At least 10 Muslim women on Wednesday recited the Hanuman chalisa, a devotional hymn to the monkey god of the Hindus, 100 times at a temple in Varanasi seeking an end to the contentious practice of triple talaq.
Nazneen Ansari, who heads the Muslim Mahila foundation that works for the rights of poor women of the community, translated the chalisa to Urdu and recited it with other women of the foundation and some Hindu women at the Lord Hanuman temple on the premises of the Patalpuri Mutt in Varanasi.
“It is believed that the chanting the Hanuman chalisa 100 times makes wishes come true. So we chanted it to seek an end to triple talaq which has caused troubles to several Muslim women,” she said.
Shahana and Naajma, part of the group, are victims of triple talaq and took part in the Hindu ritual as a mark of protest against the practice by which Muslim men can divorce their wives by uttering the word talaq thrice in succession.
Opposing the practice, the BJP-led Centre has raised the matter in the Supreme Court, saying it denied women gender equality provided in the Constitution.
However, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and several Muslim groups have opposed the change in their community’s personal laws, saying they cannot be challenged as being violative of fundamental rights given in the Constitution.
A constitution bench of the Supreme Court has begun hearing petitions filed by the Centre and several women regarding the constitutional validity of the practice.
Shahana and Naajma have not filed petitions in the court, but oppose the practice altogether. Nazneen expressed confidence that Lord Hanuman will liberate Muslim women from triple talaq.
Senior RSS office bearer Indresh Kumar and Patalpuri Mutt chief priest Baba Balakdas also recited the Hanuman chalisa. Baba Balakdas extended his support to the campaign.
Indresh Kumar said the time had come to end the practice of triple talaq. He claimed Muslim women across the country were against it and everyone should support them in their fight against triple talaq.