The government has reacted sharply to accusations by the top decision-making body for Muslims which included titling Prime Minister Narendra Modi “a dictator” as part of its opposition to ending the practice of triple talaq.
“The real mood in this country is that people want triple talaq to end,” said senior minister Venkaiah Naidu today about the practice which allows Muslim men to divorce their wives by saying “talaq” three times.
The government told the Supreme Court last week that the process must end because it violates the dignity and right to equality of women.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) says Muslims must continue to be governed by their own civil laws on inheritance, marriage and divorce.
The Law Commission, which advises the government on legal reform, has asked for public feedback on the introduction of a uniform civil code.
This means that all religions and communities would be governed by the same family laws. Muslims and other minorities, like Christians and Parsis, would lose their existing right to apply their own civil code.
Mr Naidu said the Muslim Law Board is obstructing democracy by declaring its boycott of the call for public feedback to a questionnaire released online about the uniform civil code.
He also said “Some people are confusing the issue of triple talaq with Uniform Civil Code. They are entirely different.”
“It is this that is dictatorial,” said the minister, rebutting the organisation’s criticism of PM Modi and the government for seeking to impose majoritarianism on minorities.
A petition being considered by the Supreme Court, seeks an end to triple talaq, polygamy and ‘halala’, which mandates that if a woman wants to go back to her husband after a divorce, she must first consummate her marriage with another man.
Women’s rights activists have long called for reform of the Muslim personal law which they say discriminates against women. What they want instead is a well-defined law that criminalises polygamy, unilateral divorce and child marriage.
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