What happens when an age-old practice against the rights of women is termed unconstitutional by the highest court in the country? A breakthrough. A breakthrough for a nation that is on a path towards growth and progress, both economically, as well as for the security and well-being of its citizens. It is an assurance to citizens that their rights will be protected against all odds.
A historic judgement was announced on 22nd August, 2017 by the Supreme Court of India. The judgment invalidates the centuries old instant triple talaq practice and termed it unconstitutional and unIslamic. In this regard, the 5 judge bench of the Supreme Court directed the Parliament to enact a law within the given time period.
Under the practice, a man can divorce his wife verbally by simply uttering the word ‘talaq’ three times. The practice was challenged by Shayara Bano who was divorced in this manner by her husband of 13 years. She decided to fight and challenged the regressive practice through a petition filed in court. The writ petition was in the support of gender equality and gender equity.
The ruling which has far reaching consequences is going to empower women and is a definite step towards gender justice. The judgement to end this arbitrary practice gives the current Government’s mission of empowering women a big push. The Prime Minister has also addressed the issue of Triple Talaq on various occasions, the most recent being during his Independence Day Speech. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “I pay my respects to those women who had to lead miserable lives due to Triple Talaq and then started a movement which created an environment in the whole nation against the practice,”. He also promised his support as well as the nation’s support towards this struggle.
The Narendra Modi led Government has taken definitive steps towards the well-being, protection and empowerment of women. Initiatives such as Beti bachao, beti padhao, Ujjwala Yojana, One stop centers are fine examples of building a society that offers women an opportunity to build a secure and health future. This move, then, affirms the Government’s vision to empower the women of India and assures them of the support of the judiciary as well as the Government.