Merely three days after the Triple Talaq bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, the discussion over the revised bill which was presented today at the upper House of the Parliament was pushed to January 2 following Rajya Sabha being adjourned several times amid protests and the pandemonium created by the opposition.
As expected, contending that the bill targets the Muslim community, the opposition wanted it to go to a select committee for further scrutiny. The Congress contended that it won’t allow the bill to be passed in its current form.
The revised bill recommended by the government makes instant Triple Talaq, a practice followed by Muslim men to call for divorce by saying “Talaq” thrice, an offence, with a jail term up to three years and a fine for the husband.
It is mandatory that the bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha to become a law. But considering that the government does not have an absolute majority in the Upper House, this delay and ruckus by the opposition over the Bill were expected.
As soon as the Government presented the bill, the uproar erupted in the House. TMC leader, Derek O Brien stated that all opposition parties unanimously want the Bill to be sent to a select committee for proper scrutiny.
Speaking on similar lines, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “This is such an important bill which can positively or negatively affect the lives of crores of people can’t be passed just like this without going to a select committee.”
Earlier in the day, the Opposition parties had held a meeting and decided to demand that the bill is referred to the select committee for further deliberations.
The meeting, chaired by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad in his parliament house chamber, was attended among others by leaders of 12 opposition parties including Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav, TMC’s Derek O’Brien, CPI’s D. Raja and Kerala Congress’ Jose K. Mani.
Sources present in the meeting said that most of the parties present in the meeting were of the view that the bill needs to be sent to the select committee.
TDP supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu made an appeal to all his MPs to ‘obstruct the harassment of Muslims’.
“All Opposition parties should fight unitedly against the anti-Muslim attitude of BJP. The government forcibly imposing triple talaq bill is a danger for secularism and national integrity,” he said.
Meanwhile, agitated by the opposition, Union Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad asked Congress to not delay the passage of the Bill unnecessarily.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Vijay Goel maintained that though the government was ready for a discussion on the issue, Congress was creating hurdles in the passage of the legislation. Calling out Congress for its double-standards, Goel said that the Congress has earlier supported the bill in the Lok Sabha. “The Congress and other parties are only playing politics on this issue which is very important for ensuring the rights of married Muslim women,” he said.
The NDA government led by Narendra Modi decided to pass a bill after the historic judgement of the Supreme Court of India in the case of Shayara Bano vs Union of India. A five-judge bench of the court had outlawed triple talaq calling it is an ‘arbitrary’ practice.
Since then the Triple Talaq Bill has been facing several predicaments. Despite the government’s sincere efforts to put a stop to this misogynistic practice, the opposition, having a penchant of doing and saying the opposite of what Modi government says or does are unnecessarily delaying the process. They somehow do not realise the damages it’s bringing to the women of the Muslim community, which they patronise with or at least pretend to patronise with!