Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet social reform – a law to end the unfair and unjust practice of instant Triple Talaq prevalent among Muslims in India will face the floor test in the upcoming winter session of Parliament starting next week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet social reform – a law to end the unfair and unjust practice of instant Triple Talaq prevalent among Muslims in India will face the floor test in the upcoming winter session of Parliament starting next week.
Big push to social reform:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often said that he will end this practice which he sees as a great injustice to hapless Muslim women. However, opposition parties, particularly Congress stalled the passage of the bill in the Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session of Parliament in August this year, demanding some safeguards for Muslim husbands and bail provisions for immediate family members.
Congress blocks the passage:
In a bid to win the support of the Congress for this bill, Union cabinet had relaxed the stringent penal norms in the bill in a meeting held in the month of August during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, besides providing the bail provisions.
At the insistence of Congress party, a provision was also inserted in the bill that only the aggrieved wife and her immediate family members could file a police complaint in this regard.
However, Congress stalled the passage of the bill despite the government conceding to several of its demands.
The Congress was severely criticised by the activists for blocking the passage of the bill during the monsoon session this year.
Ordinance route to implement social reform:
As an urgent measure. union cabinet had recommended promulgation of an ordinance on 19 September this year to protect Muslim women from instant triple talaq after it was brought to the notice of central government that the practice of Triple Talaq continued unabated despite strict orders of the top court of the country which has declared in unconstitutional.
Politically expedient move:
Muslim are the second biggest religious group in India after Hindus, accounting for over 14% of the population as per the last census conducted in 2011. They hold the key to formation of government in several politically important states including the most populous state Uttar Pradesh and also in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Maharashtra, Telangana and others.
Muslim women make up nearly half of this large population base and their support may prove crucial for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bid seeking the second term.
The road ahead:
However, it’s still not easy for Modi government to push through this crucial bill aimed at curbing the practice of Triple Talaq as it may not get the support of required number of opposition members in the Rajya Sabha.