With the passage of the triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha on 30 July, triple talaq is becoming a crime. In that context, Prime Minister Modi noted in Twitter "An archaic and medieval practice has finally been consigned to the dustbin of history! Parliament abolishes Triple Talaq and corrects a historical wrong done to Muslim women. This is a victory of gender justice and further equality in society. India rejoices today".
The Sangh parivar media machine is touting the triple talaq bill as a great step towards the emancipation of Muslim women. Several statistics however prove that Muslims are the community with the lowest incidence of divorce, and even among them, divorces through triple talaq make up just 0.44 per cent. In other words, there is little substance in the propaganda that triple talaq is something that affects Muslim women as a whole at an alarming scale. With the Supreme Court judgement that declared triple talaq invalid earlier, even that small per centage of triple talaq has ceased to take effect. Given this situation, the question arises about the motive for the government to get such a legislation passed in the very first session of the new parliament. And the answer to that would bring up certain serious matters.
The BJP claims that its goal is to wipe the tears of Muslim women. This claim, coming from a section that brings hundreds of mothers, sisters and wives to tears on a daily basis through mob lynching and arbitrary arrests, can easily be seen through as a mere boax. Then, what would be their driver? It cannot be anything other than intimidation. The seminal book that defines RSS has laid the premise that Muslims are an internal threat to this country. They are not prepared even in principle to recognize Muslims as fully fledged citizens. In their eyes, the community can, if they wish, live as a subservient population. They have put this theory to test with success in Gujarat. The grand design is to convert Muslims as a community of vassals without voice or dreams. This requires two things: intimidate and divide. Triple talaq bill is a tool to achieve both in one go.
The sangh parivar camp has been able to blackmail the Opposition by raising the formula that if you are opposed to the triple talaq bill, you are not for gender justice. That was how they were able to push through the bill even in Rajya Sabha where the government does not enjoy a majority. Thus, while divorce is a civil act in all communities, for Muslims alone it became a criminal act. This gives a clear message to Muslims that this is how the government is going to deal with you: an admission that it is going to treat you as 'other' citizens. Numerous news items have been appearing about street killings in the name of not chanting Jai Shri Ram. There is no difference between such mob lynching and the mob legislation in parliament in the matter of the message conveyed. The intent is to keep Muslims in trepidity and to hold on to power by dividing India into two: a frightened, cowardly minority and a triumphant majority shouting hurrah under mass hysteria.
That being the situation, if anyone thinks that news of attacks with Jai Shri Ram calls is troubling the government, he is absolutely wrong. The group involved here is one that released a music album with the lyrics "jo na bole Jai Shri Ram, bhej do us ko Khabaristan'" (he who does not chant Jai Shri Ram, send him to the grave yard). Given such a frame of mind, reports of Jai Shri Ram murders will only add to their morale. The picture of an aged father, unable to procure an ambulance to carry the dead body of his son who was burnt to death and was forced to carry it on a truck, may pain the tender ones among human beings. But the country is ruled by those who deem the spread of such pictures helpful to boost the morale of their gang.
It is the Muslim leadership here that gets caught in an intricate web. They have a great responsibility to instil confidence among the large section under fear and lead them forward. At the same time, they have to obviate the possibility of the youth disgruntled by such discriminations, deviating into wrong channels (especially when such youth misadventure will become more handy for the government). Therefore, the task cut out for Muslim leadership is an adventurous tight-rope walk. They need to defend against the plan to make them servile through fear, create morale among the people and at the same time cause no further communal divide or straying to the wrong track. The only course before them is to get their act together, well-equipped for such an onerous mission.