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The recent judgement of the honourable SC on Triple Talaq has definitely brought respite for many; it is to be celebrated as a victory of rationality over faith.
Considering the fact that I am not a Muslim women and neither have I been lashed out against with the harsh words of Talaq, Talaq, Talaq resulting from the capricious behaviour of a man whom I apparently married for life; I may not be the apt person to write this but my identity as a strong headed woman is enough to discuss my thoughts over this judgement of the honourable SC.
Amidst the whole cacophony of celebration, I am baffled over minority views put by forward by some judges in the panel especially the argument put forward by outgoing CJI J.S Khehar.
He said: “Merely because instant divorce is not expressly provided for or approved by the Quran, it cannot be a valid justification for setting aside the practice. It has been in vogue for roughly over 1400 years.”
So, what the CJI argues is a bit eccentric or more precisely, a fallacious argument. (Yes! It is no joke to make remarks about CJI arguments. Even I shudder.)
So, when our Constitution can be amended, why can’t interpretations of faith change as well? Here is my argument.
India has evolved with time and every day we emerge anew. So if learning and growing is a continuous process, why do we need to embrace an evil practice and continue with it for over 1400 years?
Women’s empowerment has been a subject of interest for many holy souls and they have worked diligently to get them their worth. Indian history is flooded with some remarkable examples of how practices that seemed correct and essential to our forefathers were abolished by reformers and the Constitution, thus giving respite to women and humanity as a whole. Here are a few of them.
Sati Practice: ‘Sati Pratha’ as it was known, was an obsolete Hindu funeral custom where a widow immolated herself on her husband’s pyre after his death. It was a horrendous death for a woman and most of us read and wrote answers on this issue when in school. Who can forget Raja Ram Mohan Roy for his relentless efforts in abolishing the practice of Sati Pratha for which he persuaded the British Government to pass an Act abolishing Sati? Due to his efforts, the Bengal Sati Regulation Act, 1829 was passed by Lord William Bentinck, who was the then Governor General of Bengal.
Widow Remarriage: History is clear on the pathetic condition of widows for centuries. They were not allowed to remarry and lived their lives with the vulnerability of being socially boycotted. Again, considering the need for this evil to be eradicated from society, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was one of the most remarkable social reformers of the 19th century. He worked persistently to elevate the position of women. For this purpose, he persuaded the British government to make a law legalizing widow remarriages; thus the Widow Remarriage Act, 1856 was passed which gave rights to widows to marry again and the child born out of such marriages were also considered to be legal.
Child marriage: This evil practice was widespread as we know from many anecdotes we have all heard from our grannies. It was in practice from the time of settlement in India and religiously practised by our ancestors as a custom. But the British Government on being persuaded by the great reformer Ishwar Chandra vidyasagar passed The Child Marriage Restraint Act in 1929.
Apart from the above examples there were many more like sacrifice of infants, treatment of ailments by superstition, female infanticide etc. Just because our forefathers at the behest of theirs, wrapped in illiteracy and an unscientific approach, followed these evil practices, should we also proceed with them citing their long duration of being in fashion?
We should all shrug off the plethora of rubbish and unscientific practices and stop giving excuses citing faith as a reason to follow them.
Let liberal souls prevail and let humanity grow as a whole.
Top image via Unsplash