Amidst exchange of barbs between the treasury benches and the Opposition, the Lok Sabha passed the amended Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, which criminalises Triple Talaq, attracting up to three years’ imprisonment for the husband.
The bill, which seeks to replace an ordinance promulgated in September, was passed after an over four-hour discussion that saw some heated exchanges between the Opposition and BJP leaders, with both sides accusing each other of engaging in vote bank politics. The debate saw the lawmakers broach the topics of gender equality and women’s rights interspersed with issues like modification of religious practices.
Here are the top 10 quotes from the debate on Triple Talaq Bill:
* The Triple Talaq Bill is not about politics but empowerment and justice for women. This bill is not about any specific religion and community. The bill is about humanity and justice — Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
* In the name of empowerment you (the government) have given nothing but a criminal case to women…the aim of the bill is not to empower Muslim women but to penalise Muslim men — Congress MP Sushmita Dev
* This is a very poorly-drafted Bill. It proposes criminalising a civil wrong – Why is it valid only for Muslims and not Hindus and Christians? How can a husband who is put in jail for three years provide maintenance to the wife? — Kerala MP NK Premchandran
* Irrespective of faith, women inherently do not want to divorce without a cause. Be it a Christian, Hindu, and Muslim, women mostly want to save their marriage. Men, on the other hand, have been seen to divorce women over most trivial cases. Men cannot be given supreme right to summarily divorce his wife and abandon her — BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi
* 1986 was a lost opportunity. The appeasement policy by former PM Rajiv Gandhi prevented the history to take a new course in 1986. The Muslim Women (Protection on Divorce Act), 1986, was not for empowerment — BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi
* Why are Muslim husbands being targeted. The bill fails to answer who will take care of the wife and children for three years. It is ironical that such a Bill is being pushed forward with scant inputs from those who will be affected. This bill is an eyewash, and undemocratic — AIADMK MP Anwhar Raajhaa
* When efforts were made to stop Sati or child labour, there were people who equated it with overreach into religion. But we overcame all that and justice prevailed. They why do we have a problem with Triple Talaq? — Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
* You don’t have a problem when the Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality, you don’t have a problem when adultery is decriminalised, but you want to criminalise triple talaq. When a Hindu man can be jailed only for one year, why should a Muslim be imprisoned for three years. When you oppose Sabarimala judgment on the basis of faith, why do you interfere in my faith — AIMIM MP Asadduddin Owaisi
* Implementing the Triple Talaq Bill in its current form will be a disaster as many men, fearing criminal prosecution, may simply abandon their wives rather than divorcing them — BJD MP Rabindra Jena
* You treat Muslim men as second class citizens, and you are talking about justice for Muslim women? Crocodile tears are being shed on behalf of Muslim women — CPI(M) leader Mohammed Salim