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Shaadi And Talaq

Kapil Sibal got it completely wrong. What has faith got to do with a contract between two individuals?

Shaadi And Talaq
Shaadi And Talaq
outlookindia.com
2017-05-20T09:24:41+05:30

It is terrible that a modern, secular Republic (not to be confused with an insanely hilarious TV channel) is discussing whether it is legal for a man to utter some word thrice and throw his wife out of the house. There is nothing Islamic, Indian, Constitutional or ethical about this completely regressive idea. But then, aren’t we a farrago of many regressive races, to use an expression made fashionable recently. We use computers for astrology (I practise it), cars to honk at people and hit other cars, airplanes to slap stewards, pavements to pee, satellites to watch saas-bahu serials and cardiac stents for extortion.

Yet, triple talaq is fundamentally wrong. And whoever, for whatever reason, has picked it up as a political issue has chosen a winner. It’s an unacceptable idea even by the standards of outdated social codes. But it’s not the only outdated idea worth flushing out of our system. Everything about our marriages, divorces and inheritances—and all our personal laws based on customs or religions—are outdated, be it Hindu, Christian, Muslim or Sikh. There cannot be multiple registers with myriad agencies to conduct a civil contract like marriage. Hindu communal and caste organisations, temples, churches, mosques and prayer halls cannot be allowed to register marriages.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal got it completely wrong. What has faith got to do with a contract between two individuals? Faith is something silly between me and my mysterious maker, which secure people won’t und­erstand. Worse, Sibal is confusing faith with customs. Hindutva proponents also need not exult in Sibal’s discomfiture in defending the indefensible. Packing vulnerable widows off to Vrindavan is a dreadful custom designed to deny the woman her right to the husband’s inheritance. So, let us move on from this morass of...

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