Rally in Bidar against move to amend Muslim marriage laws

Nasir Ustad, Janata Dal(S) leader, speaking at a rally, Jaan Se Badhkar Hamari Shariat, to oppose changes to Shariatlaws in Bidar.— PHOTO: GOPICHAND T.  

Muslim Shabban Tehreek organised a rally, Jaan Se Badhkar Hamari Shariat, in Bidar on Sunday, to protest against the Union government’s move to amend traditional Muslim marriage practices.

Members opposed the move on the grounds that any change should come from inside the community and not be forced upon by the government. Some speakers said that Shariat was not a man made law to be amended. Some others even felt this was a sign of an oppressive majority regime harassing minorities, in the name of legislative reforms.

Nasir Ustad, Janata Dal(S) leader from Kalaburagi, presented a detailed case against amendments to the Shariat law. He said that the provisions relating to divorce among Muslims were easier as the procedures for marriage and remarriage were easier.

He said that it was a misconception that Shariat laws did not guarantee gender justice. Divorce and polygamy rates are the lowest among Muslims in India according to a Union government survey of 2011. This proves that Shariat has ensured gender justice, he said.

He said that Prophet Mohammad gave equal property rights to daughters and wives and daughters-in-law 1,400 years ago. There is no evidence of any other religion doing so, Mr. Ustad said. “Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was among the leaders responsible for introduction of Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution, was never in favour of imposing a Uniform Civil Code,” he said.

He suspected that the NDA government was not making any just and fair attempts at drafting a Uniform Civil Code for all communities. They are using this only as an excuse to hurt minority sentiments and make the minorities feel inferior to others, he said. “But then, minorities in India will go according to Ambedkar’s Constitution and not as per the whims and fancies of communal leaders,” he said.

He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had no moral right to talk about the alleged injustices suffered by women from minority communities, as “a man who ‘deserts his wife’ and remains unapologetic about it should not talk about protection to women and gender justice”. Look inside your home first, and introspect. Take your wife on foreign tours as other leaders including U.S. President Barak Obama do. Then, you will understand the plight of women,” Mr. Ustad said.

B. Narayan Rao, Backward Classes leader, said that Shariat was not a man-made law that could be changed at will. “It is a law mandated by God and therefore, cannot be changed,” he said.

“Communal forces among caste Hindus are committing untold atrocities on Dalits and backward classes. But the Union government is worried about amending the Muslim personal laws rather than stop the atrocities on the deprived classes,’’ he said.

Communal forces tolerate marriages between rich elite Hindus and Muslims if it benefits them, but scoff at Hindu and Muslim boys and girls who develop innocent friendships. This hypocrisy should be exposed, he said.

“Caste Hindus are targeting the minorities now. They will target the Dalits and backward classes tomorrow. We should all remain united in such trying times,” Mr. Rao said.

Mustaq Mallik, Tehreek president, said that any attempt to change Shariyat laws could lead to internal disturbances. Shariyat is like a burning flame. If the Sangh Parivar tries to change it, it will burn its hands, he said. He said that Muslims may face allegations of not following the Shariyat fully. But no one can question the purity of faith, he added.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 4:05:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Rally-in-Bidar-against-move-to-amend-Muslim-marriage-laws/article16074465.ece

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