The parliament of India outlawed the right of a Muslim man to instantly divorce his wife. The country’s act to prohibit the centuries-old practice is receiving backlash as Muslim groups accuse the government of interfering with community matters.
“Triple talaq” is an Islamic practice which allows a man to divorce his wife by simply uttering the word “talaq” (divorce in Arabic) three times in her presence. Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist administration has pushed for the criminalization of the practice.
The upper house vote finalized on Tuesday will require the signature of India’s president to be formally signed into law.
The bill, backed by the lower how last week, prosecutes anyone practicing the Islamic instant divorce that was deemed “unconstitutional” by India’s supreme court two years ago. The country is one of the few where this form of divorce survived in law.
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said about the bill’s passing:
“This is a historic day, the injustice that was going on with Muslim women, India’s parliament has given them justice.”
A number of Indian Muslim groups have criticized the bill despite believing that triple talaq practice is wrong. They have expressed that instant divorce should be reviewed by community leaders instead of the government.
Asaduddin Owaisi, an MP from the opposition All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party, raised concerns about BJP’s failed Hindu Society reform claiming that it has now targeted Muslims instead.
Detractors have long accused the BJP of being biased against minority Muslims. The allegations are denied by the BJP saying that it is against the appeasement of any community.