In what seems to be a clear influence of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) which is led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti on Thursday opposed the triple talaq bill when it came up for debate in the Lok Sabha. The ruling party in Telangana had not cleared its stand when the bill was placed before the House the previous time.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, TRS Parliamentary Party leader A P Jithender Reddy was quoted as saying, âModifying religious practices is not the purpose of this House. This bill is entirely arbitrary. We should ensure the integration of minority community into the majority, not alienate them. This bill is misconceived.â
This comes after the AIMIM and TRS fought the recent Telangana Assembly polls on 'friendly' terms. TRS President and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao even said that he was working with Owaisi on a national level to unite the Muslim community in the country, as part of his larger plans for a Federal Front.
The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed a controversial bill that criminalises the practice of triple talaq among Muslims, amidst walkout by the Congress and the BJP ally AIADMK as opposition parties attacked the government saying the measure was aimed at political gains in view of the coming general elections.
The bill, which provides for up to three years' imprisonment for invoking instant divorce by uttering talaq thrice in a single sitting, was passed with 245 in favour and 11 against in a division after rejection of all opposition amendments, after the government turned down demands for referring the bill to a joint select committee for detailed consideration.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 replaces an ordinance issued in September after the government failed to get the bill passed in the Rajya Sabha earlier this year. A similar bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in December last year but could not clear the Rajya Sabha where the opposition managed to stall it. The bill will now go to the Rajya Sabha where the government may still find it difficult to push it through.
AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi said while the Supreme Court is decriminalising adultery and same sex relationships, the government was intent on criminalising triple talaq because "you want to send Muslims to jail".
At the same time, he said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was not bothered about social problems faced by Hindu women.
Referring to the BJP stand on the Sabarimala verdict, he said while the ruling party opposed it saying it is a matter of faith, the same principle is not applicable to a matter of faith for Muslims.