The question of Triple Talaq and PMs Concern for his Muslim sisters

27 Oct. Sara Abubakar, a well-known Kannada writer writes about Triple Talaq in today’s (27 Oct. 2016) Prajavani Kannada daily. The things she refers to are atrocious! I mean she quotes a few Muslim leaders in Kerala – who justify polygamy (or polygyny) in the name of menstruation.

One of those prominent Muslim leaders feels that women have menstrual cycles every (approximately) 28-32 days. And, men have a right for their sexual pleasures even on those days! (Therefore, he needs multiple wives!) Now, that is atrocious. These guys simply are blind to human dignity. And that is why some like him, justify taking multiple wives, as if they were taking multiple cats and dogs.

That brings me to the question, is triple talaq justified? (Talaq is a practice among some Muslims. Here,  a man, who wants to divorce his wife, may pronounce the word ‘talaq’ three times, and divorce takes place) The wife has no say in a talaq. It could be said in a letter, over a phone call, in an email, etc., and there are instances of it. In fact, Sara Abubakar cites an example from her life where a man wrote a letter to his wife with ‘talaq’ three times, and the mother of the wife was heart-broken. But there was no escaping the unilateral divorce! Abubakar also says Islamic countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, a few Arabic countries have done away with talaq. Then why not India?

In this context, BJP government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative on doing away with triple talaq is praiseworthy. Modi has gone a step ahead proclaiming that he won’t tolerate his Muslim sisters being subjugated to such inhumanities! Bravo, Modi. When did these Muslim women become your sisters?

Sisters! Remember Godhra 2002? They were not your sisters and brothers (or call it ‘brothers-in-law’, if you don’t like it)? Remember your statement to a reporter who asked if you felt remorse over Gujarat pogrom? You compared the very Muslims -the victims of state-sponsored genocide- to dogs! Bravo, Prime Minister!

So, what is behind your ‘Fake‘ concern for your Muslim sisters? The impending Uttar Pradesh elections, which are hardly 4-5 months away? Probably, this will serve you in multiple ways: it will divide the Muslim community and fetch you a big part of the huge Muslim vote bank. May be it will portray as Muslim men (and by extension, the entire Muslim community) as evil, ‘sexually dangerous’, deviant and villainous. May be, it will portray you as the saviour of women (whom your own right-wing keeps attacking), and of minorities and secular-minded citizens (whom your minions keep assaulting all the time as ‘sick-ular’, and you are so happy about it!). May be it will pitch you as someone standing for human rights, even if Gujarat looms large! Bravo, Modi.

One more thing: how much of your concern for women is genuine? There is Jashodaben, your wife in Gujarat, eagerly waiting for you to return to her and accept her as your wife, and you simply refuse even acknowledge her your wife! She tried convincing you to accept her through the media; you turned a deaf ear. It was married to you for no fault of hers; it is the custom of the society you came from; besides, you married her, then!

Mrs Jashodaben filed RTI applications asking for your details to know what marital status you had mentioned of your own self in the documents like your Passport and election nominations. But even these are turned down. You know, RTI applications can’t be rejected unless they are against the country’s security. It is mandatory to provide information; and Mrs Jashodaben is an aggrieved party. But you are a politician and know how to beat the system.

While I support your crusade for your “suffering Muslim sisters” in the run up to the UP elections, I want to plead your caring self to accept your wife Jashodaben. And accept her publicly. Please, for the sake of the many suffering Hindu  sisters, who are married much before they know what is marriage, who are married without their consent, who are married because your society has constructed a custom to support the exploiting patriarchy. Please, will you?

Before you or I forget, you remember that lady from Bangalore, whom your Gujarat police followed? That lady, whom you sanctioned contracts when you were chief minister of Gujarat? That lady, who was followed by your police at the behest of the president of your party (then in Gujarat, and now at the national level), for he said, ‘saab ko uski zaroothi hai‘ (The boss needs her)?

Accept her, to avoid such unfortunate things done to women! She will be happy, and so will be Mrs Jashodaben.

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