India got freedom in 1947 from British exploitation. But it took another 70 years for Indian Muslim women to gain freedom from the whimsical ‘triple talaq’, promoted by backward looking clergy in the name of Islam and Sharia. The AIMPLB clearly emerged as the biggest hurdle in granting freedom, equality and dignity to Muslim women..
August 22 Brings Dignity and Freedom For Muslim Women
August 22, 2017 will be remembered by all Indian Muslim women as the day when they got freedom from the oppressive practice of sudden and arbitrary out-of-court ‘triple talaq’ deliberately sustained by the maulavis in the name of ‘Islam’ and ‘Sharia’. It brought unbelievable sense of relief and freedom for the 90 million women under the veil for the first time in their life. Although not fully out of the oppressive patriarchal shadow, Muslim women can now hope for some sense of dignity and security in their lives. It was something political pundits have never thought feasible, given the deep rooted cult of maulvi appeasement politics in the political establishment.
What is remarkable is that the initiative came from the triple talaq victims encouraged by women groups. But this time they were actively supported by the Union government of the Bhartiya Janata Party, which is staunchly against Muslim appeasement politics. Modi government firmly stood for women’s rights and gender justice in the Supreme Court. Needless to say, lawyer politicians from the Congress Party (the mother of all Muslim appeasement gimmicks) argued for maulavis represented by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) but failed give a single rational argument that triple talaq has anything to do with Islam.
August 22 must also be the darkest day in the life of backward looking maulanas because the SC verdict jolted their patriarchal stranglehold over women of the community. It also gave a severe blow to their uniquely irrational and unethical nikah halala sex business (unheard of in other religions).
Just when the Honorable Judges were delivering their verdict, a woman in MP received ‘talaq, talaq, talaq’ written on a piece of paper in mail from her husband. She refused to accept the divorce and went to the police – an option that did not exist just a day ago! This is the new ‘Empowerment’ the SC gifted to Muslim women – always denied by the clergy class citing Islam or Sharia. This would certainly bring some sanctity in the institution of marriage and a sense of responsibility in Muslim men who grow up seeing marriage as just a social contract for sexual pleasure. While it would be wrong to expect that they would stop treating women like commodity but now at least women have recourse to State help, if they are arbitrarily pushed out of the marriage.
Why Shah Bano Failed in 1985
If a Muslim man could just walk out of the marriage so easily by mere verbal announcement in a secular country like India, even after several decades since independence, it speaks for the political clout of the ossified brained Maulavis who live mentally stuck in the 7th century Middle Eastern society. They hobnobbed with the self-serving appeasement politicians and reduced the community they supposedly represent to the status of a mere ‘vote bank’.
The ugliest face of ‘appeasement’ was on display in the mid 1980s when the Supreme Court ordered maintenance for a triple talaq victim, Shah Bano. It brought furious mullahs on the streets in protest as if the Supreme Court of secular India has launched an attack on their religion. Rajiv Gandhi led Congress government buckled under pressure and went to the extent of negating the SC verdict through Constitutional amendment in order to placate the angry maulvis.
Such has been the clout of radical Mullahs in India which is a secular state and 85 percent population doesn’t practice Islam. A lot of people were left confused why a pilot-by-training and convent educated PM Rajiv Gandhi appeared too eager to please the radical Muslim clergy.
Here is a Little Secret, why Rajiv Gandhi acted the way he did.
In a Lok Sabha TV debate on August 25, an SC advocate Amitabh Sinha revealed a startling secret – on how the then Congress Leaders looked at the Maulavis protest against the SC verdict. He cited the comment of a senior Party leader Arjun Singh: “If they want to remain stuck in a hole, let them be.” And thus, Rajiv Gandhi went ahead with the Constitutional amendment to mollify protesting mullahs and preserve the vote bank.
Thus, as long as the appeasement politicians ruled the central government Muslim women remained oppressed and exploited because the ruling elites could never think of going against the wishes of maulavis for fear of losing the vote bank. Despite the baseless and malicious campaign against the BJP that it fuels Hindu-Muslim conflict and that Muslims would be in trouble if it comes to power, Modi proved that only and he and his party are actually secular. Isn’t it surprising that since 2014 people have not heard of communal clashes and corruption scandals that were regular features for 10 years under the Congress led UPA government.
No surprise if a large fraction of Muslim women go with the BJP in future elections. It would discourage mullah promoted isolationism in the community and a big leap towards true national integration!
Are Muslim Women only Objects to be Used and Thrown Away?
In a recent survey an NGO found that of all divorced Muslim women, 66 percent were divorced orally; 7.6 percent through letter, 3.4 percent on phone. In recent years, social media emerged as another channel to throw away wives whimsically – reflecting the typical use, abuse and dump mindset of the male community.
The Census 2011 data shows that around half of all married Muslim women got married before the legal marriage age of 18; of which around one in seven even before 14. Such early marriages deprive them the opportunity of acquiring education or financial freedom. Child marriage is the proven cause of backwardness and poverty in communities across the world.
If you wonder why women’s status is so weak in the Muslim community, just listen to any typical maulavi or qazi talk and you would soon conclude that all rights and freedom belongs to men alone – as per ‘their’ Islam and Sharia. Many have been proudly declaring on TV channels that even if the man is drunk and utters talaq three times the marriage is instantly over. ‘Their’ Islam is blind to justice for the estranged wife and concern for the abandoned children. As a result, a Muslim man could send the TTT words from Dubai just days after the marriage or he could wait for 10 years, 20 years… he would still be always fully backed by the qazis whose livelihood depend upon propagating injustice to women ‘in the name of Islam’.
The human civilization has crossed the 20th century and is preparing for the global challenges of the 21st century. But Indian maulvis just can’t shed their ossified mindset; they appear mentally incapable of absorbing progressive modern ideas. They obsessively resist change talks of gender equality and equal rights to men and women – again hiding behind the smokescreen of Islam or Sharia.
‘Their’ Islam and Sharia can impose any injustice or irrationality particularly on women. Nikah halala is perhaps their favorite; it is a mouth watering proposition for sex lover maulvis. It comes in the picture if the divorced woman wants to remarry her previous husband. As per ‘their’ Islam she has to now marry another man, must have sex with him, and get divorced – only then she gets ‘purified’ to remarry her ex husband. What a nonsense logic!! News channels recently exposed how so many maulavis remain ever eager to become ‘one night husband’ for a hefty pre-fixed fee! It doesn’t even matter if these ‘play boy’ maulvis are already married. This is a frightening and exploitative proposition for helpless and already harassed women. Imagine the immense mental agony, humiliation and exploitation a woman feels while going through such halala marriage for rape. But the ‘Islam’ of these maulvis allows it. Most certainly, like jehadi terrorists these stuck brain maulavis are the biggest enemies of their own religion.
It would be wrong to say that they are issues only of 90 million ‘Muslim women’. They are serious issues that vitiate the social atmosphere and culture of the whole country – which stands for justice, dignity and freedom for all its citizens. Maulvis tend to forget that Muslim women are ‘Indian citizens’ of a secular democracy too and that they have the same Constitutional rights as any other Indian citizen.
Over 22 Islamic countries (including neighboring Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan) banned ‘triple talaq’ long ago. Egypt was the first country to ban it in 1929; Pakistan banned it in 1956 after a weird and unethical behaviour of its then PM. But a secular country India where 85% people are not Muslim had to wait 70 years after independence to ban it. It is really disturbing to see how badly the maulvis have been spoiled by the appeasement politicians during all these decades.
AIMPLB Symbolizes Injustice and Oppression of Women
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is a self-declared mouthpiece of ALL Indian Muslims. But don’t conclude that it represents all Indian Muslims or wants to promote education and development in the Muslim community. In reality, it is just a club of cocky and backward looking fundamentalist mullahs, who are highly allergic to progress or change. Even in the 21st century they behave as if mentally stuck in the 7th century tribal society of Arab desert. Symbolizing patriarchy and backwardness the only thing they wants is to maintain their stranglehold on the community. They almost compulsively oppose every talk of freedom, equality and dignity to women. And they always do so, in the name of Islam or Sharia.
Saudi Arabia society is the best reflection of their mindset. The status of women in Sharia society can be judged from the restrictions listed here. There is no dignity, freedom or respect for women as human being. Although the Saudi monarch has just recently announced that Saudi women would be allowed to drive from June 2018, the list of oppressive laws against women is very long. A Saudi Maulvi recently pronounced that a woman’s mental capability is only one-fourth as compared with a man. In a Sharia society a rape victim is highly susceptible to further humiliation. She would be accused of having engaged in illicit sexual relation which carries punishments ranging from imprisonment and flogging to death by stoning. The world ‘rape’ does not exist in the Sharia dictionary. In rape cases conviction can only happen if four male eyewitnesses testify to having seen the act occur.
Making itself an important party to triple talaq hearing in the Supreme Court, the AIMPLB changed its stand repeatedly. It initially wanted the SC to stay away from ‘meddling’ in their personal law (AIMPLB mullahs hallucinate that they are bigger than the highest Court of the land!), then announced that it would itself work towards abolishing this practice within two years, and finally welcomed the SC verdict (at least in public). It had also put forward a weird logic that ‘women are mentally less capable than men’. Implying, thereby, they can’t be trusted or taken seriously. Treating women like commodity and cattle is the foundation of AIMPLB’s deeply cherished Sharia Law that existed in the 7th century Arab land.
AIMPLB’s voice is never heard when rich old Sheikhs form the Middle East come to India to marry young Muslim girls and take them away as sex slaves. It has been also blind to sex rackets of qazis in the name of halala marriages that has been going on since ages as a Sharia Law. No one expects it to speak against polygamy either. It is unthinkable if it would stop opposing the uniform civil code. Its agenda is all about backwardness, suppression of women and politics in the name of Islam and Sharia.
The Way Forward
End of triple talaq should be seen as an important but only a tiny step towards justice and dignity for Muslim women. Talaq is still a privilege of men. However, now it is time to exploit the space created by the SC verdict to fight for further freedom.
The human civilization has crossed the 20th century and is preparing for the global challenges of the 21st century. Human life is all about developing various potentials that lie dormant in us. A religion is meant to help people ‘liberate’ from the shackles of ignorance and destructive thinking. But when it starts to imprison people into rigid thinking and promote irrationality, it becomes a serious obstacle to human growth and social progress. Radical Islamists and terrorists are the best example of that.
It is time for the younger generation of Muslim community to come forward, focus on acquiring modern education and join the national mainstream to enjoy fruits of development and freedom in the 21st century world. The most effective way to lift the mullah controlled Muslim community out of backwardness and patriarchy is to focus on girls’ education and stop their marriages before 18.
Perhaps the best way to integrate the Muslim community into national mainstream is to embrace the uniform civil code. It is opposed by the AIMPLB and obscurantist maulvis because it would weaken their political hold on the community, but embracing ucc would certainly be the most progressive step for the community.
You may also like to know what Wahhabi Islam is.