The Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to go really big on July 31 and August 1 to celebrate the first year anniversary of the historic passage of Muslim Women's Right Protection Bill, which abolished triple talaq or instant talaq. This was passed by Parliament on July 31 last year and received assent of the President the next day. Thereby, calling this a massive move to ensure gender equality.
This event is being celebrated as Muslim Women's Right Day or Muslim Mahila Adhikar Divas.
The BJP has been saying that this day marked the rejection of the regressive law adopted by the previous governments, citing the 1985 Shah Bano case and how a vote bank instrumental in the Rajiv Gandhi government ensured justice was denied to Shah Bano despite a Supreme Court ruling which was reversed by the then government.
Right from the mandal level, smaller meetings would be organised through video conferencing to connect Muslim women to talk about their experience pre and post the passage of this law. Mahila morchas of the party would also appeal to women to come forth and reject this colonial practice openly, which is now a binding law.
Union ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Smriti Irani and Ravi Shankar Prasad would connect with women across the country through video conferencing from the party headquarters on Friday.
Also the party has put out a series of videos where women speak about the benefit of doing away with such a regressive practice. The hashtag being used is #ThankYouModiBhaijaan to project PM Modi as a great unifier and someone who took a bold, courageous step to ensure equal rights to Muslim women.
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told CNN News18, "Many years went in vain as nobody was able to ensure justice for these women. It requires a huge amount of sensitivity and massive political will to take such a step. Our leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has indeed done that."
Naqvi added, "This indeed has broken many barriers and helped the cause of gender equality in a big, big way."
According to the figures available with the government, the number of cases of instant talaq reported since 1985 have come down by at least 83% in the last one year.
A densely populated state like Uttar Pradesh, which had reported 63,400 cases before August last year, reported only 281 cases post August 2019.
Bihar till last year had reported 38,617 triple talaq cases, but has now only 49 cases since then.
Telangana and Andhra had close to 41,300 cases before the Bill was passed and as the first anniversary of the Bill draws close, only 203 cases are now reported. As many as 51,800 cases till 2019 in West Bengal where the figure now stands at 208.
Triple Talaq, also known as Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, was passed by Parliament on July 30 to make instant Triple Talaq a criminal offence and provides for a jail term of three years if a Muslim man gives an instant talaq to his wife.
The Triple Talaq Bill was first introduced by the Modi government in December 2017. A vehemently opposed Bill, it failed to clear the Upper house where the govrnment had poor strength.
The Supreme Court verdict of 2017 had declared talaq-e-biddat, commonly referred to as instant triple talaq, unconstitutional. This prompted the government to bring it as an Ordinance & a Bill that was last promulgated on February 21, 2019.
Islamic countries like Pakistan, UAE and Bangladesh had banned this anarchy many years ago.