Fundamental rights can’t be determined by religion: Arun Jaitley
Former finance minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that the triple talaq bill, aimed at banning the practice of instant divorce among Muslims, “exposed those who consider themselves liberals”.
“A ‘liberal’ should ordinarily be hostile to the idea of discrimination and injustice perpetuated by an oral divorce. In this case, not one spoke in favour of the Bill which is ending the injustice. They raised weak arguments so that the fundamentalists amongst the Muslims are kept happy,” Jaitley wrote in his
“Let us assume the reverse of the present situation. What if such a provision existed in Hindu law? Liberals, leftists, women organisations and perhaps even the judiciary would have been shocked with such a provision and would have attempted either for a repeal of the law or it being declared unconstitutional. These people stand exposed because what they have attempted to raise farcical objections,” he wrote.
While the Constitution has the “right to practise and propagate one’s religion” as well as an individual’s fundamental rights in the same chapter, there is a need to do a rethink on provisions of personal law which violate fundamental rights, he said.
He then goes on to make a distinction between the rights and rituals in any religion.
“Rituals cannot be decided by the law. They remain squarely within the right to practise one’s religion. However, fundamental rights belong to all. One section of the society cannot be denied these rights. What affects the right of a citizen – in this case the Muslim wife, cannot be determined by a religion,” Jaitley wrote.