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The Narander Modi led BJP govt passed the Muslim women ( Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017.The reworked bill to make triple talaq or instant divorce among Muslims a punishable offence was passed by Lok Sabha on Thursday, 27th of December 2018.

The Triple Talaq Bill states that the offence of pronouncing triple talaq is a cognisable and non-bailable offence( A non-cognisable offence is an offence whereby the police cannot arrest a person without a warrant. Whereas, in cognisable offences, for serious crimes, the police may not have time to get a warrant and hence the police can take cognisance of the offence and arrest the accused immediately). For a non-cognisable offence, the aggrieved person (the wife in this case), must file a complaint seeking the arrest of the accused, then the magistrate will decide whether an arrest warrant should be issued or not. However, by making the offence of triple talaq a cognisable offence, the police can arrest Muslim men without any form of judicial oversight to determine whether a warrant should be issued, and the police can take a Muslim man into custody even if the wife does not file a complaint.

The government has publicly stated that it has not consulted any Muslim organisation before drafting this bill. This indicates very poorly on the drafting procedures adopted by the law ministry. It is essential for any legislation that all stakeholders are consulted before coming to a final position. It is also disturbing to note that the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on the same day it was introduced, raising serious questions about the manner of parliamentary deliberations while dealing with such important legislation.

The Bill is yet to be passed in the Upper House of the Indian Parliament, Rajya Sabha, where it is believed that it may face a tough opposition given the number and position of opposition political parties in this House. The government has indicated that if it failed to get it passed in the Rajya Sabha, it may try for the joint sitting of the both the Houses of Parliament.

Through this Bill the BJP government has tried it’s best to projected itself as the champion of the rights of the Muslim Women but in actual practice which they are not. The Bill is a direct interference in the Muslim faith and hence is a direct violation of so many fundamental rights provided by the Indian Constitution . It has been the core ideology of the BJP to saffronize the political landscape of India and when it failed to saffronize it through Vikass (Development) and good governance it tried the other means like coercing the minorities mainly the Muslims.

The BJP government , since its government formation in 2014, is hellbent on those very issues which are tricky and sensitive only and only for the electoral gains.

Through its younger face, Yogi, it has banned the Namaz in public parks and has changed the names of so many places because of Muslim nature .The ban on beef, cow slaughter, killings of Ikhlaq, Junaid and many more by the right wing supporters and the different slogans like love Jihad, Ghar Wapsi and Hindustan main rehna hai to Hindu bankay rehna hai are the direct indication of the hegemonic vision of this party visa – vis Muslims of India.

Although constitutionally the country has been declared secular and equality has been guaranteed but the current scenario and the post BJP electoral victory of 2014, the political spectrum of the country is mostly fragile and against all those whose forefathers chose India against Pakistan in 1947.By this fragile political scenario the whole Muslim population feels insecure in current political setup of India. Some people have acknowledged this insecurity in the public forums, the recent one being the Naseer-u- din Shah.

On one side every attempt is being made by the current establishment for the promotion and protection of Hindu faith like the proposed construction of Ram Statue at and the Sabarimilla but on the other side other religions are being coerced. The next issue which will help the BJP in next year general elections is the Babri Masjid verdict and it is believed that it too will be in BJP’s favour given the party’s dominance over the Supreme Court. The space for the minorities mainly Muslims in India is shrinking day by day in every aspect be it political, religious, social or economic.

Masood Ali Mir is a freelancer and can be mailed at masoodalimir@yahoo.co.in

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