PUNE: Speaking at a programme organised on the 48th anniversary of Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal, an organisation started by social reformer Hamid Dalwai, Arif Mohammad Khan, a Member of Parliament and public intellectual, said that the practice of triple talaq was not permitted as it is practiced, in the Quran or the Constitution and hence, those who practice it even after this, believe in neither.
Khan was the main speaker at the programme, where actor Naseeruddin Shah was the chief guest along with dignitaries like Balaji Srinivasan, who was the lawyer for Shayara Bano which resulted in the historic Supreme Court judgement banning Triple Talaq, Noorjahan Safiya Niyaj, of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan and Shamsuddin Tamboli of Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal.
Khan said, “Triple Talaq law is a very important issue which is not just a women’s issue but a human rights issue. Any society which dreams of progress but oppresses women will never achieve progress. I was disturbed by the fact that even after the SC decision on Triple Talaq, there was no mechanism to implement it as the legislature refused to create a law for implementing the ban on the practice.”
He further added, “I immediately wrote to the prime minister and he took cognisance and the Law Ministry promptly took action to formulate the law.”
Shrinivasan said that it took four months and lot of patience to build the Shayara Bano case. He said, “At first, there was a resistance from many women themselves, saying that such a practice is very rare. But as statistics started to trickle in, our case became stronger. It took four months to build a strong case and thankfully Shayara Bano was very patient with me.” He further added, “People said it is a matter of personal law but no discriminatory practice of any religion is protected by the Constitution.”
Niyaj said that religion had been hijacked by mullahs, causing the discriminatory practices. She said, “Politicians and leaders created a difference in being a Muslim and an Indian citizen. But we want to assert that identities of being a Muslim, an Indian and a woman can all be carried together,” adding, “Sharia is interpreted differently by all sects of Islam but the patriarchy remains the same in all of them.”