Folie à deux over Triple Talaq Bill
Instant "Triple Talaq" or "Talaq-e-Biddat" is an Islamic practice that allows men to divorce their wives immediately by uttering the word "talaq" (divorce) thrice. It is a form of Islamic divorce which has been used by Muslims in India, especially adherents of Hanafi Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence. There are several forms of Talaq of which "Talaq-e-Ahsan" is the 'most proper' form of talaq. In this form of divorce, the husband expresses divorce in single sentence - "I have divorced thee" - during the period of tuhr (when the wife is not menstruating) and then has to wait till the iddat period is over. Iddat period for someone who has been divorced by her husband is usually three monthly periods and during this time, she cannot marry another man. This period is used by most couples as a reconciliation period. If before the completion of iddat, the husband resumes co-habitation with his wife or says that "I have retained thee", the divorce is revoked. While there are many forms of Talaq, instant Triple talaq has come under question the most in recent times. "Talaq-e-Biddat" or "Talaq-ul-Bain" (Irrevocable divorce) also known as instant Triple Talaq is effective as soon as the word "Talaq" has been pronounced thrice. In this form of talaq, three pronouncements can be made during a single tuhr (when the woman is not menstruating) by saying "I divorce thee" thrice at the same instant. It can also be conveyed in writing and many husbands have been known to write a letter, or even send whatsapp or facebook messages to let their spouse know of the divorce.
On 28 December 2017, Lok Sabha passed The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017. The bill makes instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddah) in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp illegal and void, with up to three years in jail for the husband. This decition came about when several muslim women accused their husbands of divorcing them over the phone or message while living abroad for work where they found new partners. The Triple talaq has reportedly been supported by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), a non-governmental body that supervises the application of Muslim personal law. It propagates that the State does not have the right to intervene in religious matters. As many as 22 Muslim majority countries – including Pakistan and Bangladesh – or their provinces have abolished triple talaq either explicitly or implicitly.
Several women's protests have been organized over Instant Triple Talaq decition since 28th December 2017 countrywide and on 31st March 2018 Mumbai saw one of the biggest gatherings. The protest rally was organised by Women's Wing Mumbai, in response to the call given by All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). Women protestors gathered by the thousands and "condemned the government's move to criminalise Talaq and said it is anti-women, anti-children and it will destroy families and famage Muslim society severely."
Even though the crowd of around 40,000 women attended the event, from all walks of life, it is widely reported that many women were told that the bill is the "first step'' towards the Uniform Civil Code, that the BJP has long pushed for and were not informed on the finer details.
Following the rally that saw speakers like Dr. Asma Zehra, President of Women's Wing of AIMPLB, Prof Monisa Bushra Abidi, Advt. Munawwara Alware, Mrs. Arshia Shakeel and likes, the AIMPLB's Women's Wing submitted a memorandum to the governor of Maharashtra with their demands. Prof Monisa Bushra Abidi stated that, "India is a secular democratic country where 'Right to Freedom of Religion' is among fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution. Majoritarian attitude of the government in bulldozing this Bill into a piece of legislation is unfortunate. This bill is completely Anti-Muslim and it is not acceptable to Muslim women at all"