- By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi: To debunk the ruling BJP’s claim that “Muslim women are feeling triumphant over “Triple Talaq Bill”, more and more Muslim women are coming out on streets across the country to protest against the government’s interference in the Muslim Personal Law. Hundreds of women took out the protest march at several places in the national capital as well as across the country on Saturday to lodge their protest against the bill that makes instant talaq as non-billable criminal act. While claiming that 99.5 percent Muslim women are against the proposed legislation, woman activists demanded that the bill should be sent to the select committee of Parliament for review as it is against the interest of womenfolk.
All India Muslim Personal Board’s women wing in collaboration with other woman groups took out protest rallies from Lal Kuan, Eidgah, Bara Hindurao, Camlin Road and other places in the old Delhi. They also staged demonstrations condemning the bill as “deep-rooted conspiracy hatched by the RSS-BJP to push Muslim women on streets for begging.”
Raising placards in opposing the bill, activists vowed that they would oppose the bill tooth and nail to protect the Sharia. Dubbing the bill as a “political tool” for the ruling party, they further said that it was a futile exercise as 99.5% of Muslim women were opposing the Bill. Even if it was passed, we would abide by the Sharia, they declared.
Coming down heavily on Zakia Soman type women and their paper-organizations, activist Aiman Jahan said such women have nothing to do with the betterment of Muslim woman folks as they have been dancing to the tune of fascist forces for petty gains. If these so-called champions of Muslim women feel suffocated in Islam, they are free to go where they want, she said.
Muslim women see a “conspiracy in the bill and adding that the RSS-BJP cannot hoodwink the people by presenting “mercenary women” to show that entire Muslim woman folk feels “triumphant” over the passing of the bill in the Lower House of Parliament.
The incident in Surat has exposed the ruling party’s “dirty trick” as Muslim women revealed today at a press conference here that they were allegedly offered Rs 1500 each and a cooking gas connection by one BJP activist Hamida Mirza and she took them along with her to MahaLakshmi Mandir. “We did not know why they offered sweets to each of us there and our photo have been clicked by media persons,these poor women said. We came to know this deception after our pictures appeared in the media next day showing that Muslim women joined the “celebration party” after the ‘ Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, they alleged. Surat Muslim women also blamed BJP activists Vinod jain and Jigish Dave and others for this “conspiracy”. Rubina Multani of Muslim Mahila Suraksha Sanghathan salmmed for the BJP for this act saying it is a clear-cut issue of fraud and deception.
All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Zeenat Mehtab said it was a conspiracy by the fascist forces to weaken the family system in Muslim societies. They (RSS-BJP) cannot be a well-wishers of Muslim women or our sisters in Hindu community as what had happened with Muslim women in Gujarat under the Modi government everybody knows, she said.
Another activist Naila Tabbasum pointed towards 32 lakh Hindu women who have been deserted by their husbands without giving divorce, and the pathetic condition of thousands of Hindu widows in Mathura and other religious places. She said if the Modi government is really sincere about the wellbeing of Muslim women, it should first address these hapless Hindu women.
Agitating woman activists also pointed out that the bill is motivated by BJP’s communal approach, especially prejudice against the Muslims of India. They alleged that the Modi Government is doing this under the mindset of RSS which wants to make Muslims, Christians, and Dalits as a second-class-citizen of India.
Naila said if the government were sincere about the wellbeing of the Muslim women, it would have consulted all the stakeholders and experts and Islamic scholars before drafting the bill and tabling it in both the Houses of Parliament. Even after the entire opposition’s demand to send the bill to the select committee of the Rajya Sabha, the government is not willing to accept it that is more than enough to bare the real intentions of the present government, she said.
Under the guidance of Muslim Personal Law Board, Muslim women have planned “Tahffuz-e-Shariat and Islaha-e-Mashera” (public meeting and awareness programme) on a big scale in different towns and cities across the country. On Saturday, one such meeting held Nizamabad (Telangana). Criticizing the bill, Sadia Begum, principal of Women’s College (Nizamabad) said that a majority of women among Muslims were against the bill as they considered that Sharia protects the rights of women.
In the neighbouring state of Karnataka’s historic Gulbarga city, thousands of Muslim women came out on the streets to protest against the Bill.
Thousands of women came out against the Bill in Gulbarga city , Karnataka.