IMO News Service
New Delhi: Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) held a press conference here at Press Club of India on 7th February 2018 to condemn and oppose the Narendra Modi government’s desperate attempts to pass the Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha. The press conference was addressed among others by SDPI Vice President Adv. Sharfuddin Ahmad; Mohammad Shafi and Elyas Muhammad Thumbe (both General Secretary); Yasmin Farouqui, Secretary; and Dr. Tasleem Ahmad Rahmani, National Committee Member.
Earlier, SDPI will be organizing a month-long intensive India-wide campaign this February to oppose the BJP government’s move to pass the Talaq Bill [Muslim Women Bill 2017 (Protection of rights of marriage).
The party leadership unanimously said that the Central government is running from pillar to post to pass the Triple Talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha on the premise that it is going to help the beleaguered Muslim women. The bill gives powers to police to arrest Muslim men without warrant treating it to be a non-bailable offence, prescribing 3-year imprisonment, and to pay ‘monthly sustenance’ during imprisonment. This is nothing but BJP’s political gimmick and part of its agenda to polarize the votes.
“The BJP government, which has been trying to curb the religious freedom and rights of different religious communities including Muslims through so called Uniform Civil Code, is now trying to present as great reforming force. But it is interesting that the great propagandist Modi himself is known for leaving his wife in the lurch. Even most other Sanghi leaders do not have the experience of either leading or rearing a family of their own. Clearly, the nascent concern for justice is not just an exercise for gaining political mileage but also a part of implementation of its agenda to deny fundamental rights to the Muslims,” said the party leaders.
It may be recalled that the BJP government introduced and passed this bill in haste in the Lok Sabha on 28th December 2017 by throwing away all the legislative procedures. According to this bill, a Muslim woman can file a complaint in police station alleging that her husband pronounced ‘Talaq’ thrice instantly and the police can arrest the ‘alleged husband’ immediately without warrant, and if the allegation is proved he will be jailed for three years and has to pay monthly sustenance to his wife and children. The bill has therefore been designed to give arbitrary powers to the police. There is no provision to check the reliability of the complaint by the woman. ‘Criminalizing’ the husband for a civil breach of law is draconian and harsh. How can he pay the ‘sustenance’ to his wife and family when he is in jail?
Supreme Court, in its recent judgment, said uttering ‘Talaq’ thrice at one go is null and void as strictly against the teachings of the Holy Quran. Most of the Muslim Ulema have however welcomed the decision of the apex court.
“When a person pronounces ‘Talaq’ thrice at once, the marriage will not become null and void once and for all, according to the SC judgment. Then, is it not ridiculous to send a husband to jail on the reason that he has uttered Triple Talaq? This is absolutely against the spirit and meaning of the verdict of apex court and ridiculous too. Deviating from the past The BJP has tabled this bill without consulting Muslim organizations and without taking opinion from legal experts. This bill is not beneficial to Muslim women and will not provide them with freedom, security or justice. Instead, it satisfies the Hindutwa hordes who live on the blatant lies spread against the Muslim population and will be used for hate mongering,” the SDPI leaders argued.
SDPI Vice President Adv. Sharfuddin Ahmad said, “The Modi regime very much interested in trampling up on Muslim personal laws that are when compared with existing family laws in the country more progressive and balanced. Divorce and desertion rate among Muslims when compared to other communities are low. BJP, which claims to protect civil rights of the Hindus, do not raise a finger against social practices which suppress women. It wants to create misunderstanding and conflict among the people by creating non-issues. They rent women with Muslim names to spread calumnies against Muslim men.”
The SDPI leaders have alleged that BJP government’s claim of ‘protecting Muslim women’ through this bill is fraudulent. “Where was the government when the so called ‘Gau Rakshaks’ (Cow Protectors) lynched the husbands of Muslim women and turned them into widows? Where were the defenders of Muslim Women’s rights when hundreds of women and children were burned alive in communal riots? Where are the protectors of Hindu women when thousands of them are abandoned and forced to beg to feed their children? Where is the government when even their ministers practice polygamy against provisions of Hindu Code?” the SDPI asked Modi government while addressing the press conference.
Social Democratic Party of India has urged all the citizens of India to unite and oppose the hidden agenda of the BJP to ‘demonize Muslims’ and to raise the voice and tell the government in no uncertain terms to stop assault on Muslim Personal Laws.