Advocating social justice

Triple Talaq has been a social practice in place and naturally perverse unidirectional rights since centuries and to our dismay, it has still been practiced in the nation where freedom and independence has been a talk of the town ever. It has always proved a social evil for those who were underprivileged and financially unsound as people with fortunes always had alternative at their cuisine. There were hardly any alternatives for them than to live in ignominy for their entire life. Situation has been such a grave for them that there were hardly any social security available and they have to depend on their close one’s mercy for their survival. Scarcely have we ever thought over arcane questions on the practices scythe through legislation for so long which needed progressive outcome.

There has always been a talk to abolish social evil practiced like sati or dowry which has already seen a lot of reformation and laws to get rid of them but triple talaq still persisted due to the strong sentiments of a particular segment of society. It was more a case of surprise that the people who were suffering were still ignorant of the root cause. Looking at larger perspective of women empowerment and social justice, it needed reform in our views and approach towards such practices. Need of uniform civil law has always been in talk but the stiff resistance from hardliner and religious sentiments involved had always been a hindering factor for the law makers to raise any voice perhaps fearing backlash and social unrest. The matter finally landed in the apex court of the nation which came up with a historic landmark decision to term this practice as unconstitutional and there by upholding it with immediate effect. The Supreme Court erased it from 1400 years of ignominy, overturning 85 years old judicial decision by Privy Council under the British Rule way back in 1935, bringing an end to this arbitrary, capricious and whimsical mode of ending marriage reinforcing fundamental right to equality among Muslim women and thereby ending the anomaly in personal law. It has taken bizarre dimensions where people misused it more for their evil benefits by divorcing through phone, text message, email, WhatsApp messages, newspaper advertisements, scribbled on pieces of paper, or at times even conveyed over phone etc. The decision has been acclaimed and praised all over and has been referred to as a bold step towards social reform, women empowerment and justice to women in particular. It was perhaps a contradictory interpretation of our fundamental rights in the constitution. It was definitely not in consonance and uniformity with human rights. This is definitely a bright and welcome move for the next generation who will not bear the pain of such social evil. It is one of those historic bold steps which give path breaking victory to a progressive society like every Muslim woman in this case. Muslim women are bound to be cheerful of this landmark decision.

The matter has gained such a social importance, perhaps with declaration of ruling government that it is committed to bring social justice to all, that out of excitement and rush to be the first news breaker, some segments of media even did not wait for the whole verdict and declared the judgment otherwise by listening half truth and misinterpretation of the actual judgment. Perhaps, we as responsible citizen should give time to understand and know the fact and then flash or publish as premature and un-thoughtful information always proves misleading. We should not forget that media is the mouth of society as a whole. Such was the rush that almost all media outlets without verifying the facts reported that the judgment of Supreme Court just opposite to what actually it has been although corrective measures were taken soon after. Sometimes our interpretation of immature facts and information often fails to reach the truth. This is a well highlighted case for us to understand and raise our bar in reporting segment. We are still considered far more inferior to western media and we need a lot to catch with respect to western reporting. We have to shrug off our image of third rate media when we are aiming for the super economy globally. We have to introduce IQ at every level and we should introduce social duties and responsibilities. I still remember a case when I raised a wrong reporting by a national channel in media which was published but immediately removed. Reasons might be better understood and known by the concerned that also happened to be from media. There are still a lot of fabricated and biased reporting everyday which changes the life of affected off course not for good. We never ever care to know the implications since we are hardly concerned of our responsibilities and jump to some other fabricated version of news in false notion that we are being very innovative and appealing to masses which in reality are never the case and rather we look highly foolish. We have seen an interesting trend these days that if certain segments of our society tries to be too critical of something on social platform, as other platforms are unreachable to common person, suddenly corrective measures are taken by posting multiple posts in, to suppress the fact. This way we are not learning or trying to improve but we are covering our folly which is never good for social reform or human welfare and our own improvement at first hand.

Triple talaq has been a bane to those women and children who were social deprived and they had nowhere to look after. They always lived with fear and consciousness that their settled life post marriage can be overturned by simply saying triple talaq and their belief in marriage and emotional bonding will be annulled finally at one go with no deterrent measures to check. The weaker section of society was left at the exercise and mercy of the discretionary power of their counterparts. This landmark judgment will definitely give Muslim women voice and courage to report misuse and other domestic violence. It will also impart a sense of equality and empowerment. There have been cases when people just uttered the word thrice or just sent a document mentioning the word thrice or sometimes texted the message and shred off their hands from moral and social responsibilities. There left hardly any scope of discord in the married life and the weaker sex was devoid of voice. It was definitely not a case of humanity and human right activists were perhaps lagging a lot with a few being exceptions. Those advocating this practice till now have ever cared to think of the perils undergoing by the affected ones. Leaving at the mercy of destiny is definitely not human where they have to struggle further to make a living. Just saying and committing something in the name of religion without looking at the past, present and consequences involved will definitely not do any good to our own people.

I have been an active traveler and tried to understand the popular beliefs and the facts involved and always found that people are ignorant of the hidden facts and they just follow certain practices because those have been followed through generations without questioning. Perhaps, we as children are not allowed to question much and made to follow blindly what we have inherited from our ancestors. Sometimes parents want to avoid unnecessary curiosity of their kids and they just stress on following what is already practiced and available and sometimes parents are even not aware of the real issues. In all cases, it is the normal growth of children which gets hampered. During my visit to many villages and even towns, I have found that the quality of education to be primitives which is definitely criminal from our part as we are barring the potential future generation of proper growth. Certain segments of society still prefer to wear a religious band to cure their diseases rather than visiting medical practitioner. Certainly we need to spread awareness and educate our citizens who in turn will be able to lift their thinking and understanding capabilities which in turn will improve the condition of their life as a whole. I still fail to understand certain practices like certain segments of society being barred from going to certain religious places in the name of some dogmas. The guardian of those religious practices must have valid point as per their understanding but on humanitarian ground I do not see a person biologically different from those deprived of the opportunity. Reservation in the name of religion is a big issue which should be rethought and instead reservation in the name of underprivileged should be introduced if at all reservation is required and socially deprived segments needs a push for their upliftment it divides society as a whole more than doing good. There are underprivileged segments in every religion. Right to inherit ancestral properties by dominating sections of society is still a curse for the weaker section.

There will definitely be certain segments of society with dissenting opinion against this verdict and might come up with some different understandings and viewpoints but we should not undermine the paramount human rights and right to empowerment to all. Some segments will definitely refer it as apprehensions arising and fear but they should understand that there are many nations which have already abolished this practice and there have not been any undue disharmony in the society. We should not forget that it is about social harmony, empowerment and equality of women rights in our society. Definitely, each religious community in India has certain unique practices but we should not ignore the sufferings of people out of misread, misinterpreted and miscommunicated practices which are discremetry in nature. Every law and practice should not be above human rights and should never cause disharmony and suffering to any. If we do follow such discriminatory practices then we must give a thought and consideration to those as after all it is the humanity which is at stake and everything else follows next. Nation should consider every citizen equal in all respect under the set of laws and biased law must be amended to impart equality to all. Human rights and social justice should be underpinned by regressive reasoning and knotty questions. The dissenting opinion and belief should be given a bye to ascertain the true justice and meaningful life. We should not grant statutorily protection to discriminatory practices undermining the social justice. Dr Ambedkar has been very thoughtful in drafting the Constitution of India which takes care of conformity of all segments and preserves every right enshrined, provided we give a careful head to leave aside our arbitrary practices pursuant to ecclesiastical findings at the altar of religious pontification which is nothing more than antithesis of human values, hazards of which are not hidden from any corner.

There are many practices which are abhorrent, discriminatory and disrespectful. There are still a lot of social practices which needs reforms and uniform civil laws should come to effect. Sooner we act the better it will make the life of our next generation although we can hardly do much towards those sections who are already suffering as their life can never be restored. Just terming such social evils as very acute and damaging family’s institution will hardly serve the purpose rather than taking bold initiatives. We should endeavor to not let such evil practices invade and breach our social peace and securities surmounting the parameters of faith. The next step should be to build more awareness, education and empowerment towards progressive reforms. Indian Muslim personal law needs to be more compatible with personal laws relating to marriage and divorce. There are still a lot of such evils which needs careful observation from our law makers whether it is polygamy or halala and eradicate such maladies from our society. Since independence, it has been professed to have a uniform civil code but bold steps were always wanting. Family life, gender equality and social justice should be looked after and treated as sacrosanct. The ruling government has always advocated bringing uniform civil code in the country and believes that there should not be a scope of gender equality and even it was a part of its poll manifesto in 2014. Time has come and society has grown aware where we should shrug off spreading divide and rule based on religion. A matter of faith must be fleetingly thought off with logic to bring justice to all which will definitely look egalitarian in the beginning but a historic one overall and prevent any societal damage further.

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