02 March, 2021

A Lapse Of Marital Reason

The triple talaq debate pits divorce rights for ­Muslim women against the rights of minorities

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BJP Mahila Morcha activists protest against triple talaq
Photograph by Getty Images
A Lapse Of Marital Reason

The Allahabad High Court obser­ved this week that triple talaq is “cruel” and unconstitutional. Triple talaq—or, more accurately, instant triple talaq—is a practice wherein a Muslim man ­pronounces talaq thrice in one sitting, thereby ending his ­marriage ­irrevocably. Though acc­ounts of its pre­valence vary, many Muslim women now stand against it as a dehumanising practice. The Bharatiya Muslim ­Mahila ­Andolan (BMMA), which has approached the Supreme Court seeking a ban on instant triple talaq and wants it declared unconstitutional, has found in a recent survey of 4,710 women, of whom 525 were divorcees, that 346 were divorced by instant triple talaq. That is an overwhelming 65 per cent.

“Our survey clearly shows that instant triple talaq is the most common way to end a Muslim marriage in India,” says Zakia Soman, a BMMA activist. “In a constitutional democracy, the legal framework should be such that nobody is discriminated against on grounds of gender. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board...

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