India: Social media reacts to ban on instant divorce
Amid praise for the Supreme Court’s decision to suspend instant divorce practice, others push for more women’s rights.
In a move hailed by activists as important and progressive, India on Tuesday banned the practice of instant divorce used by some members of its Muslim minority population.
Known as triple talaq, the act was suspended by a panel of five judges who ruled by a majority of 3-2 that it “is not integral to religious practice and violates constitutional morality”.
Under triple talaq, a husband can divorce his wife by uttering or writing three times the word “talaq” – which means divorce. This has led to devastating consequences, with women often finding themselves destitute.
There have also been instances where women were divorced in this way by receiving a WhatsApp message or through Skype.
READ MORE: What is ‘triple talaq’ or instant divorce?
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the women of India who fought against the practice in his Independence Day speech.
“I pay respects to those women who had to lead miserable lives due to triple talaq and then started a movement which created an environment in the whole nation against the practice,” Modi said.
He tweeted on Tuesday that the ban was a “powerful measure for women empowerment”.
Some on social media used the opportunity to remind their followers that Islam as a religion granted women rights.
The widely recommended and used mode of divorce in the Muslim world involves a waiting period of a few months after the first “talaq” word is uttered, which gives time for reconciliation efforts to be made.
The terming of #TripleTalaq as unconstitutional is not only a victory for gender justice but also Islam (which gave women unheard of rights)
— Rana Safvi رعنا राना (@iamrana) August 22, 2017
Others said that the triple talaq divorce rates are far less common than many people would believe.
Fact that less than 1% of Muslim divorces are to be blamed on instant #TripleTalaq is a convenient oversight. Many don't know a single case.
— Nadim Asrar (@_sufiyana_) August 22, 2017
There was some disagreement over who to credit for the ruling – the BJP, Modi’s ruling party, or the female activists who have campaigned for the past two years to abolish the practice.
Muslim ladies should remember that BJP helped them to fight against #TripleTalaq and Congress leaders like Kapil Sibbal fought against them.
— The Frustrated Indian (@FrustIndian) August 22, 2017
We know if SC had upheld Triple Talaq the failure would have been Narendra Modi's alone 🙂 https://t.co/Wo191XyfT8
— Nandini 🇮🇳 (@NAN_DINI_) August 22, 2017
Credit goes to the women who fought against triple talaq and went to the Court https://t.co/bseg9Sh0AJ
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) August 22, 2017
Others saw the development as the first steps in achieving partial equality while acknowledging other factors and laws that hinder women’s rights.
Today the Rights of muslim women restored, from tomorrow let's talk about jobs, opportunities, education for the community.#TripleTalaqOver
— Marya Shakil (@maryashakil) August 22, 2017
#TripleTalaq Dear Supreme Court, well done!
Plz strike down Sec 377, marital rape exceptions, Aadhaar, Finance Act amendment, beef ban too.
— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) August 22, 2017