At a time when the country is debating on “triple talaq”, it was exactly 51 years ago on April 18, 1966, that the historic march against the “draconian law” was taken out in Mumbai by social reformer Hamid Dalwai, along with seven Muslim women.
Protesting against triple talaq, polygamy and halala, Dalwai and seven women had marched towards the Mantralaya in Mumbai and handed over their memorandum of demands to then chief minister Vasantrao Naik.
“This was the first march in India against triple talaq and practices like halala and polygamy. Hamid Dalwai fought all odds to organise this march for the rights of Muslim women. The movement against triple talaq now seen in the country has its roots in this revolutionary march,” said Professor (Dr) Shamshuddin Tamboli of Pune, president of the Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal (MSM), founded by Dalwai on March 22, 1970.
To remember the historic incident, MSM will be taking out a march from Dr Ambedkar’s statute to the Pune district collectorate on Tuesday. “Seven Muslim women who are victims of triple talaq will be participating in this march and will submit a representation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis,” said Tamboli, who has done his doctoral research on the life of Hamid Dalwai.
Sadiya Khan, a 20-year-old Muslim woman from Kasba Peth in Pune, who was given triple talaq on WhatsApp by her husband in July 2016, said that she would be participating in the MSM march against the “draconian law”.
Sadiya said she had filed a criminal case against her husband at the Kondhwa police station for the harassment done to her. “I will fight till I get justice. Triple talaq practice should end,” she said.
Meanwhile, Tamboli said, “Inspired by the work of legendary social reformers Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule, Dalwai worked for the rights of Muslim women. He started an organisation Sada-e-Nisvan in 1965, which took the historic march to Mantralaya. In 1970, he started the MSM….He held meetings of triple talaq victims. To counter this, some religious fanatics organised rallies of thousands of Muslim women against Dalwai. These fanatics formed the All India Muslim Personal Law Protection Committee in 1971. And, in 1973, it was registered as the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, the same body which said on Sunday that triple talaq is wrong but is still a valid way to end marriage…..Board says that Muslims who misuse triple talaq would face social boycott from the community. We feel social boycott is not a good practice. It is against our constitution. Putting a ban on triple talaq practice is needed. But only ban is not enough. We want the government to come up with a law that will make triple talaq practice a punishable offence.”
“We support the stand taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central government against triple talaq. The government should also work towards the implementation of Uniform Civil Code in the country,” he added.