The National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma hit out at the Congress for opposing the ‘Triple Talaq’ bill after a fresh bill to ban the practice of instant divorce was introduced in the 17th Lok Sabha by Patna Sahib MP and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday.
Talking to Republic, Sharma said that in a letter she received from Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, the members requested her to push for their requests pertaining to the triple talaq bill. Their requests were not only to stand against the triple talaq, but also against the halala system, which contributes to the exploitation of women by men:
“The Muslim women who wrote to me wanted the bill to be passed. Not only they want the bill to be passed against triple talaq, but also against halala.”
She further stated that under the halala system has ruined the lives of many women as men get married for a reason and later leave them by declaring the triple talaq, which affects the women as they are left to fend for themselves:
"Women are target for many men who want to get married for one vile reason and then leave them in a night, without a house and without children."
Hitting out at the ones opposing the bill, Sharma said that they have never considered taking into account the situation of Muslim women due to the triple talaq. The voices of these women go unheard, said Sharma as she slammed the opposing members of parliament for engaging in political gimmicks by the opposition:
"The ones opposing the move are doing just for the sake of doing it. Many women have approached us on the issue since years." she said
Asserting that the triple talaq practise is not even legal in the present scenario, Sharma questioned the Congress's move of appeasing minorities, by implying that even Muslim women should be considered since they account for almost 50 percent of votes. Even so, Sharma hit out by saying that appeasement politics don't work out:
"The people are aware of appeasement politics and they have kept away from such practises by politicians. The recent Lok Sabha elections is an example how appeasing people for votes has miserably failed."
She maintained that politicians should stress their focus on welfare instead of appeasement. Sharma is a staunch supporter for passing the triple talaq bill and says that the whole issue has never been about religion, but about some serious issues faced by women. She concluded by saying that keeping apart the religions, the laws should work in everyone's favour.
"If there's a law for welfare of hindu women, then why isn't the same in case of muslim women?." she said
The NCW chief concluded by saying that she does not speak for any political party when it comes to an issue like this. She urged that based on the situation of women who are badly affected by the triple talaq, the bill needs to be passed without considering the opinions of the political leaders opposing. Meanwhile, the opposition has been speaking against the passing of the bill by maintaining that men will be targeted. Earlier on Thursday, President Ram Nath Kovind said that eradication of social evils like 'Triple Talaq' and 'Nikah-Halala' is imperative for ensuring equal rights for women in the country.
The Congress party-led by Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor has opposed the introduction of the bill in the Parliament. Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi also opposed the introduction of the bill, giving the 'violation of Article 15 and 16' one of the reason. He also said that the bill won't empower women.