Triple Talaq verdict: Is it a new India emerging?
Muslim women have a right to live their lives like any other women and any regressive custom must be quashed for their liberty and freedom. Having said that, triple talaq verdict of Supreme Court making this old custom invalid has been presented by television anchors like a collective effort of majority community to set right all wrongs in Muslims of India. From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to all BJP and Congress leaders it is a historic verdict to liberate Muslim women from the shackles of slavery. Many television anchors were presenting the verdict as if there are flaws within Islam and they want to correct them on behalf of the Muslim community as Big Brothers of Indian Muslims. From this verdict to the recent campaign against the Muslims across country as beef eaters and sympathetic to terrorism, where does it finally leads the country?
From the din and chaos of such dictatorial majority community onslaughts, what is emerging from the shadows. The contours of Hindu Rashtra with totalitarian authority are emerging from these anti-Muslim campaigns. A secular country with the Bible of constitution is no longer visible, at least to the Muslims and other minorities of the country. The thrust of RSS and BJP on Common Civil Code is becoming stark, as many of their leaders in many television debates said that Triple Talaq verdict was a curtain raiser to implement Common Civil Code.
The opposition is already in disarray. The Hindu sentiment in the society is becoming writ large and all the decisions of BJP to move on their communal agenda like Ram Mandir and Common Civil Code has a huge approval of Hindu population. The seeds of communalism and hatred have started sprouting and the artificial polarization created by BJP to win power and seats, has unfortunately become a permanent feature of our society.
All Hindu fringe organizations have become emboldened and the plight of Muslims was best described by outgoing Vice President of the country Dr Hamid Ansari. He gave tongue to all the silent fears of Muslims in his last outgoing speech and raised the alarm against the growing intolerance. What will happen when silently the country will come in the clutches of Hindu rabids? The way Lt Colonel Purohit was released on bail by Supreme Court despite having charges like being a terrorist and smuggling arms for a Hindu terrorist organization Abhinav Bharat is alarming. The tone of news channels was clear as they were all crying at their highest pitch that he was framed by ATS, Maharashtra and NIA. By such lopsided television debates in order to protect a person with terrorism charges only because he belongs to an RSS affiliated organization shows how much damage has been done to the secular fabric of the country. Just imagine if a semi activist would have been given bail by SC on the similar charges, what would these television channels have done. Triple Talaq verdict is being presented by the media especially the television channels as the beginning of "overhaul' Muslim community ills within the country. The way India is being shaped by its political masters and media, the future is very frightening for the minorities. Muslims according to Sachar Committee report are already now worse than Dalits in the country. Of anyone has even an iota of sympathy in the establishment, there should be result oriented schemes out of the shadows of illiteracy. The Modi government has not so far taken any steps by virtue of which Muslims or any minority in the country can feel that they are equal citizens. Triple verdict has unfortunately come at a time when the Muslim community is facing multi- pronged onslaught from BJP and its Hindu brigade. They are already living a life of uncertainty and recluse. Their participation in different spheres of life has been curtailed and they are having a fight within and outside. Many Muslim organizations working on the ground must take immediate and drastic measure e to do the reform and bring out the community from the tag of being regressive and illiterate.
(The author teaches at Media Education Research Centre – MERC, University of Kashmir)