Tirple talaq verdict: Sense of vindication for activists

Arif Mohammad Khan. File photo   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

Arif Mohammad Khan, who quit the Rajiv Gandhi Cabinet in 1986 over the government’s stand on the Shah Bano case, is a satisfied man after the Supreme Court verdict against instant triple talaq.

“Honestly, today we are not in a position to realistically assess the impact this judgment will have on our social and national life. Muslim women have fought against great odds. Today, they are an inspiration to all women not to cede their rights. The message will go not just to Muslim men but to all men to beware,” Mr. Khan, who delivered a stirring speech defending the Shah Bano judgment in 1986, told The Hindu.

“Shah Bano case happened at a time when literacy rates were alarmingly low; women were not aware. It had a trickle-down impact. In 1986, no one would put their neck out. Today, I am not needed; women themselves are capable of fighting their battle,” he said.

He said it would not take 30 years for the change to reflect on ground.

Mr. Khan, who joined the BJP in 2004, but quit it three years later, said the government’s role needed to be acknowledged.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi supported Muslim women; the government’s own affidavit took their side. The entire credit for this judgment lies with Muslim women and their lone struggle. At the same time, the government’s positive role cannot be denied,” he added.

A step forward

Legal activists too welcomed the judgment.

“This battle has been going on for 25 years now. It began with the Mary Roy judgment [1986] against inheritance laws, which, till then, were biased towards sons. It resurfaced during the Geeta Hariharan judgment [2015] that gave rights to mothers to be sole guardians of their children. Today’s judgment is also a step forward,” said Indira Jaising, counsel for Muslim women petitioners.

AIMPLB exposed

Historian and social commentator S.I. Habib said had the All India Muslim Personal Law Board initiated reforms, things would not have come to this.

“These women had first knocked on the doors of the AIMPLB, which ignored and mocked them. This situation would not have arisen had the Board, whose members claim to be leaders of Indian Muslims, had acted on the issue long ago. Instant triple talaq is an un-Islamic practice. And the triple talaq that the Koran recommends is a complicated and complex method that all maulvis simply ignore,” Mr. Habib said.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 2:27:40 AM |

Next Story