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A rebuttal to the Triple Talaq article written by Mani Shankar Aiyar

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Recently, I came across an article by Mani Shankar Aiyar on the NDTV portal. The article was about triple talaq. This is my counter to that article.

The first paragraph tries to show the diversity in the Muslim society. He argues that for last many hundred years, different school of thoughts within the Muslim community have debated various social issues of muslims. One interesting statement from the first paragraph is “And while the four different schools of Sunni jurisprudence — Hanafi, Maliki, Hanbali and Shafii — are agreed on the theological validity of triple talaq at one sitting, ever since the time of the thirteenth century Ibn Taymiyyah (1263–1328), the Hanafi school has held that three talaqs at one sitting constitutes not three pronouncements but only one.” Does Hanafi school’s view make the triple talaq less archaic? Definitely not. The view may show the triple talaq less regressive but it certainly does not make it so.

In short, the first para is to show that Muslim social customs are subject to debate by muslims themselves. After that, the author suggests that because muslims have this mechanism and ability to introspect and make changes in their social customs, they don’t need ‘saffron brigade’ to assist them in realization of this change. The author’s hatred for the Prime Minister and ‘saffron brigade’ is so much that he cannot express his views on Muslim issues without bashing the PM and so called ‘saffron brigade’. The author is a classic example of a breed of pseudo-liberals who says that ‘Outside interference only has negative consequences on the internal debate’ only when ‘internal debate’ is subject to minority matters.

The author quotes a lady named Asma Zaheer of the All-India Muslim Personal Board (AIMPLB),“As citizens, Indians need to decide whether we want to follow the Constitution which gives us religious rights, or some vested saffron agenda.” Is giving equal rights to every women in the country regardless of their religion a ‘vested saffron agenda’? Please spare us madam. A woman becomes a hindrance in the process of giving women equal rights. What an irony ! Now the author brings in the political angle in the ongoing debate. When the Prime Minister of our nation talks about giving equal rights to women, is he politicising the matter? The author then writes about how the muslim population detest the Prime Minister by showing ‘Estimates are that some 77 per cent of Muslim voters have consistently voted against him in Gujarat, leave alone elsewhere.’ So, now let’s look at the results of 2014 general election. The author’s party, the GOP of India, Indian National Congress lost on 499 out of 543 seats. So, the majority of the country regardless of their religion has voted against your party. But does that mean the party should not speak up what is good for Indians? Of course not. In the same way, if the muslims have not voted for the Prime Minister of his party, as the author suggests, that should not stop him from saying what is good for them. Instead of the view that the PM is politicising the issue, it should be said that the PM is thinking of welfare even of those who have not voted for him.

The author then says,“ In any case, the courts are there.” But when he says this, he forgets that it was his own party and Prime Minister who have undermined the court ruling by enacting a law that has diluted a Supreme Court judgement in 1980s. I assume you know what I am talking about. So, it is not the BJP or so called Hindu extremists who have politicised this matter but your own party.

The author then argues that,“Proof positive of the validity of leaving Muslim law to the Muslim community is to be found in Muslim non-participation in the agonized debates that lasted for several decades since before Independence and into the first decade of freedom over the Hindu Code Bill (that was eventually enacted as five separate Acts)… As far as I have been able to discover, not one Muslim or any other non-Hindu MP intervened. Only Hindus spoke. Many were in favour; many were against.” And so, the author asserts that Hindus should not speak when there is a discussion on muslim matters. This can be countered on two accounts. First, just because muslims did not speak at the time of Hindu Code Bill discussion doesn’t mean they were not allowed to speak. They should have expressed their views. Second, there may be a reason why the muslims didn’t speak. They knew if they would express their views on other’s religion, then they are subject to scrutiny in the matters of their own religion by people from other religion.

In the end, I would like to conclude by saying: Yes, Muslims should debate themselves in order to give their fellow muslims equal rights. But others do have right to express their opinion in their matter. And in doing so, you don’t have to bash so called hindu extremists.

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Liberal Right
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#philosophy #perception #rightpolitics #behavioraleconomics #organizedreligion #wwbd
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