in the Supreme Court and has defended the practice. News18 has however reported that the party leadership is unhappy with the situation.
The party has been drumming up support against a possible ban on triple talaq as they fear it could eventually lead to the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code, according to The Economic Times. The party further planned to oppose a ban on the practice during debates in the state Assembly and the Parliament.
The party's stand against the abolition of triple talaq was also reiterated by senior party leaders on several occasions. West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee and urban development Minister Firhad Hakim have rejected Centre's attempt to abolish triple talaq.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen
AIMIM is for the practise of triple talaq and this has been made clear by its firebrand leader Asaduddin Owaisi who has urged Muslims to stand up and support triple talaq, according to India Today. He asked them to draw inspiration from the Jallikattu struggle waged by the Tamilians. He further said that nobody should interfere in the customs of marriage and triple talaq followed by the Muslims.
In 2016, Owaisi had also accused the prime minister of "converting the triple talaq issue into a political tool" ahead of the Assembly elections.
The Maharashtra party supports the abolition of the practice as it sees it as a battle of justice for Muslim women in the country. The party mouthpiece Saamana in an editorial said, "There would be several attempts to suppress these voices and a comprehensive effort at every level is needed to make this movement a success or else the Muslim women won’t be able to see a morning rise when triple talaq is abolished."
The party has also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give his nod to bring changes in Sharia law in the interest of Muslim women.
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
The Left-wing party has supported the move against triple talaq which it has called "arbitrary". While its stance allies it to the Centre, the party alleged that the BJP wasn't actually interested in securing women's equality but in targeting the minority communities.
Senior leader Sitaram Yechury has called Modi's stand on triple talaq a "communal campaign" as he questioned the prime minister's alleged silence on impediments to widows’ remarriage in other religions.
More opponents than supporters
As the political landscape stands, the ruling BJP government which is strictly against the practice will have no problem enacting a law against the practice. The government has also shown its willingness to do exactly that, should the opportunity arise. While the Congress has been wary of sticking its neck out in the matter, other parties have indicated their opposition to the practice. This means that should the matter reach the legislature, its fate seems sealed.
The Supreme Court rule prompts it to 'address the challenges of the 21st century, ranging from the pandemic to the rise of intolerance', he added
Uddhav Thackeray steering MVA ship amid challenges but must resist lure of non-BJP, non-Congress front
For now, Uddhav Thackeray signalled loud and clear that a reunion with the BJP was not an option
Two Gujarat Congress MLAs, several workers detained for protests over inflation, rising petrol, LPG prices
Protesters in Gujarat carried placards with slogans that read "People suffer due to price rise, but government remains indifferent" and "Enough of inflation, now where is the Modi government?"