The most ardent supporter of All India Muslim Personal Law Board perhaps could not have seen this coming -- Hridaya, a platform of tortured males based in the city have come out with the demand that triple talaq should be extended to all communities in the country to save men, and women, from harassment.
They held a ‘satyagrah’ on Rani Rashmoni Road in central Kolkata on Saturday morning to press for their demand.
Incidentally, Hridaya has about 5,000 members in West Bengal and just about 20% of them are Muslims, its convener told HT.
“Hridaya, through this satyagrah, demands equal divorce law for all communities. Triple Talaq is one of the most simplistic separation marital procedure and the same needs to be extended to all communities. Hridaya is strongly against abolishing of triple talaq as the same would bring disharmony in the society,” read a statement issued by the body.
“Our decision has nothing to do with our Muslim members. We view triple talaq as a convenient, hassle-free way of ending troublesome relationships where the breakdown in irreversible,” convener of the satyagrah, Suprotim Ghosh, told HT, admitting that the demand for extending the benefits of triple talaq to all communities will be considered a bit outlandish.
Incidentally, West Bengal has often clocked the highest number of cases under IPC section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) in the country. In 2012, it accounted for nearly 19% of the total cases registered in India under this controversial section.
Braving heat and humidity of end-April, Ghosh and members of his organisation assembled on Rani Rashmoni Road from 11 on Saturday morning. They held aloft placards pleading for quick end to troublesome husband-wife relations.
Incidentally, as the day of final hearing of triple talaq by the supreme court -- May 11 -- draws near, the camps on both sides of the divide are conducting their last minute campaign. A satyagraha was also carried out in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.
“In the absence of simplistic separation law, the warring couples have to run from pillar to post in court rooms for separation and thus the most productive life of women and men are wasted,” argued Hridaya members. “While a quick end to the agony allows both to start a new life.”
They have also claimed that banning triple talaq will also increase domestic violence. “In many cases children are the worst sufferers of estranged couples living under the same roof,” said another member.