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Religion and govt love things in triplicate

A non-nonsense Q&A on Triple Talaq and Uniform Civil Code

Chennai, Oct 19: Triple Talaq and the Uniform Civil Code are making controversial headlines again. As with most matters, the general public is uninformed on these too because most of the time it is getting its information from the wrong sources — internet, WhatsApp forwards and news outlets that are mostly dependent on internet and WA fwds. We at Crank’s News are different though. We don’t trust second-hand sources, we generally make up our information. Here we step in to clear the existing confusions by creating totally new ones.

In typical Q & A format, Crank’s News addresses the important issues in the Triple Talaq system in typical non-nonsense, irresponsible way. Being a subject of religious sensitivity, we know one thing for sure: No matter what, some group somewhere will surely take offence. Further, this piece also contains stuff that may offend a group that also comprise people who are generally more touchy than religious guys. But prudence demands that we don’t directly identify them as advocates.

1) Give us a broad background to this Triple Talaq issue

Ans: Triple Talaq is a simple procedure by which a Muslim man can divorce his wife. All he has to do is utter ‘talaq‘ three times. This makes it clear that be it religion or government, doing things in triplicate is extremely important.

2) What are the grounds of opposing the Triple Talaq?

Ans: Quite obviously, Triple Talaq flies in the face of all canons of modern justice sytem that make it mandatory for judicial processes, as guaranteed in the Constitution, to be extremely complex. Article 22/7 of the Constitution lays it all down pretty clearly: All matters pertaining to the judicial system, ipso facto, will sedulously have to be made difficult to understand by various methods, including by use of strange phrases from Latin, a language that is dead for centuries.

On a slightly more sombre note, the Triple Talaq system, it has been argued, works against the interests of women. But as people who lay down the rules, should we be allowed to be distracted by such extraneous and irrelevant arguments is the larger question that men folks are having to ponder.

But lest it be construed that Triple Talaq will signal the end to all ties between a woman and her husband, there is room in the system for them to become conjugal couples again, provided the woman marries another man and who subsequently divorces her. Seriously, this is the rule.

Anyway, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has taken a pragmatic and the most reasonable women-centric view in this matter.

3. Q: What are they?

Ans: AIMPLB has made a strong case that the Triple Talaq is in favour of women by its very nature. In an affidavit filed with the Supreme Court in the Shayara Bano Vs Union of India & others case, the AIMPLB said Triple Talaq is the most desirable practice for getting divorce because it keeps lawyers and courts totally out of it. Okay, it didn’t say this, but it did argue that the Triple Talaq system is actually beneficial to women.

Going against the general principle of Crank’s News, we, for the first time, are going to use facts here. These are the real reasons that the AIMPLB gave in an affidavit to the Supreme Court:  1. Granting husband the right to divorce indirectly provides security to wife. 2. Women get killed when men don’t have easy divorce. 3. Obtaining divorce from courts scandalises women’s character, for men the damage is little. 4. Obtaining divorce from courts ‘deters re-marriage’ prospects of men, women.

As you can see, it is a perfectly reasonable stand, especially the second one. Nobody with a sensible mind can argue against it. Nothing drives a man wild than an intransigent women refusing to grant him or anybody else divorce. Not giving divorce is a major cause of death among women — roughly around 17% of all deaths — across the world, according to a recent study.

4. If Pakistan and many other countries have abolished triple talaq, why can’t India?

Ans: Because those are countries that don’t follow — pay close attention here — the Indian Constitution. Well, the point is if equality and dignity is a fundamental right then the right to practise one’s religion and its rules are also a fundamental right. It is for the court to decide and bring some nuance into the whole debate and settle the matter in a manner that is acceptable and agreeable to all concerned. But the court, you’d appreciate, has been hard-pressed for time, as it has to work non-stop on matters of extreme importance, like whether the Indian cricket team selection committee should comprise three or five members.

5) How is the case expected to pan out now?

Ans: We adjourn the answer to a future piece of Crank’s News.