New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday likened the practice of triple talaq with long abolished ‘sati-pratha’, saying the practice of divorce among Indian Muslims is not related to Islam but is a social evil.
“This (triple talaq) is not related to Islam. It is a social evil like sati-pratha, the abolition of which was also opposed by many then in the name of religion. But through the will of the people, we were able to abolish it,” Naqvi said in the Lok Sabha in support of the the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, introduced earlier in the day.
He argued the contention made by other parliamentarians, who expressed concern about the rights of Muslim men against whom there is a provision in the Bill of a jail term of three years if they indulge in the practice.
“It seemed to me that some of the people are standing with the accused instead of the victim. If you are afraid of the punishment, why commit the crime in the first place?” he said.
He said despite a long debate on the practice decades back in the Shah Bano case, such incidents have been occurring in the country. He cited a number of Muslim majority countries where the practice of ‘triple talaq’ has been abolished or criminalised, naming Iran, Pakistan, Cyprus, Qatar, Bangladesh, Syria, and Brunei, among others.
“This law is not to victimise anyone… The law had to be brought because despite such an extensive debate on the practice during the Shah Bano and Shayara Bano case, such incidents keep occurring.
“This country is not run through ‘shariyat’ (Islamic law), it is run through Constitution… This Bill will be in favour of the country and of the women,” he said.
At one point during his argument, Naqvi was countered by several protesting voices from oppostions leaders over his use of the word “kathmullah”, which he immediately clarified had meant “fanatic,” and that he did not mean to disparage the Muslim community.