BJP entering our homes: Mehbooba on triple talaq bill

The BharatiyaJanata Party is entering our homes and creating a division among families by bringing the triple talaq bill, the Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said on Monday, and asserted that the proposed law would “worsen the economic condition of Muslim women”.
BJP entering our homes: Mehbooba on triple talaq bill
Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

The BharatiyaJanata Party is entering our homes and creating a division among families by bringing the triple talaq bill, the Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said on Monday, and asserted that the proposed law would "worsen the economic condition of Muslim women".

"Through this triple talaq bill, they (BJP) have entered our homes. It has disturbed our family life and economically the condition of women will worsen," Mehbooba told a press conference here.

On December 27, the LokSabha passed the contentious bill which criminalises the practice of instant triple talaq, despite strong demand by the opposition parties that the proposed law be referred to a joint select committee of the parliament.

On Monday, the RajyaSabha failed to initiate any discussion on the bill, with a united opposition led by the Congress demanding that the draft law be sent to the select committee for scrutiny. Mehbooba said being a Muslim first and having gone through a "broken marriage", it was her duty to speak on the matter.

"There is an assault on family structure of Muslims," Mehbooba, the former J&K chief minister, said.

This is for the first time that PDP has spoken on the controversial bill. In 2015, the party entered into alliance with the BJP which helped the latter to come to power, for the first time in history of J&K. After New Delhi decided to bring the bill last year, neither the PDP, nor Mehbooba, who was then chief minister, ever spoke on the issue. 

Questioning the government's decision to bring in the proposed law against triple talaq, the PDP chief said the Supreme Court had already declared triple talaq invalid.

She said not a single member supported the bill in the parliament.

"The Muslims will abide by the Supreme Court ruling whether on triple talaq or Babri Masjid. But they (BJP) didn't agree with the Supreme Court decision on Sabrimala. And on Barbri Masjid, they say it openly that a mandir (temple) will be built there only. Despite all this, the Muslims are very obedient and obeying the Supreme Court ruling on triple talaq. They are obeying a ruling on the Babri Masjid," Mehbooba said.

Stating that marriage was a contract between two people among Muslims, she said if the two people don't want to stay together they can separate with consensus.

"I am talking about it because I have gone through a broken marriage and I feel the biggest challenge for a woman after broken marriage is how to take care of her children…economics is a big challenge," she said.

Mehbooba said: "We have been witnessing lynching and ostracization. This is already going up at an alarming scale." She said the ban on meat and leather industry has already worsened economic condition of Muslims.

"Whatever is happening is not right. BJP claims all the time that they want to carry forward Vajpayee's (former PM, late AtalBihari Vajpayee) legacy of insaniyat (humanity) and they talk about Sab KaSaat Sab KaVikas. But by bringing this bill and entering Muslims families they are creating divisions among the (Muslim) families. They are doing wrong," she said.

Despite being a Muslim majority state, J&K chose to align with Gandhi's secular India, she said.

"The acts like changing names of cities, islands, distorting history and now another onslaught…I want to tell the central government that you are not doing any service either to India or Hindus. Don't create Zia-ul-Haq's Pakistan in Gandhi's India," Mehbooba said.

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