What could be said as the turning point for the bright and vibrant future of religious-cum-caste encrusted India, the Supreme Court of India has once again evidenced that no religion is superior to the spirit of Indian Constitution. It has given a clarion call to reform the religiously sullied and distorted image of great India. This step is going to prove that Indian Judiciary is not that weak, inefficient and biased as common man of India usually thinks when they fail to get timely and effective justice. The grand legal system of India has taken a bold and appreciative step by striking down triple talaq or ‘Talaq-E-Biddat or three pronouncements of the word ‘talaq’ – a weapon in the hands of Muslim males to dominate and suppress their wives and also the easiest and the most frequently used method to divorce – wherever and whenever they desire to do so. Such a quantum leap or a phenomenal verdict is beyond doubt historic in itself as it is a powerful and high-impact blow to phony, inhuman, discriminatory, biased and groundless religious diktats and especially Islam.
If talking about the basic and the most fundamental tenets of Islam, such a practice of ‘triple talaq’ goes completely against them as it shows sheer disregard of the concept of gender equality, women self-respect and women empowerment in Muslim society. The five-bench of the Supreme Court today held the long-held custom of ‘triple talaq’ as utterly ridiculous, absurd, derogatory, unconstitutional, and totally discriminatory. The Bench further said that such a practice of divorce in Muslim society has no constitutional backing or protection as it betrays the spirit of Indian Constitution which emphasizes gender equality and women empowerment despite the fact that it also respects personal laws of every religion.
If on one side, Justice Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Fali Nariman and Udey Umesh Lalit held that triple talaq is not a part of Islam, is banned in law and lacks approval of the Shariat, then on the other side, Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazir, held that ‘triple talaq’ is fundamentally related to Islamic practices and is backed by constitutional protection and therefore implored Parliament to enact a law to deal with the issue.
So with the passing of this historic verdict, all the Muslim men are injuncted by the Supreme Court from pronouncing ‘triple talaq’ for the next six months.
The five-judge bench consisted of judges from major religions of India –Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Hinduism, and Zoroastrianism.
The Supreme Court’s verdict came close on the heels of a plea filed by Shayara Bano – from Uttarakhand – who had approached the apex court for justice after her husband sent her a letter with the word ‘talaq’ written thrice. The historic judgment rendered thus proved to be a milestone for coming years of Indian democracy because equality before the law and equal protection of law are the real and basic tenets of Indian Constitution.
The five-bench also quoted that “What is sinful under religion cannot be valid under law”. India is a secular country but regretfully its image was distorted and sullied by religious philosophies and theories.
From now on Muslim women will be able to:
- Feel equal and on par with Muslim men
- Enjoy the real meaning of ‘women empowerment’ in India.
- Curb their pathetic conditions owing to their domination and high-handedness by their husbands.
- Feel self-respected and free – with no more fear of an ‘easy divorce’ looming large over their heads.
- Live respectfully in their society
- End the prevailing discrimination with them in the name of triple talaq.
And besides providing Muslim women an easy access to the above mentioned privileges, this grand verdict will also strengthen the secular foundation of India. And in the end I can only say that such a verdict should not be smeared with the color of religious intolerance and fanaticism and one should also not think that it has offended the spirit of Islam, rather I would say that it has preserved and maintained the sacredness and purity of Islam and it is not just the victory of Muslim women, it is also the victory of Islam itself.