Triple Talaq verdict: Supreme Court of India’s decision to set aside this regressive Islamic law practice by a 3:2 majority judgement on Tuesday was widely reported by media across the world. The international media not just published report of the landmark decision but also came up with analysis and editorials on the issue. Scores of publications also carried out wires copies by international agencies like AP, AFP and Reuters.
The New York Times published the report headlined as “India’s Supreme Court Strikes Down ‘Instant Divorce’ for Muslims”. “India’s highest court struck down a legal provision on Tuesday that allowed Muslim men to instantly divorce their wives, taking a stand against a practice increasingly deemed unacceptable in the Muslim world,” NYT said.
The Guardian viewed SC decision as a “huge win for women’s rights” and said “An Islamic practice permitting men to instantly divorce their wives has been declared unconstitutional by India’s supreme court after decades of campaigning by women’s groups and victims.”
The Guardian further said that triple talaq had persisted in India because the “country’s Muslim, Hindu and Christian communities are permitted to follow religious law in personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption.”
In an article, The Washington Post analysed why it took so many years for India to abolish this regressive practice. “Talaq should have been abolished by legislation years ago. But India’s political parties instead used the suffering of Muslim women as a political football, extending the debate for decades in an attempt to target Muslim — and Hindu nationalist — votes,” it said, adding, “Successive Indian governments have treated talaq as a religious freedom issue rather than a women’s rights one.”
In another article, The Post pointed out that petitioners in the case had argued that the “practice did not treat men and women equally” and they were supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
BBC.com said the campaign to end triple talaq gained momentum last year when a Shayara Bano, a 35-year-old mother-of-two, approached the Supreme Court seeking justice. She was the first Muslim women who challenged triple talaq in court, claiming it violated her fundamental rights. While the court accepted Shayara’s appeal, a vocal campaign by several organisations including Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) also helped.
The Los Angeles Times headlined its report as ” In India, you can no longer divorce a woman simply by saying (or texting) it three times.”
The Gulf News said, “In a far-reaching order empowering millions of Muslim women, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday struck down triple talaq or instant divorce, by a 3:2 verdict of the constitutional bench, stating that the practice was void, illegal and unconstitutional.”
Aljazeera.com published a report on how social media reacted to the SC decision. “Amid praise for the Supreme Court’s decision to suspend instant divorce practice, others push for more women’s rights,” it said.
Nikkei Asian Review said it is a “landmark judgment sought by women activists.” It also pointed out PM Modi’s support to the women activists on the issue, saying, “With Modi facing re-election in 2019, opposition parties have accused the mainly Hindu BJP of politicizing the triple talaq issue for electoral gain. In his Independence Day address on Aug. 15, the prime minister spoke of the suffering of Muslim women. He said he admired the courage of those who fought against triple talaq, and that the entire nation stood behind them in their struggle.”