Kochi | Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday made a strong pitch for ending ‘triple talaq’, asking why should Indian Muslim women be denied their fundamental rights in a ‘secular’ country, when several Islamic countries have abolished the “draconian” practice.
The Urban Development and Information and Broadcasting minister also came down heavily on “advocates of triple talaq”, accusing them of using “specious arguments to perpetuate the anachronistic practice” in the society.
Strongly condemning such advocates of triple talaq, Naidu told reporters here that these people were “not concerned by the havoc” it was causing in the lives of its victims, even as some of them knocked at the doors of the judiciary for relief.
“How could such draconian practices be allowed in India when matrimonial laws in Islamic countries were regulated and not considered contrary to Sharia?” the minister asked.
Recalling the statements made by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the issue, he said the former had earlier asserted that personal laws could not propagate discrimination and allow compromise with human dignity and that religion cannot dictate upon the rights of individuals.
Dismissing the allegations that a particular community was targeted by the Union Government on the issue, Naidu said, “It should be noted that successive governments have amended personal laws of Hindus and Christians in tune with the demands of the changing times.”
“A false propaganda is being propounded that a particular religion is being targeted,” he said.
The minister said the Law Commission and the Supreme Court had sought public opinion on the triple talaq issue.
“The Government of India, after discussion, has given its opinion that triple talaq is not in the interest of women.
It should end. That is the opinion of Government of India.
And we have no inhibition on that. We are very clear that this practise is causing harm to the women,” he said.
Noting that “any practice that leaves women socially, financially or emotionally vulnerable” is incompatible with the letter and spirit of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution, Naidu said to say that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to decide on such matters was simply “unacceptable”.
“Any verdict or direction by the highest court of the land is binding on everybody irrespective of religion, region, sex and caste, and nobody should talk in any manner that undermines the dignity of the judiciary.
“It is unfortunate that some political parties, in their quest to safeguard their vote banks, did not even think once before brazenly supporting such regressive, retrograde and anti-women practices,” he said.