In a scathing attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi over the stand on the Triple talaq bill, Union Minister Arun Jaitley called him an opportunist and accused him of taking a retrograde step to drive Muslim women into a life which is an antithesis of human existence.
Congress has been opposing the bill. The party announced that it will scrap the law banning triple talaq if it forms a government in 2019. Its stand remais that divorce cannot be made a penal offence and the provisions of the bill are against basic principles of the Constitution.
Taking to Facebook, Jaitley said, "Rahul Gandhi and his coterie, while addressing a minority convention promised to withdraw the Bill pending in the Parliament, penalising Triple Talaq."
In a jibe at former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Jaitley alleged that he by overturning the Shah Bano judgment of the Supreme Court had deserted women to be driven to poverty and destitution. Taking up a recent gruesome 'talaq' case of Bareilly, he accused Rahul of repeating the same step and forcing women into 'animal existence'.
"The late Rajiv Gandhi committed a monumental mistake in legislatively overturning the Shah Bano judgment of the Supreme Court which guaranteed maintenance to all muslim women. He allowed deserted women to be driven to poverty and destitution," said Jaitley.
"History has repeated itself, neither as a satire nor as a tragedy. It has repeated itself with a mindset of cruelty. Thirty-two years later his son has taken another retrograde step to drive them not merely into destitution but also to live a life which is an antithesis of human existence. The Muslim woman in Bareilly has been forced into animal existence," added Jaitley.
Raking up a recent case in Bareilly that relates to 'the obnoxious practice of Nikah-halala in Islamic personal law', Jaitley said, "A lady who is married in 2009 was twice divorced by her husband through Triple Talaq, once in 2011 and subsequently in 2017. The family prevailed upon the husband to accept her back. On both occasions, she was sedated and asked to undergo, Nikah-halala, on the first occasion with her father-in-law and on the subsequent occasion with her brother-in-law. They both raped her."
"Almost a similar case was reported by the PTI on September 2nd, 2018 as having taken place in the Sambhal District of Uttar Pradesh," he added.
"That in the 21st Century there could be such gross violation of the dignity of women in the world’s largest democracy should make every head hang in shame. After raping this lady, both the father-in-law and brother-in-law used the weapon of Triple Talaq to divorce the victim so that she could be accepted by her husband," further added Jaitley.
"If Triple Talaq had not been a permitted mode of divorce in India, would this incident emanating from a no-fault – impulsive divorce have taken place. The Supreme Court has already declared instant talaq as unconstitutional and yet in the absence of a deterrent it can at best amount to a civil wrong with no penal consequences. A number of Muslim men and conservatives are choosing to even ignore the Supreme Court judgment," added Jaitley.
He concluded saying, "Votes are important, so is fairness. Political opportunists only look at the next day’s Headlines. Nation-builders look at the next Century."