There is a lot of debate in India on the controversial concept of “Triple Talaq”, a fairly easy solution for Muslim men to divorce their spouse. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), a non-government organization has defended the right of Muslim men to be allowed “Triple Talaq” in Indian Supreme Court by stating various references from Islamic Jurisprudence. The right-wing Hindutva parties have heavily condemned the decision of AIMPLB to defend Triple Talaq. Even the All India Muslim Women’s Personal Law Board, a Muslim body formed to protect rights of Muslim Women have opposed the move of AIMPLB.
Allow “Triple Talaq” for Hindus, a growing demand
What is also very interesting to note is that, there is a growing demand among Hindu Indian men for applying “Triple Talaq” universally across India. Hindu Civil court in India allows divorce under very strict conditions and often it takes years of effort to get the divorce approved. During the process, both men and women go through immense amount of public humiliation as they have to reveal the intimate details of their marriage in public courts. The parents and relatives on both sides add fuel to the fire. The due course of the law, which runs for several years, results in severe health and psychological problems for couple. There have been cases, where suicides have occurred not because of failed marriage but rather public humiliation by parents and relatives. Not to forget, years of court battle for divorce means, both the man and women will lose out their precious years of productive life, which they could have potentially spent with another partner.
Hence, there is a growing demand within Hindu men for allowing the concept of “Triple Talaq”. They find it a better solution to resolve the marriage rather than fighting it out in courts. Some have argued that, a growing democracy like India should move in the direction of easing the rules rather than creating complex laws. Allowing “Triple Talaq” to Hindu men would resolve thousands of pending divorces in India, not only saving millions of tax payer’s money (for running the courts in India) but also improve the happiness index of India.
Why Should a Court decide the fate of marriage?
When two people marry in India, they don’t seek the permission of the civil court to decide whether they are compatible for marriage or not. The decision to marry is purely based on the mutual agreement between the couple. However, for a couple to end their marriage, why should there be any involvement of court?
Majority of the marriages in India happen through a system called “arranged marriage”. For the “arranged marriage” system to work in India, it’s important that, divorce should be made as difficult as possible. So, whenever there are disputes among the couple, the parents and relatives intervene and apply pressure on the couple to make their marriage work. This system has been working since ages in India. However, in recent times, the love marriages are on rise in India and increasingly the couple aren’t authorizing their parents and relatives to decide the fate of the marriage. This is leading to increase in divorce rate in India.
The urban couples want each solutions for dissolving marriage such as pre-nuptial agreement, which are absent in Indian laws.
Isn’t “TRIPLE TALAQ” discriminating against women?
Islam provides a beautiful solution for marriage, where the couple have the flexibility of getting into a marriage or moving out of it, without washing their dirty linen in public courts. Islam provides both men and women the right to come out of the marriage. Can “Triple Talaq” be abused by men? Of course, “Triple Talaq” can be abused by men, when the women chose to behave stupidly. Islam gives the right to women to seek “Mahr”, a mandatory monetary amount as a contractual agreement for accepting the marriage with the man. A husband cannot dissolve a marriage via Triple Talaq unless Mahr is paid to women. There is no maximum monetary limit on the value of Mahr but the minimum amount of the Mahr should be sufficient for the women to survive independently in case of death of husband or potential divorce. And every Muslim marriage in India happen only after the mutual agreement between groom and bride about the monetary value of Mahr. Intelligent women seek about 2-3 years of man’s earning as Mahr.
Unfortunately, majority of the women in India do not seek a deserving value of Mahr. They seek a small amount under pressure from their own parents or due to pressure from the society. A women who is seeking higher Mahr is considered as greedy or selfish. This is in complete contradiction with Islam. Islam grants the full right for the Muslim women to seek deserving Mahr and reject the marriage proposal if the groom isn’t willing to pay a deserving Mahr. It is important for organisations such as All India Muslim Women’s Personal Law Board to create awareness about Mahr among women.
So, what are Muslims in India demanding?
There are two key demands of the Muslims in India:
- Muslims want the concept of “Triple Talaq” to be applied universally across India, irrespective of whether the couple follows Islam or not. Muslims strongly believe it will help all the communities.
- Muslims want the concept of Mahr to be applied universally across India, irrespective of whether the couple follows Islam or not. Muslims are “OK” for the courts to decide a minimum value of the Mahr. One strong suggestion is that, the minimum value of Mahr can be around 2 times the annual salary of the man during the time of marriage.