Focused on Triple Talaq, govt. gets harsh rebuke from SC for not caring for widows of India
A survey in 8 Muslim-dominated districts found there were 1,307 divorced Muslim women against 16,505 Hindu divorced women and 4,827 Christian divorced women
New Delhi, April 22: The Supreme Court of India on Friday handed a harsh rebuke to the BJP-led central government for not caring for the widows in the country. As per Census 2011, some 4.6% of the country's total population or 5.6 crore are widowed - a huge majority of them are women.
"You do not care about the widows of India. You file an affidavit and say you are not concerned with the widows of India. You have done nothing... This is complete helplessness. Government does not want to do anything," the court was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.
The court was angry because despite making an assurance to it to hold a meeting and come up with relief and rehabilitation measures, the government did not do anything.
The apex court imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on the government for not coming out with a promised plan to improve the condition of destitute widows.
A petition was filed in the apex court in 2007 highlighting the pathetic condition of widows in the welfare homes in Vrindavan and Mathura of Uttar Pradesh.
For past several months, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been giving much attention to the issue of Triple Talaq - much more than it deserves according to the Muslim community. Besides his colleagues, PM Modi himself has raised the issue in ‘sympathetic' tone more than once at public platforms.
India's largest religious minority admits the provision of Talaq (divorce) has been misused by many members of the community but it says it is not the biggest or the only problem that the community or its women are facing.
"It must be recognized that the primary reason for violation of Shariat is large scale ignorance of Muslim masses and lack of sincere commitment to Islamic norms. A large segment of Muslim society does not even know the basics of Islam. Many Muslims do not know the rules and instructions which would guide them in matters of marriage, divorce, inheritance and the like. Hence, there is an imperative need to educate, uplift and morally reform the Muslim society, as a whole," said Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, Ameer (National President) of Jamaat while launching its nationwide Muslim Personal Law Awareness Campaign in the national capital on Friday.
However, he said the current debate in media and political circles is to divert attention from real issues of the community.
"Quran gives answer to all questions; so no problem has occurred in practicing the Shariah laws. Women's rights are all reserved in the Muslim Personal Laws. The present atmosphere is to divert attention from the real issues of Muslims," said Maulana Umari who is also Vice President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
Jamaat leader was also critical of the way the judiciary, legislature and media have been interfering in Muslim Personal Law.
"Courts of the land often pass judgments contrary to the position of Islamic Shariat on disputes related to Muslim Personal Law and then these judgments become legal precedents. Legislative bodies also interfere in it while the media portrays a one sided image of Muslim Personal Law. They are seldom aware of real teachings of Islam; rather they are usually misled by the faulty conduct of Muslims themselves, which presents a distorted image of the Islamic law," said Jamaat chief.
On the issue of Triple Talaq, Atiya Siddiqua, head of Jamaat's women wing referred to a survey based on RTI responses from state-run family courts in 8 Muslim-dominated districts in different states and said the rate of divorce among Muslims is low compared to other communities.
"The survey found that in the 8 districts, there were 1,307 divorced Muslim women against 16,505 Hindu divorced women. The cases of divorce for Christians in these districts stood at 4,827 and 8 for Sikhs. This shows the current debate on the issue is just media hype," she said.
These figures are from 8 districts -- Kannur (Kerala), Nasik (Maharashtra), Karimnagar (Telangana), Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Secunderabad (Hyderabad), Malappuram (Kerala), Ernakulam (Kerala) and Palakkad (Kerala).
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