India on Wednesday announced arrests and jail terms for Indian Muslims who will handover triple talaq (divorce) in onetime to their wives.
In August last year, the Supreme Court of India declared it illegal for Muslim men to divorce their wives by simply saying the word “Talaq” three times in one go.
Indian cabinet approved a verdict according to which this practice will be a punishable offence from now on.
“The instance of triple Talaq has continued unabated,” law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told a news briefing.
He mentioned that the government had received 201 such divorce cases after the Supreme Court last year ruling.
The legislation is still in the parliament sought to make the practice of triple talaq a non-bailable offence, with up to three years behind the bars.
Prasad told that there were instances in which men divorced their wives over the use of WhatsApp messaging app or not cooking properly.
Gaurav Bhatia, the National Spokesperson of BJP, called triple talak an issue of gender equality in a tweet.
Historic step. Triple Talaq is not an issue pertaining to any religion.
It is an issue of gender equality.
It is an issue of violation of fundamental rights.
— Gaurav Bhatia (@gauravbh) September 19, 2018
According to the latest census data, Muslims make up 14% of India’s population.
The Prime Minister’s party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is struggling to change the perception made about it that it is an anti-Muslim party. This image could cost the part a heavy amount of votes in general elections to be held next year. Food minister, Ram Vilas Paswan, told Reuters.
It has been said that this Wednesday move is also in accordance to the BJP’s action plan to gain the sympathy of Muslim voters in next general elections.
“This ‘triple Talaq’ ordinance is to try and win over a segment in the Muslim community, specifically, to win the women’s vote among the minorities,” said Sandeep Shastri, a political analyst at Jain University in the southern city of Bengaluru.
This executive order of the Indian government would allow Muslim women or their immediate relatives to complain to the police, who could then arrest the husband.