Pradip Bhandari, the CEO and founder of Jan ki Baat spoke to Dr. Chandra Rajan, an advocate in the Supreme Court of India representing Muslim Women in the Triple Talaq case where Jan ki Baat found out that these laws are in fact propagated by the Muslim Maulanas and mukhis who are mixing up religious matters with personal matters.
On being asked whether the Quran gives any authority to Maulanas to form these personal laws, Dr. Chandra Rajan said that the Quran gives no such authority to the maulanas. They are a part of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) which works like an NGO, not constituted by an act of parliament. Also, the board doesn’t have any power to make laws. After the independence, there has been no laws for Muslims, especially the women. The Hindus have a Hindu Marriage Act but the Muslim law is governed by AIMPLB and the book they follow i.e. Muzmui Tawani Islami which directs them as to how men and women should govern their family affairs. However, its not a book of law since it is not written by the legislature. The Muslim Maulanas and mukhis are mixing up issues pertaining to the human rights with issues pertaining to Quran. The government isn’t intervening in their religious texts.
The grey area is that there is no Marriage Act or legal remedy for the Triple Talaq since the Quran and the Muzmui Tawani Islami gives more power to the Muslim men than the women. There are three types of cases.
- Where the women do not want a Talaq and are forcifully pushed into it;
- Where the women want a Talaq but are not allowed to get it;
- Where the women don’t know about the Talaq and it is unilaterally bestowed upon them.
In all the above cases, the women are at a disadvantageous position. The children are devastated and many a times the women have no one to turn to. Muslim women seek freedom not from other communities but the male members of their own community.
So, how can a Muslim women get a Talaq? Under the Muslim Marriage Dissolution Act (1939), a Muslim women can approach a court of law under certain conditions like – when the husband is absconding for a certain period of time, is missing for quite some time, is proven impotent or is convicted by a court of law. Otherwise, there is no such provision for a Muslim Women to walk out of marriage.
This directly questions the dignity and right of a woman in direct impingement of Article 14 and Article 21 of the Indian Constitution which upholds the right to life and right to personal liberty. Article 25 gives the Maulanas and the mukhis to teach, profess and propagate their religious texts and not to govern their personal law. A majority of Muslim women in UP casted their vote for BJP so that they would resolve the issue of Triple Talaq and protect the rights and dignity of women. The Supreme Court tallies for the equality of Muslim women vis-a-vis a non-muslin women and muslim men
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