From Narendra Modi to Yasoob Abbas: Voices on triple talaq

Most politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the verdict should not be linked to any faith.

Published: 22nd August 2017 09:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2017 10:45 PM   |  A+A-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PTI

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Supreme Court’s historic verdict scrapping instant triple talaq seemed to have almost melted political, social and communal differences as was visible from how nearly all quarters of society welcomed the judgment. 

Reactions of Politicians

Most politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the verdict should not be linked to any faith. Soon after the judgment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Judgment of the Hon'ble SC on Triple Talaq is historic. It grants equality to Muslim women and is a powerful measure for women empowerment.” Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi also hailed the judgment in a tweet which stated, “Welcome the Supreme Court decision setting aside instant #TripleTalaq. I congratulate the women who fought for justice.”

This historic decision of the court was welcomed by politicians of a different spectrum. BSP chief Mayawati came out in support of the judgment, saying “BSP welcomes the verdict. It would have been good if the Muslim Personal Law Board acted in the matter, but they didn’t.”  Asaduddin Owaisi, President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) said, “We have to respect the judgment. It is going to be a great herculean task to implement this on ground”.

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the verdict was an indication of an emerging new India and hailed Muslim women for taking up the legal battle. Talking to journalists, Prasad said, “There is a great sense of personal fulfillment. But we need to salute the Muslim women today who fought for it. I have to compliment their courage. This indicates the emergence of New India. This is not the matter of any religion. The point here is about the gender equality, gender justice and gender dignity. This is the victory of India’s constitutional values.” 

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the instant triple talaq issue should not be looked at as a matter of religion but as a matter of social reform. He said, “We should not adopt a rigid attitude, but choose a reformist approach towards social evil. The central government will talk to all the political parties on framing a law on this issue.” The verdict was also welcomed by Naqvi’s sister Farhat, who was divorced by her husband for allegedly giving birth to a girl child and now runs a non-political voluntary organisation for the welfare of the victims of triple talaq and domestic violence. She said, “This is the first-ever verdict in favour of Muslim women.” 

Others who hailed the verdict included Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, BJP President Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and many of his state ministers. Shah said, “This verdict is historic, it’s not about anyone’s win or loss. I welcome this on behalf of the party.” Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, while welcoming the judgment also appealed the Central government to bring in a new law for triple talaq. Chauhan said, “Welcome SC’s judgment, request Central Govt to bring in a legislation soon, said MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.”

Reactions of scholars and other intellectuals

Among the many historians who praised the verdict were historians Irfan Habib and Ramachandra Guha. Habib termed the verdict “sensible” and said, “SC verdict looks sensible. It is instant triple talaq which is an absurd innovation and has been legitimised in India by many clerics.  Triple talaq in itself is a complicated process, which can't be easily misused. That is why some mullahs legitimised instant triple talaq. All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMLB) should go along the verdict and work seriously for its enforcement. SC did something which AIMPLB should have done long back.”  Guha praised the verdict, saying, “The Supreme Court has done absolutely the right thing by declaring triple talaq illegal and unconstitutional. It is an obnoxious practice.”

Former Chief Information Officer Wajahat Habibullah and former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi were also the eminent personalities who were all praised for the verdict. Quraishi, however, said, “AIMLB  lost an opportunity to introduce the reform itself.” Habibullah termed it a “very good decision” but said if the government decides to make a law for this as recommended by the SC, “government should decide to hold consultations not just with AIMLB but also Muslim intellectuals like lawyers and professors and then frame a law based on Quranic principles.”

Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap said the judgment was long overdue. “This judgment should we welcomed by all-well meaning individuals across communities. All these years, several fundamental rights of Muslim women were being violated in the name of the Personal law. The verdict has shown the Personal law is not supreme, the Constitution of India is supreme.” Renowned actor Shabana Azmi tweeted, “ I welcome the Supreme Court judgment on instant triple talaq. It’s a victory for brave Muslim women who have waged battle against it for years.”

Reactions from Muslim Organisations

General Secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Wali Rehmani said, “We have mixed reaction on the verdict. The verdict is contradictory. At one place, it states that personal laws are protected and won’t be interfered with but then it has ruled that triple talaq won’t be allowed. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has convened a meeting on September 10 in Bhopal to discuss the Supreme Court verdict on triple talaq and chalk out the future strategy on the issue.”

Spokesperson of Shia Personal Law Board Maulana Yasoob Abbas said, “Shia Personal Law Board has been fighting against instant triple talaq since 2007. We welcome this verdict. It is a great step to empower women.”

President of All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board Shaista Amber said, “The Supreme Court decision is historic, it is the victory of women in the country. But more than that, it is the victory of Islam.The apex court’s verdict has come as a big relief for Muslim women who have been at the receiving end of this practice.”

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