A notice issued by the Uttar Pradesh government regarding the appointment of 3,500 Urdu teachers has triggered protests from Muslims in the state, The Times of India reported.
The notice reads, "All those who have two wives, both living, will be considered non-eligible for the post. Also female candidates who is married to a man with two wives, both living, will also be considered non-eligible."
According to the TOI report, government officials say that the proviso was introduced to prevent any confusion over who will get the widow or widower's pension. However, the Muslim Personal Law Board states that it violates the rights of Muslims.
The order also states that candidates must reveal their marital status and an education department official told TOI that the condition applies to all government teachers and not just Urdu teachers.
"The marital status section has a clause that all those who have two wives, both living, will be considered non-eligible. Women candidates married to a man with two wives are also not eligible," the official said.
Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, Imam of Lucknow's Eidgah and a member of the Muslim Personal Law Board, told TOI, "The government cannot impose such conditions when it comes to recruitment of staff. There is a provision for four marriages in Islam, even though just about one percent of Muslim men have two wives. Even so, such conditions should not become part of the job application process."