Thursday, 18 October 2018

Essay on Triple Talaq for UPSC and SSC

Essay on Triple Talaq for UPSC and SSC

Essay on Triple Talaq for UPSC and SSC

Marriage is considered to be a sacred bond between a man and a woman decided by God in heaven. This bond when conditioned with love, compassion, security and understanding makes it a life-long relationship. But sometimes, differences crop up between husband and wife and they decide to separate mutually or with interference of law. This act of separation is referred to as divorce. This is the protocol which is followed throughout the world. However, in many backward countries, divorce is still considered a taboo. And at the receiving end are the women who get a stigma attached to them, post separation. 


Muslim women in India are the worst affected as they are bounded by Muslim Personal Law, wherein the state has no right to interfere in the personal matters of marriage, divorce, inheritance and family relations. This law gives more power to the Muslim men. Women are confined to this law and thus cannot take the help from the judiciary of the country. The worst thing that they have been going through is the 'triple talaq (Talaq-e-biddat), wherein if the husband says the word ‘talaq’, meaning divorce, three times consecutively, the man and wife are declared divorced. This usually leaves the women shattered. It might be easy for the man to utter these words, but it defines the whole life of a woman. However, this pronouncement of the word `talaq' has been banned by law in many countries like Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia and Bangladesh. In these countries, arbitration councils and judicial interventions have been introduced to promote reconciliation. However, till recently India permitted this heinous act. But, after fighting over many years, Indian Muslim women have finally got something in their favor. The Supreme Court has set aside the practice of divorce through triple talaq by declaring the practice as void, illegal and unconstitutional. The verdict came as a surprise for many while some Muslim fanatics were in shock. Muslim women on the other hand celebrated with all their vigor.

Though divorce is condemned in Islam but still the practice of triple talaq has been prevalent since ages. The triple talaq is against the basic tenets of Quran. Holy Quran in fact doesn't describe any procedure for divorce. An excerpt from the Quran says, "Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods... and their husbands have more right to take them back in this [period] if they want reconciliation…2:229 Divorce is twice. Then, either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment…”.It clearly indicates that a divorce (talaq) is followed immediately by the waiting period which is called as iddat. During this period, the husband has the right to revoke the divorce and take his wife back. But this practice can be done twice only. The third divorce is considered permanent. After the third talaq there is no opportunity for any reconciliation. The holy book however holds provisions for providing alimony or maintenance for life time or till the women gets married again. 

Abolishment of triple talaq was the need of the hour as Muslim men had started to take social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, E-mails and WhatsApp to divorce their partners. The practice was challenged four decades ago by a 60 year old Muslim women, Shah Bano who approached the court for being getting divorced by her husband in an arbitrary manner and then refusing to pay her the alimony too. The apex court ruled the case in her favor by directing her husband to pay her the alimony for the rest of her life or till she married again. But several protests by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Muslims over the verdict put pressure on the then ruling government as Muslims constituted a huge vote bank. The ruling Congress party succumbed to the pressure and passed a law "The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986" that nullified the judgment of Supreme Court in the Shah Bano case. The Act limited the responsibility of husband for supporting the divorced wife for a period of 90 days of iddat i.e. the waiting period of divorce. 

The practice of triple talaq has gathered much flak with 21 countries including Muslim dominated Pakistan and Bangladesh abolishing it either explicitly or implicitly. Ironically, India has been quite a late corner in justifying Muslim women in the country. 

The triple talaq has finally been declared un-Islamic and unconstitutional. Islam has always held women in high esteem. And bestowing extra rights to men in terms of marriage and divorce is wrong and unethical. Moreover, men usually misuse these laws in their favor. Women are left as losers in all terms. The so called Muslim Personal Law bodies also tend to drift more towards the men. In the name of religion, they are stopping government to interfere in personal matters but the whole crux is in the fact that these personal matters eventually affect the society on a whole. This could also lead to disharmony among the nation. 

India may be a land of diverse cultures and religions. But a uniform civil code which defines the rights and duties of the citizens should be adopted. Muslim women too have full right to live with dignity in this man dominated world. it is time for reforms to protect the rights of Muslim women in view of the changing societal values. Muslim women can now live a meaningful life without any fear of getting ditched by their husbands in haste of anger, intoxication or for fun. They can now raise their daughters without fearing for their marital fate. With education and change in mindset, people are accepting divorce throughout the globe. It is not considered a taboo in urban areas. Remarriage is always an option and the families too are eagerly accepting them irrespective of their past. 

With this change, Muslim men will think twice now before divorcing their spouses as they will now be answerable before law and group of people too. Such reformations will make India and its women stronger and powerful. 

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