Statement by Hasina Khan, Roshni Rina, Geeta Thatra, Shirin Dalvi on behalf of Bebaak Collective (Voices of the Fearless).
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org/ 9870162113
We, as part of women’s movement and practising feminists working with Muslim community and the women of the community for years in India, take the liberty to write this statement condemning the recent affidavit posed by All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). The claims of this affidavit are:
First, abolition of triple talaq is (un) Quranic;
Second, since women lack decision making abilities, it is only men of the community who should have this right;
Third, polygamy is Islamic, though not promoted by Islam, and this practice ensures marital rights for Muslim women, banning of which will result in promiscuous sexual practices or murder of women at the hands of their husbands;
Fourth, the honorable Supreme Court of India has no right to intervene in the religious law of the community.
This statement has been issued by the AIMPLB in the context of the growing number of Muslim women’s petitions challenging the constitutionality of triple talaq in the apex court.
We strongly condemn this statement based on all the four premises.
First, whether the practice of unilateral triple talaq is validated by religion or not is not our concern, rather we emphasize that it is gender discriminatory and epitomises patriarchal values and therefore must be abolished.
Second, the belief that women lack decision making qualities dilutes the citizenship rights of Muslim women in India who have been exercising their electoral rights for more than sixty years now.
Third, the idea that polygamy ensures marital rights for Muslim women and prevents death threats, and that its erasure will increase promiscuous sexuality, is not only conservative but also challenges the principle of ‘equality’ enshrined by our Indian Constitution for women.
Fourth, the claim that Supreme Court cannot intervene in personal law contravenes Article 14 which promises equal rights to the citizens within Indian territory across religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.
It is no surprise that All India Muslim Personal Board has not progressed over the decades and reiterates the same position which resonates with the patriarchal conservative ideas of the community. However, we envision a gender just law for the community where there would be social security and rights for women as promised by the Indian Constitution.
We do not believe in progressive or regressive interpretation of religion, nor codification of Muslim Personal Law for codification can eliminate the multiple realities of identity, multiple practices of beliefs and pluralist visions of family structure, which we believe exist in in every community, including the Muslim community.
We therefore, emphasize on acknowledgement of women’s rights which remain unacknowledged in the name of religion, purity, chastity or even in the garb of ‘protecting’ women.
This statement is not only an emphatic resistance to religious organizations like All India Muslim Personal Law Board but also a call to reiterate the feminist vision of gender just laws for Muslim women who are also rightfully Indian citizens.
List of organizations, collectives, groups and individuals supporting the statement.
- Forum Against Oppression of Women, Mumbai
- Khairun, Sameena, Manda Behen from Parwaaz Sansthan, Gujarat
- Sahiyar (Stree Sangathan) Team
- LABIA- A Queer Feminist LBT Collective
- Awaaz-E-Niswaan, Bombay
- Saheli Women’s Resource Centre, Delhi
- Pehchaan, Dedhradu
- Muhim, Farrukhabad
- Sparrow Mumbai
- Humsafar Support System, Lucknow
- Zehen Collective- An Intersectional Queer Feminist Collective, Mumbai
List of scholars, writers, activists, theatre personality and individuals.
- Ayesha Kidwai, Jawaharlal Nehru University
- Uma Chakravarti, Historian
- Ritu Menon, editor and author of Unequal Citizens: A Study of Muslims Women in India
- Zoya Hasan, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi author of Educating Muslim Girls: a comparison of five Indian cities
- Mary E John, Centre for Women’s Studies, Delhi
- Anjali Monteiro, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
- Teesta Setalvad, activist, Mumbai
- Madhu Mehra, Partners for Law in Development, Delhi
- Masooma Ranalvi, activist campaigning against female genital mutilation
- Rahman Abbas, writer, Bombay
- Ritu Diwan, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai
- Jaya Sagade, Director, Women’s Study Centre, Pune
- Lata Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
- Suneeta Dhar, Jagori, Delhi
- Rajarshi Dasgupta, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
- Geeta Seshu, journalist Bombay
- Sukla Sen, EKTA (Community for Communal Animity), Mumbai
- Ranu Jain, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
- Rituparna Borah, Nazariya, Delhi
- Anuradha Kapoor, Swayam, Kolkata
- S, Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai.
- Vahida Nainar
- Pushpa Achanta, Bangalore
- Monisha Behal, North East Network, Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland
- Hozefa Ujjaini, Janvikas, Ahmadabad
- Madhu Bhusan
- Gabriele Dietrich, Madurai
- Kalyani Menon-Sen, Delhi
- Abha Bhaiya, Jagori, Delhi
- Thanksky Thekkekara, Ex. Additional Chief Secretary of Maharashtra
- Shubhada Deshmukh, Ahmi Amchaya Arogaya saathi – gadhchiroli,Nagpur
- Pyoli Swatija, Women against sexual violence and State repression
- Purwa Bharadwaj, activist
- Razia Patel, activist and writer, Pune
- Anwar Rajan, Pragtishil Bhartiya Muslim Andolan
- Pouruchisti Wadia, SNEHA , Mumbai
- Rohini Hesman, author, Bombay
- Kamayani Bali Mahabal
- Brinelle D’souza, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
- Nasreen Fazalbhoy
- Mangai, theatre person, Chennai
- Japleen Pasricha, Feminism in India
- Vimala Ramachandran
- Hussain Indorewala, Mumbai
- Saswati Ghosh, Professor, Kolkata
- Shakil Ahmad, Swaraj Abhiyan
- ShubhRaj Merchanta Chacko
- Lena Ghosh
- Johanna Lokhade
- K Dave
- Sohini Shoaib
- Reema K M
- Ansari Najmussaher
- Neetika Vishwanath
- Nandini Rao
- Aswathy Raveendran
- Juhi Jain
- Riddhima Sharma, FemPsitive
- Rubina Jasani
- Farrukh Saiyyeda Waris
- Gitanjali Joshua
- Nazia Akhtar
- Trupti Sethi
- Salim Saboowala
- Rajan Padwal
- Payal Agarwal
- Kaveri Dadhich
- Niti Saxena
- Neeraj Malik
- Javed Malick
- Anisha George, Research Scholar, Tiss, Mumbai
- Runu Chakrabarti
- Anuradha Pati
- Nimisha, Olakh, Vadodara
- Shewli Kumar, TISS, Mumbai
- Lakshmi Subhramanium
- Vaishali Gaikwad
- Sana Contractor
- Rafia Zaman
- Riddhima Sharma, Research Scholar, Jawaharlal Nehru University
- Priyanka Sisodiya
- Afreen Bano Khan
- Swarnima Bhattacharya
- Tarique Eqbal
- Deepra Dandekar
- Rajesh Umadevi
- Urvija Priyadarshini
- Ranjini Murthy
- Brandt, Zehen, Mumbai
- Pushpa Achanta
- Nivedita Menon, JNU