In a historic move, the Lok Sabha yesterday passed a bill criminalising triple talaq even as some in the opposition demanded changes in the bill. While it was relatively smooth sailing in the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha may provide a sterner test since the ruling party BJP does not have a majority on its own in the upper house. In the lower house, besides some bizarre arguments, most of the lawmakers supported the bill:
interesting idea by @SatpathyLive -if a muslim says talaq thrice and goes to jail for three years, there should be certain words like that for hindus too. the hindu inspector of police should not create a problem
— sunetra choudhury (@sunetrac) December 28, 2017
Even so, via social media, and TV debates, some myths about the bill are being spread. This is an attempt to address those myths:
1. Myth: Banning Triple Talaq is anti-Islamic
Fact: In non-secular countries like Alegria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, UAE, where Islam is the official religion, Triple Talaq has been de-recognised by the local law, years ago. Further, Arab states like Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen along with southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines have also enacted laws against the muslim divorce practice.
2. Myth: Criminalising Triple Talaq is too harsh
Fact: We dont have to move too far. Two of India’s neighboring countries, both Islamic republics, Pakistan and Bangladesh have a law in place which states that anyone violating the law (which outlaws triple talaq), can face imprisonment which may extend upto 1 year.
3. Myth: The bill was passed without consulting the community.
This claim was even made by senior lawyers like Indira Jaisingh:
No consultation with the community , is this how a bill is passed ?
— indira jaising (@IJaising) December 28, 2017
Fact: Way back in October 2016 the Law Commission had issed a detailed questionnarie on the issue of Uniform Civil Code as well Triple Talaq, asking for comments from the public at large, including the stakeholders of the Muslim community. It asked whether the practice of triple talaq be abolished, retained or retained with suitable amendments.
4. Myth: There is no mechanism for compensation to the wife
Fact: The bill in itself is very short and it is surprising how this claim is being made. The bill has a clear provision, which allows for a subsistence allowance: