Editorial : 23-08-2017 With Vocab

UNDOING INJUSTICE: ON TRIPLE TALAQ VERDICT

By declaring the discriminatory(भेदभावपूर्ण/पक्षपाती) practice of instant triple talaq as unconstitutional(असंवैधानिक/व्यवस्थाविरुद्ध), the Supreme Court has sent out a clear message that personal law can no longer be privileged(विशेषाधिकृत) over fundamental rights. Three of the five judges on the Constitution Bench have not accepted the argument((तर्क/दलील) that instant talaq, or talaq-e-biddat, is essential to Islam and, therefore, deserves constitutional protection under Article 25. The biggest virtue(नैतिकगुण/प्रभाव/भलाई) of the two opinions constituting( गठित करना/निर्माण करना) the majority judgment is that they do not have toundermine(दुर्बल करना/खोखला कर देना) any religious tenet(सिद्धान्त) to make their point. On the contrary(विपरीत),as Justice Kurian Joseph says, the forbidden(वर्जित/ हराम) nature of triple talaq can be gleaned(बीनना/सूचना प्राप्त करना) from the Koran itself. Justice Rohinton Nariman, writing the main judgment, locates the practice in the fourth degree of obedience(अनुपालन/अनुसरण) required by Islamic tenets, namely, makruh, or that which isreprobated(धिक्कारना/निंदा करना) as unworthy(अयोग्य). The main ground on which the practice has been struck down is a simple formulation(निरूपण): that “this form of talaq is manifestly(स्पष्टतः/साफ़ तौर पर) arbitrary(मनमाना/विवेकाधीन) in the sense that the marital tie can be broken capriciously(चंचलता/सनक से/मनमौजी) and whimsically(अस्थिर/बहमी) by a Muslim man without any attempt at reconciliation(फिर सेमेल या मिलाप) so as to save it.” In fact, the final summation(परिणाम/अंतिम अभिवचन) is so simple that the court did not even have toelaborate(विस्तार) on how triple talaq violates gender equality. On the contrary, Justice Nariman says that having held the practice to be arbitrary, there is really no need to go into the element of discrimination. The court deserves commendation(प्रशंसा/सराहना) for undoing the gender injustice implicit(अंतर्निहित) in the practice soeffortlessly(सरलतासे), within constitutional parameters as well as the Islamic canon.The present case was initiated suo motu by the court, but opinion against triple talaq could not have gathered(इकठ्ठाकरना/परिणामनिकालना) critical mass and the case against it significantly bolstered(मसनद/सहारा देना) if it weren’t for afew women standing up to the community’s conservative(रूढइवादी) elements and challenging it. Any other outcome would have been a great injustice to them. Even the judges in the minority have had toconcede(मानलेना) that their reasoning is based mainly on the fact that this form of talaq is a matter of personal law, and therefore entitled(अधिकारदेना) to constitutional protection. “It is not open to a court to accept anegalitarian(समतावादी/सर्वधर्म समभावी) approach over a practice which constitutes an integral part of religion,” writes Chief Justice J.S. Khehar in his minority opinion. Interestingly, even his view segues(पालन करें) into a somewhat egalitarian position, restraining(निरोधक/अंकुश/रोकलगाना) Muslim men from pronouncing triple talaq until Parliament enacts(नियमबनाना) a law to regulate it. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, and all those who supported its regressive(लौटनेवाला/प्रतिगामी) opinion that even an unworthy practice should not bedislodged(हटाना/उखाड़ फेंकना) by judicial verdict, should now accept the verdict in the interests of a modern social order. And there is no reason to contend(विवादकरना/संघर्ष करना) that their faith has beenunduly(अनावश्यक रूप से/घबराहट से) secularised(धर्मनिरपेक्ष बनाना). For, as Justice Joseph concludes, “what is bad in theology(ब्रह्मविद्या/धर्मशास्त्र) is bad in law as well.”
 
1.Discriminatory(भेदभावपूर्ण/पक्षपाती)
Synonyms:- preferential, prejudiced, discriminative, invidious
 
2.Virtue(नैतिकगुण/प्रभाव/भलाई)
Synonyms:-  virtuousness, morality, integrity, dignity, rectitude
 
3.Undermine(दुर्बल करना/खोखला कर देना)
Synonyms:- counteract, countermine, sabotage, subvert, weaken
 
4.Forbidden(वर्जित/ हराम)
Synonyms:- prohibited, proscribed, verboten, disallow, embargo
 
5.Reprobated(धिक्कारना/निंदा करना)
Synonyms:- miscreant, condemn, excoriate, depraved, perverted
 
6.Commendation(प्रशंसा/सराहना)
Synonyms:- appreciation, acclaim, recognition, respect, esteem

SUPREME COURT HAS DONE RIGHT TO QUASH TRIPLE TALAQ


The Supreme Court’s majority verdict( निर्णय) declaring triple, or instant, talaq unconstitutional (असंवैधानिक) is an important, albeit (हालांकि)limited, victory for Muslim women in India. It aligns India’s Muslim personal law, in this regard, with the law in most large Islamic nations that have already outlawed triple talaq, including Pakistan and Bangladesh. It opens the door for a serious engagement towards creating a civil legal code based on the principle of equality.
For women of Muslim faith (विश्वास/आस्था) in this country, the judgement marks a first important step. But there is still a long way to go. The judgement focused on a single issue, the triple instant talaq, or talaq-e-biddat, a frequent method of divorce among Sunni Muslims in India. It does not address issues like polygamy (बहुविवाह) or nikah halala, or even theunilateral (एकतरफा/एकपार्श्विक/एकपक्षीय) privileging (विशेष अधिकार देना) of men in two other routes of divorce: talaq-e-ahsan and talaq-e-hasan. Personal laws of other religious communities, Hindus and Christians, have gone through renditions to address some concerns relating to gender equality in matters of inheritance (विरासत/वंशानुक्रम) and polygamy. Despite the gains, gender equality does not permeate (चूना/रिसना/तर करना) all aspects of civil law. The triple talaq judgement presents an opportunity to initiate a debate on putting in place a uniform civil code that brings equality — across faiths and gender. The government should ask the Law Commission to review all personal/civil laws to ensure that these do not violate (का उल्लंघन) the fundamental rights guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution. In doing so, care must be taken to strengthen democracy, rather than weaken it.
If any attempt to modify personal laws is seen not through the prism of gender equality and inter-community parity, but from a perspective of imposing the majority’s will over minorities, that would vitiate democracy. This depends not just on the modifications proposed in personal law but on the overall developments in the polity. Political parties would do well to not stoke sectarian( सांप्रदायिक) passions in the name of personal laws. Ridding laws and practices of patriarchal privilege is not easy, but essential to move towards a more wholesome democracy.

1. Verdict( निर्णय)
Synonyms: Judgment, Adjudication, Decision, Finding, Ruling, Decree, Resolution, Pronouncement
2. Faith (विश्वास/आस्था)
Synonyms: Trust, Belief, Confidence, Conviction, Optimism, Hopefulness
3.Unilateral (एकतरफा/एकपार्श्विक/एकपक्षीय)
Synonyms: Independent, Autonomous, Solitary, Solo
4. Inheritance (विरासत/वंशानुक्रम)
Synonyms: Legacy, Bequest, Endowment, Bestowal, Provision, Birthright, Heritage, Patrimony
5. Permeate (चूना/रिसना/तर करना)
Synonyms: Pervade, Imbue, Penetrate
6. Violate (का उल्लंघन)
Synonyms: Contravene, Breach, Infringe, Break, Transgress, Overstep, Disobey, Defy
7. Sectarian( सांप्रदायिक)
Synonyms: Factional, Separatist, Partisan, Doctrinaire, Dogmatic
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