In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi’s government passed the so called “The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act“. The objective of this Act of “protecting the rights” of Muslim women?
To subvert the verdict of the Supreme Court of India and make sure that Shah Bano, a Muslim woman over 60 years of age at the time, was thrown out by her husband without a penny to her name.
At that time, the Congress Party had 404 Lok Sabha seats.
Knock out the zero in the middle and you get 44, around a tenth of that number. That’s what Congress got in the 2014 elections.
And what did the nation get in return for knocking the Congress down from 404 seats to 44 seats?
The nation got Narendra Modi, who has now passed in the Lok Sabha The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017.
Unlike Rajiv Gandhi’s “Protection of Rights” bill for Muslim women, the name of Narendra Modi’s bill is not Orwellian. Triple Talaq has been criminalized. That means goodbye to things like this.
Muslim women can sleep peacefully now. Meanwhile, the Islamist patriarchs across the nation are waking up to the new reality of women who can choose to sleep at night.
In an instant, Narendra Modi has become the liberator of 8 crore Muslim women of India. Just for comparison, if these 8 crore women formed a country, its population would be the same as Germany, the most populous nation in Europe.
And things have come to such a pass that Rajiv Gandhi’s son dare not oppose this bill to grant freedom to Muslim women. They employed some delaying tactics, made some demands to send the bill to a committee and some long time courtiers like Salman Khurshid made the mistake of publicly admitting the party’s real sympathies. But their bluff was called rather easily. The Bill still needs to go to the Rajya Sabha where the party of Rajiv Gandhi’s son is more capable of doing mischief, but chances are that he won’t dare.
That is what the people of this nation get for reducing the Congress from 404 to 44. This is not about Hindus or Muslims alone or about men or women. Bringing 8 crore Muslim women into the mainstream, empowering them is a bonanza for every Indian no matter what his/her identity. Like I said, 8 crore people is roughly the population of Germany. The liberation of 8 crore citizens is not only a moral imperative, but an economic blessing for us all. A rising tide lifts all boats.
If you look at the numbers, what India has achieved today is nothing short of the end of apartheid in South Africa.
The stakeholders in the 70 year old establishment have projected it as a war on Muslims. That’s okay because these stakeholders used to benefit from things as they were. And they were okay with apartheid against Muslim women as long as it kept their benefactors in power in Delhi.
But it was *not* a war on Muslims. It was a battle against Islamist patriarchy.
We are all victims of this Islamist patriarchy in one way or the other. It is the Islamist patriarchy that teaches children in Palestine to hate Jews and children in Kashmir to hate Hindus. It is the Islamist patriarchy that ties suicide belts around children who have been raised with TV shows that glorify the murder of innocents.
This same Islamist patriarchy carries out things like the recent gangrape and murder of a woman in Jharkhand who refused to convert to the religion of her Muslim boyfriend, popularly called “love jihad”. The Islamist patriarchy carries out campaigns of subjugation against non-believers, particularly idol worshippers, such as the Sadhvi in Delhi who wants to sell her temple and run away. And yes, it was the same Islamist patriarchy that shot Malala Yousufzahi in the head.
And today, Islamist patriarchy has been shaken to the core by the passage of the Triple Talaq Bill. The Islamist patriarchy fuels paranoia in Muslim society about Jews, about non-believers, about America and what not. But, the real fear of the Islamist patriarchy is not one of these. Their real fear is liberated women.
For the Islamist patriarchy, this is the stuff nightmares are made off. The liberated women are coming!
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.