Triple Talaq: BJP bites the bullet
In My View

Triple Talaq: BJP bites the bullet

P.C. Punnen

P.C. Punnen

Just a few days back the Rajya Sabha passed the Muslim Women's Bill. This was the third attempt by the ruling BJP. The passing of the bill came as a surprise because the BJP and its allies lack the appropriate number in the Rajya Sabha.  Despite this, it got passed. Some Opposition members abstained from voting and that ensured the success of the attempt. Some Congress, NCP, and RJD members were among those who abstained.

The Supreme Court last year said instant divorce was unconstitutional and a denial of Muslim women their basic right. Nobody opposed it.

The BJP introduced the Bill criminalising a rotten practice like Talaq, Talaq, Talaq to divorce women. That is definitely a political move. Whether it is required or not is a different issue. A vast majority of Muslim women ought to support the BJP for that new law which Muslim fundamentalists will oppose. The Congress and the CPM and other political parties in the Opposition cannot either oppose the Bill or support it. Viewed in this angle, the clever move by the BJP puts the Congress and the Left parties in a dilemma; they cannot question the law; the President is supposed to sign the law banning Talaq, Talaq, Talaq. It is undoubtedly an archaic practice in a socialist country's Muslim population.

Three years imprisonment is to be given to the man who says Talaq , Talaq, Talaq to divorce his wife. This is not done in other communities. Besides this, in other Muslim countries like Pakistan it has already been banned. So the argument that it is against the Muslims does not pass muster in a way because if it is converted from a criminal case to a civil one the punishment will be delayed.

A few Congressmen and Communists argue that to convert it to a criminal offence is against Muslims and principles. How it will turn out we can't say but whatever be the court verdict, it will only help the BJP.

Congress faced the problem years ago during Jawaharlal Nehru's time. He insisted on introducing a law for the Hindu community but a few Congress men opposed it. It was introduced in Parliament and passed but the then President Rajendra Prasad refused to sign it, though ultimately he had to. It was a victory for Nehru. He could have introduced a similar Bill in the case of Muslims and other minority communities but somehow didn't do that.

The Muslim community, except in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, is in dire straits. They don't have jobs, they don't have the required education and so they are backward.  This is despite the fact that Muslims have always been with the Congress; maybe for the lack of an alternative. In the election scene the BJP treats them very badly. The Muslims hardly figure in their list of candidates. MLAs and MPs are very few from that community in BJP. Congress was following a policy of appeasement at least in words. It has ruled the country for decades, and therefore is answerable for the Muslims' bad condition.

The Uniform Civil Code is essential in a country of 130 crore people comprising many religions which are divided by caste and fighting- a bad sign of things to come.

Congress is to blame for the appeasement of minorities and for all the problems the country faces. Take the Shah Bano case or the Babri Masjid one. Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao were almost responsible for the riots that occurred in the country which the Muslims will never forgive. Unfortunately, there is no point in taking it out on the Congress as only a few top leaders are responsible. Taking it out on the BJP will not help them either; in short, they are doomed.

Take the case of Kerala. The educational institutions are mostly held by Christians. Their standing and the principles are vastly improved and different from what their founders, the missionaries, had envisioned. They were never set up for conversion; they were to educate illiterate men and women. Today, they are entirely different.  The institutions which were set up for English education, irrespective of caste, are controlled by experts in hoodwinking. The least said the better about them!

The nation is, in a nutshell, in a crisis. After Nehru, the Congress didn't have a strong leader with a vision. The present PM is no match to Nehru. The difference between them is like the one between chalk and cheese. But given the present situation that the country is facing, it has to be said he shows the courage to bite the bullet. We have to back him despite the anti-Muslim and RSS background of his colleagues

We have no choice, and that is the truth. Muslims are facing a great crisis. So be it. It is the result of the Congress doublespeak and Muslim leaders’ lack of awareness of things likely to come. I see no end to this crisis.