Signature campaign against ‘Oral Talaq’ gains support - The New Indian Express

Signature campaign against ‘Oral Talaq’ gains support

Published: 21st November 2012 12:31 PM

Last Updated: 21st November 2012 12:31 PM

Muslim women across the State are coming forward in large numbers to demand abolition of unilateral divorce or ‘Oral Talaq’ and codification of the Muslim Personal Law (MPL).

Hundreds of women under the banner of Odisha chapter of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) and the Bold Initiative Research and Documentation (BIRD) came together to raise their voice through a signature campaign held simultaneously in four districts of Cuttack, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Khurda. 

The campaign which also conducted a survey among the participants on the issue saw an overwhelming 83 per cent of Muslim women condemning the practice of unilateral divorce and vehemently sought its abolition while 10 per cent chose to reserve comment for fear of socio-religious repercussions and action against them.

The rest 7 per cent supported oral talaq and argued that Muslim women should remain indoors and practice purdah instead of interfering in religious matters. But they were unable to justify their stance in the light of the Quranic injunctions, State Convenor of BMMA Farhat Amin stated.

To put an end to this practice, the BMMA has been mobilising opinion among the community to demand codification of the Muslim family law and has brought out a draft on the matter. The organisation has urged the Central and State governments to declare the practice of unilateral divorce by husband or anybody illegal and make arbitration in divorce mandatory.

Talaq Ahsan, form of divorce, as mentioned in the Holy Quran be accepted and practiced as the method of divorce for husband and wife, the BMMA has demanded.

 “The BMMA has been receiving many cases including queer methods adopted for oral and unilateral divorce of women by their husbands. Apart from oral talaq, there are many instances where women are divorced through SMS, email, phone calls and letters, etc. In an instance, even a father-in-law stood for divorce on behalf of his son,” Amin said.

Quranic injunctions stipulate arbitration before divorce but this is not being followed due to vested interests as a result of which Muslim women are deprived of their rights and subjected to severe harassment.

The BIRD also organised a puppet show ‘Teen Shabdh Zeher ki’ (three poisonous words) during the campaign in the districts on Tuesday. A mass rally would be organised in Mumbai in December to call for abolition of the practice.

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