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Why You Must Spare a Thought for Mothers Who Are Victims of Triple Talaq
Sidrah Patel was a young professional working in development sector in Mumbai when she got married. (Photo: Network18)
New Delhi: What could probably be one of the strongest reasons why instant triple talaq should be abolished is the fact that many men abandon and reject their wives all of a sudden when they are pregnant.
On Mother’s Day, News18 speaks to brave instant triple talaq victims who decided to give birth to their babies despite being divorced by their husbands in ‘most inhumane manner’.
‘I received triple talaq through speed post’
Sidrah Patel was a young professional working in development sector in Mumbai when she got married. She was in for a rude shock when her in-laws had a problem with a woman who had a mid of her own. Sidrah, however, refused to be treated like a “doormat”.
“That marked the end of my marriage. For three consecutive days, I came back home to talaqnamas sent through speed post,” she says, adding that she initially thought the posts were a joke.
“Who would think in this day and age an educated, liberal person also goes through this. But it happened to me. It boils down to how you treat the rules mentioned in your religion, no matter how unfair they are,” she says.
After falling victim to instant triple talaq, a contentious form of divorce which is being challenged in the Supreme Court, Sidrah was faced with a bigger dilemma. She was pregnant.
Unlike her former husband who wanted nothing to do with the child, Sidrah decided to give birth to the child, a boy.
“Initially, I thought I will challenge the talaq. I sent my ex-husband my son’s photos, but received no response. I received full support from my parents, but not all women get that,” she adds, as she looks at her son Raed, which means guiding light.
“He is my only reason for survival. I hope things are better when he is grown up. I want him to know the values of gender equality and justice, unlike the time I grew up,” she says, pinning her hopes on the Supreme Court verdict expected in near future.
‘I hope Supreme Court will punish my husband for abandoning me’
“If I was to call my ex-husband right now and tell him that our divorce is invalid because I was pregnant at that time, he will just repeats the words — talaq, talaq, talaq — again,” says 34-year-old Asifa Parveen, mother to a 2-year-old girl.
‘Talaq, talaq, talaq’ still resonate in Asifa’s head. She stays with her sister and her family in Balimaran, Chandni Chowk. Dowry was one of the prime reasons why she was divorced in one sitting, after harassment from her in-laws.
“I married him in December, 2013, and by January 2014, I was home,” she says. One thing that changed in that period was that Asifa got pregnant. “He demanded Rs 25,000 and when I told him I didn’t have the money, he left me,” she says, blaming the archaic practice for ‘running’ her life.
The “inhumane” divorce from her ex-husband wasn’t Asifa’s only run-in with patriarchy. Back home, she suffered all over again. “My brother does not like to see me around because he thinks Islam gives no right to women on property. So, he wants me and my girl to leave,” says Asifa as she calls out to her young child to stop running around.
“My sister Saira Bi, is my only source of support,” says Asifa. She, like many, has her hopes pinned on the apex court verdict which is likely in near future.
“Will my husband be punished for his acts? He must pay for the pain he has caused not just to me, but my daughter too. I struggle each day to take care of my daughter,” she says, as tears roll down her face.
“I want my daughter to grow in a world where there are equal rights, and a world where no man can leave his wife like the way I was abandoned by her father,” Asifa says. She wants to create a world in which a child doesn’t need her father’s name as part of identity. “The first name should be sufficient. I want to promise my daughter a world which is just and fair.”
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