SDPI held Press Conference; Opposed BJP Govt’s Move to pass the Talaq Bill

New Delhi, 7 February 2018:  Social Democratic Party of India conducted a press conference at Press Club of India, New Delhi and condemned and opposed the BJP government’s desperate attempts to pass the Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha. Party Vice President Adv. Sharfuddin Ahmad, General Secretaries Mohammad Shafi and Elyas Muhammad Thumbe, Secretary Yasmin Farouqui and National Committee Member Dr. Tasleem Ahmad Rahmani addressed the press conference.

In this regard the party has scheduled a month long intensive campaign across the country in February to oppose the BJP government’s move to pass the Talaq Bill [Muslim Women Bill 2017 (Protection of rights of marriage).

SDPI General Secretary Elyas Thumbe addressing the press conference at Press Club of India New Delhi
SDPI General Secretary Elyas Thumbe addressing the press conference at Press Club of India New Delhi

During their address in a press conference that the party held in the national capital at Press Club of India, New Delhi, the party leadership said, the Central government is running from pillar to post to pass the Triple Talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha on the fiction that it is going to help the beleaguered Muslim women. The bill gives powers to police to arrest Muslim men without warrant claiming it is an non-bailable offence prescribing three year imprisonment and to pay ‘monthly sustenance’ during imprisonment. This is BJP’s political gimmick and part of its agenda to polarize the votes.

The BJP Government which has been trying to curb the religious freedom and rights of different religious communities including Muslims through so called Uniform Civil Code is now trying to present as great reforming force. But it is interesting that the great propagandist Modi himself is known for leaving his wife on the lurch. Most other Sanghi leaders do not have even the experience of leading family life. Clearly the new born concern for justice is not just an exercise for gaining political mileage but also a part of implementation of its agenda to deny fundamental rights to the Muslims.

The BJP Government introduced and passed this bill in haste in the Lok Sabha on Dec 28 by throwing away all the legislative procedures. According to this bill, a Muslim woman can file a complaint in police station alleging that her husband pronounced ‘Talaq’ thrice at a time and the police can arrest the ‘alleged husband’ immediately without warrant and if the allegation proved he will be jailed for three years and has to pay monthly sustenance to his wife and children. Naturally the bill will give arbitrary powers to the police. There is no provision to check the reliability of the complaint by the woman. ‘Criminalizing’ the husband for a civil breach of law is draconian and harsh. How can he pay the ‘sustenance’ to his wife and family when he is in jail?

Supreme Court, in its recent judgment said uttering ‘talaq’ thrice at once is null and void as it is against the teachings of the Holy Quran. Most of the Ulema welcomed the decision of the apex court.  When a person pronounces ‘talaq’ thrice at once, the marriage will not become null and void once and for all according to the SC judgment. Then, is it not ridiculous to send a husband to jail on the reason that he has uttered triple talaq? This is absolutely against the spirit and meaning of the verdict of apex court and ridiculous too. Deviating from the past The BJP has tabled this bill without consulting Muslim organizations and without taking opinion from legal experts. This bill is not beneficial to Muslim women and will not provide them with freedom, security or justice. Instead, it satisfies the Hindutwa hordes who live on the blatant lies spread against the Muslim population and will be used for hate mongering.

The Modi regime very much interested in trampling up on Muslim personal laws that are when compared with existing family laws in the country more progressive and balanced. Divorce and desertion rate among Muslims when compared to other communities are low. BJP which claims to protect civil rights of the Hindus do not raise a finger against social practices which suppress women. It wants to create misunderstanding and conflict among the people by creating non-issues. They rent women with Muslim names to spread calumnies against Muslim men.

BJP government’s claim of ‘protecting Muslim women’ through this bill is fraudulent. Where was the government when the so called ‘Gow Rakshaks’ lynched the husbands of Muslim women and turned them into widows?  Where were the defenders of Muslim Women’s rights when hundreds of women and children were burned alive in communal riots? Where are the protectors of Hindu women when thousands of them are abandoned and forced to beg to feed their children? Where is the government when even their ministers practice polygamy against provisions of Hindu Code?

Social Democratic Party of India urges all the citizen of this nation to unite and oppose the hidden agenda of the BJP to ‘demonize Muslims’ and to raise the voice and tell the government in no uncertain terms to ‘STOP ASSAULT ON PERSONAL LAWS’.