On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced that his government would provide free legal aid to the Muslim women who have been given triple talaq by their husbands. He also said that the government would ensure vocational training to make them self-reliant apart from taking care of the education and upkeep of their children and would ensure monetary help of Rs 6,000 per year.
While making these announcements, Adityanath also stated that the practice of triple talaq does not exist in 22 countries, including Pakistan, and that this practice has no mention in the Sharia but this malpractice existed for all these years due to vested political interest.
When the Narendra Modi-led government brought a law to make triple talaq a penal offence, it was feared that this issue would be communalised as it was seen from the prism of religion. However, with the state offering free legal aid to survivors of triple talaq and financial assistance, the practice has now become a social issue. It's also important to note that while making the announcement Adityanath stayed away from referring to the practice as an inherently Islam problem.
By delinking the issue from religion, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister has ensured that it is not seen as an 'intrusion' in the religious affairs of the country.
Adityanath who was speaking at an event organised under Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) interacted with the women who faced divorce through the outlawed practice of triple talaq, said that such women should be given rights over waqf property as well.
According to official data, in the last one year, FIR was registered in 273 cases of triple talaq reported from various districts of Uttar Pradesh.
The Supreme Court by a majority verdict on in August 2017 held the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims as "void", "illegal" and "unconstitutional". The apex court by 3:2 verdict also held that the Triple Talaq is against the basic tenets of the Holy Quran.
Following the Supreme Court judgment, the Modi government in December 2017 introduced a bill known as the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill that criminalised the practice of triple talaq. On 25 July, 2019, the Lok Sabha through a voice vote passed the bill which seeks to penalise the practice of instant triple talaq. On 31 July, the Rajya Sabha also approved and passed the bill. It became an act after it got the President’s assent on 1 August, 2019.
Since it was first introduced in Lok Sabha in 2017, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill was projected by the Modi government as a major step to ensure dignity to the Muslim women who had suffered immensely because of the ill practice.
After the enactment of the legislation, it was contended that it was an attempt to interfere in the religious matter of the minority community whose religious rights have been safeguarded by the Constitution. But, by making it a social issue and delinking it with religion, the Adityanath government had made a good attempt to attract wider acceptability for the new law.
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Updated Date: Sep 26, 2019 20:31:33 IST