A lot has been written about whether triple talaq is constitutionally valid or is endorsed by the religious scriptures. While these points could be debated and we might just touch these chords once or twice, I want to reason this out just on logical grounds.
At first, I want to address the proponents of this system. For a moment, Let’s assume that triple talaq is valid constitutionally and finds support in religious scriptures. Even then, it sounds extremely funny and whimsical practice to have. Triple talaq, as is practised in India today, gives Muslim men right to effect a divorce instantly simply by pronouncing talaq thrice. To keep up with technological advancement, this can also be effected over a call, message, email etc. Are you fucking kidding me? Are we still talking about the divorce? It takes more than this to prepare Maggi. It sounds more like Amazon’s return policy. If you do not like our product, you can instantly return our product. No questions asked. And that precisely is the problem. It treats women as mere products. As if they had no emotions.
Women are not products. If they get into marital bond, they should enjoy equal rights. By making men all powerful, we are reducing women to mere slaves. Add to it, the practice of polygamy and Halala. Polygamy allows Muslim men to keep upto 4 wives and Halala mandates that if a Muslim woman intends to marry her ex-husband, she must first marry a different individual, consummate that marriage and get divorced. While all these practices tend to curb the freedom of women, it gives unbridled power to men to torture and exploit. To my surprise, there are no corresponding powers to Muslim women in this regard. For example, if a religion allows polygamy, it should also be cool about polyandry, which is not the case. It is a sin for a woman to keep more than one husband simultaneously.
This makes the point very clear. Postulates of Islamic religion, atleast those that are practised today, have been designed by men to keep women at their beck and call. At the very basic level, both men and women are equal and should enjoy equal rights. Any institution which tries to put the interest of one over the other, is a medium for exploitation.
Those who advocate against triple talaq and other obsolete practices have every right to do so. Firstly, the practice of triple talaq has no religious validity.It is important here to distinguish the instant talaq or talaq-i-bidat, which allows for immediate talaq the moment this magical word is uttered thrice, from talaq ahsaan, which provides for 90 days abstinence for the time of pronouncement. Interestingly, the religion doesn’t endorse talaq-i-bidat. When the religion itself doesn’t support this practice, it doesn’t hold any constitutional validity in the name of religious secularism. That said, even if it was endorsed by religion, there was no harm to update our practices with the changing time.
If we go back in time, there was a time when the practise of Sati was prevalent amongst the Hindus. That practice too was lopsided. It failed the very basic check of rationality,i.e., does it provide equal rights to both men and women? That practice has long gone and gone for good. It’s time to weed out obsolete, exploitary and misogynist practices. Let’s start with Islam. Islam stands for purity and its time to remove all the adulterations that have crept in along the way.