Home Nation News Zakia Soman, Co-founder, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan

Zakia Soman, Co-founder, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan

Zakia Soman, Co-founder, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan

On December 12, 2022, Supreme Court of India issued notices to the Central Government and Law Commission of India on a public curiosity litigation (PIL) filed by Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), requesting abolition on practices of polygamy and different Islamic practices like Mut’ah marriages, Misyar marriages and Nikah-halala as they violate Fundamental Rights of the Muslim girls in India below Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution. BMMA, an organisation working for equal rights for Muslim girls in India, on December 21, 2022 launched a report ‘Status of women in polygamous marriages and need for legal protection’ in Mumbai, Maharashtra. In the background of the survey and PIL, BMMA Co-founder Zakia Soman spoke completely to Organiser Special Correspondent, Nishant Kumar Azad. Excerpts:

What was the concept behind the survey?

We have been demanding a codified Muslim household legislation for a few years. After abolition of triple talaq, we’re notably targeted on little one marriages and polygamy as they result in lifelong injustice to girls. We needed to focus on the situation of girls in polygamous marriages, their emotional trauma, financial hardships and social lack of face and so forth. Women have expressed these emotions within the survey.

The survey was carried out in 2017. What is the rationale behind the delay to convey it into the general public area?

The survey was carried out in 2017 and the report was prepared by finish of 2018. We needed to launch it together with a PIL within the Supreme Court in opposition to polygamy. The PIL took a while to arrange since discovering professional bono legal professionals and so forth, took time. By the time we have been about to file, Covid-19 arrived. This led to a niche of just about three years. Finally, the PIL was admitted and on December 12, 2022 the Supreme Court (SC) issued discover to the Centre in our PIL.

“In 1997, the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the practice of polygamy saying the matter was a policy decision and the court should not interfere. But in November 2022, the court agreed to form a constitution bench to conduct proceedings on pleas related polygamy and Nikah Halala”

The Muslim Personal legislation board is in opposition to the Supreme Court thought of banning polygamy. It has opposed the petition within the SC.

Muslim Personal Law Board is on the coronary heart of the issue. It is futile to anticipate any options from them. Even in triple talaq circumstances, girls started approaching courts after utter failure of the board and people affiliated to them. They insist on sustaining patriarchal established order and are available in the way in which of girls’s rights turning into actuality. They can proceed to oppose however I’m assured the SC will come to the ladies’s assist & reject their pleas.
In 1997, the Apex Court refused to intervene with the observe of polygamy saying the matter was a coverage choice and the courtroom mustn’t intervene. But in November 2022, the courtroom agreed to type a structure bench to conduct proceedings on pleas associated polygamy and ‘Nikah Halala’.

The examine carried out throughout 11 states in India, surveyed the standing of wives whose husbands are in polygamous marriages. The report highlighted that an amazing variety of girls mentioned that they felt a sense of betrayal, lack of dignity and lack of self-respect when their husbands married different girls

Summary of Findings

  • Polygamous marriage causes large emotional trauma to the girl other than financial and different hardships. It results the girl’s sense of self respect, shallowness and dignity as a human being
  • Most wives in polygamous unions have low training and revenue standing. 77 per cent first wives are dropouts beneath SSC, 43 per cent should not have an revenue. Further, a big proportion of girls in such preparations – about 52 per cent – have an revenue beneath Rs 10,000. This signifies that girls in these marriages are disadvantaged of financial independence
  • In 49 per cent of the circumstances the place the girl occurs to be in a polygamous union, the mother and father have chosen the partner. This reveals the comparatively little autonomy that girls have inside this establishment and makes a mockery of the Quranic provision of consent. It additionally highlights that assumptions about free, autonomous alternative of spouses in polygamy shouldn’t be true
  • An overwhelming variety of girls mentioned they felt a way of betrayal, lack of dignity and lack of self-respect when the husband remarried regardless of her being the spouse
  • The survey highlights extreme psychological well being points that plague the ladies
  • 50 per cent of the ladies mentioned that they have been depressed more often than not. They additionally reported different signs of melancholy reminiscent of lack of sufficient sleep (43 per cent), frequent aches and pains (33 per cent), not feeling good about themselves (33 per cent), and even an inclination to self-harm (43 per cent)
  •  An overwhelming variety of girls (84 per cent) felt that polygamy ought to be outlawed. A lot of them (73 per cent) even mentioned that the husband who takes a second spouse ought to be punished

Are you optimistic that the Apex Court’s choice can be in your favour?

We are extraordinarily hopeful that we are going to get justice. The SC will see the injustice inherent within the system. Our petition argues that Islam permitted polygamy in a sure context and at a time way back, however it by no means inspired polygamy. Also, Islam doesn’t allow polygamy in at the moment’s context the place there isn’t any struggle, no widows & orphans in want of assist. Plus, within the fashionable age, widows will be helped by way of training & financial empowerment.

Your organisation has performed a key position in legally banning immediate triple talaq, so do you suppose that this survey will pave the way in which to finish polygamy?

Yes, it’s excessive time polygamy is made unlawful. The thought of a person having a number of wives is anathema to girls’s human rights, dignity and equality.

“Muslim Personal Law Board is at the heart of the problem. It is futile to expect any solutions from them. Even in triple talaq cases, women began approaching courts after utter failure of the board and those affiliated to them. They insist on maintaining patriarchal status quo and come in the way of women’s rights becoming reality. They can continue to oppose but I am confident the SC will come to the women’s help & reject their pleas”

Do you see any chance of educated average Muslims extending assist in your survey?

There are many Muslims who assist the rights of girls. They should start talking out extra vocally to assist the marketing campaign.

What is your motion plan now?

Besides pursuing the PIL, we are going to write to girls’s commissions, minorities fee and progressive MPs, who assist gender equality. We may even proceed to teach the general public about the necessity to abolish such unjust practices.

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