New Delhi, July 17: Just a day ahead of the monsoon session, the Congress as always shows the double standards they inherit with Congress President Rahul Gandhi requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi pass the Women Reservation Bill in the coming monsoon session. Proclaiming to provide full support, one question to the Congress President, why didn’t you pass the triple talaq bill?
In an official communication, the Congress President sought the support of the ruling party for the hassle free passage of the Women's Reservation Bill. He asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rise above party politics to strengthen the cause of Women Empowerment. While the Congress claims to support women empowerment and pushing their stance on working for the women, the question is if they really wanted the women of the country to be empowered and have a liberal base in the country, why did the party reject the Triple Talaq Bill.
Reacting to Rahul Gandhi’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for support to Women’s Reservation Bill, the BJP on Monday attacked the Congress for adopting double standards on the bill saying the party supports the bill on one side while it joins hands with those who are opposed to it. Union minister Prakash Javadekar sought to know whether the Congress could ensure letters of support for the bill from its own allies.
Rahul also urged Modi to ensure that the Bill gets passed during the monsoon session so that women can participate “more meaningfully” in the State elections later this year and in the Lok Sabha polls next year. Just a quick recap to Rahul Gandhi, the legislation to criminalize instant Triple Talaq had been tabled in Rajya Sabha amid uproar by the Opposition members. The house was however adjourned before it could make any progress. So if the party hails empowering women, then why was there a ruckus in passing the triple talaq bill in making it also a landmark revolution?
Isn’t this a sheer example of double standards shown by the Congress? If you talk about empowerment, women rights, women having a meaningful participation; the previous bill also was a medium to the same that you claim now. Empowering and passing the women reservation bill is a step moving ahead legally, but the main question lies in changing the mindset to ensure women availing the needful stance and rights.
The historic ‘Triple Talaq Bill’s unfortunate fate:
Aiming to empower all Muslim women in the country, the central government framed a draft law to end the practice of instant triple talaq named Muslim Women Act. Under this act, practicing of triple talaq is a cognizable and non-bailable offense which is punishable with three years in jail and a fine.
According to the draft law, giving triple talaq will be illegal and void, and also attract a jail term of three years for the husband. It is also been made a cognizable and non-bailable offense. A woman who has been given instant triple talaq can move the court and seeks a subsistence allowance for her and dependent children, as well as custody of minor children.
The move of making law on triple talaq came after repeated reports about people practicing it despite government’s advisories and the Supreme Court ban. The verdict also added that provisions of the Muslim Personal Law (Sharia) Application Act, 1937, insofar as they seek to recognize and enforce triple talaq, must be struck down as being void.
The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha but the Congress-led Opposition blocked the BJP-led NDA Government’s move to get the contentious Triple Talaq Bill through in Rajya Sabha. The Opposition-led by the Congress, which supported the bill in Lok Sabha, wanted it to be reviewed by a Parliamentary committee which was not accepted by the BJP led NDA government.
Pitching on “Women Reservation Bill”:
The 20-year-old Women Reservation Bill has caught the attention yet again with Rahul Gandhi urging PM Modi to pass the bill. The bill, passed by the Rajya Sabha in March 2010, demands 33% representation of women in the Lok Sabha and all state legislative assemblies. The Lok Sabha did not vote on the bill. Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Janata Dal (United) had opposed the bill.
The bill was first introduced in Parliament in September 1996. It was introduced again in 1998, 1999, and 2002. The current version of the bill was introduced in 2008 when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power. On International Women's Day this year, the bill was spoken about in the Rajya Sabha but not tabled.
Why is the bill given a second thought?
One of the bill's criticisms is it disseminates the unequal status of women as they won't be competing based on merit. It has also been suggested the quota include reservation for women from minorities and OBCs.
Another possible drawback is the suggestion that reserved constituencies will be rotated. This might remove an incentive for the elected official to take care of the constituency.