New Delhi: Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah addressed an audience on “Abolition of Triple Talaq – correction of a historic wrong” at the Constitution Club of India on Sunday.
Tracing the journey of the Act, Shah said that he had spoken on the issue of Triple Talaq when it was in the ordinance format and when it was a bill. He said that it was a proud moment for him to speak of the issue of Triple Talaq when it had finally been enacted by the Parliament.
Blaming the policy of appeasement for the opposition to the removal of Triple Talaq, he said that while removal of social evils is generally welcomed by society, it was appeasement that led to some opposition to the move.
Amit Shah asserted that social unity and holistic development are hampered because of appeasement. Calling appeasement a “shortcut”, he said that appeasement never leads to development.
Shah said that those who are left behind in the journey of development must be empowered, and that holistic, all-encompassing, last-mile development is the philosophy of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Giving the examples of nations that had abolished Triple Talaq, Shah said that several Islamic nations had already taken the step decades ago, and this proves that such a barbaric practice is not part of Islamic culture.
Praising the tenacity and decisiveness of the government, the home minister said that the road to ending Triple Talaq was not easy, as the Bill was not able to pass through Rajya Sabha multiple times. However, the government persisted with the passage of the Bill and was ultimately successful.
Commenting on the Constitutional Status of the issue, Amit Shah said that a five judge Constitution Bench had pronounced with a majority of 3-2 that the practice of Triple Talaq violates Article 14 of the Constitution – Equality before the law and equal protection of the law. Thus, Supreme Court itself has declared the practice of Triple Talaq to be illegal, unconstitutional, arbitrary and void.
Amit Shah said that a society must progress with time, otherwise it becomes stale. He also said that the abolition of Triple Talaq would ensure dignity and equality for crores of Muslim women.
Commenting on the aspect of imprisonment for the violation of the Act, Shah remarked that the correction of many social evils required the application of criminal laws – from Sati Pratha and child marriages to polygamy and dowry.
Regarding the maintenance of the aggrieved wife and children, Shah said that the husband will be required to provide for the wife he divorces through Triple Talaq, as well as their children.
Shah said that the law stipulates 3 years of imprisonment for violators, and bail is possible only after the aggrieved woman has had a chance to present her side to the court. Thus, this law empowers Muslim women in the truest sense of the word. Commenting on the results of a survey, Shah said that 92.1% Muslim women wanted Triple Talaq gone.
He said that he was proud of having voted against ending the social evil of Triple Talaq.
Shah stated that with the passage of the Act, the Prime Minister’s promise to the nation stands fulfilled. He also said that the world looks up to India with respect because of this move.
He remarked that great social reformers like Raja Rammohan Roy, Jyotiba Phule, Kavi Narmad Mahatma Gandhi, Veer Savarkar and Dr Ambedkar have all contributed to uplifting our society and removing social evils. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name would find a place in the list of great social reformers because of his leadership in the quest for abolishing the practice of Triple Talaq.