#06-18 Muslim Divorce Decision – India

Instant divorce by oral triple talaq is dead but not buried

In August 2017, India’s Supreme Court found it unconstitutional for a man to divorce his wife just by saying – or texting – the word talaq three times. Women activists say this type of divorce is not in the Koran, which prescribes a slow process with mediation; but the patriarchal religious leadership that controls India’s Muslim personal law insists that this tradition is part of religion and cannot be changed. A plaintiff and four women activists discuss the ensuing struggle and how they want it to be resolved.

Host(s): Kalpana Pradhan
Featured Speakers/Guests: Plaintiff Afreen Rehman, who was divorced by a letter in Speed Post; Zakia Soman, co-founder of the organisation Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), which has been working on a new draft Muslim family code for years; co-founder of BMMA, Noor Zehan Safia Niaz; Chandrayee Alam, a senior Kolkata High Court advocate who is working for the rights of the Muslim women in the state; Anuradha Kapoor, social activist and director of the organization SWAYAM.

Credits: Produced by Kalpana Pradhan for WINGS; series producer, Frieda Werden

Comments: A draft law criminalizing instant divorce was rushed out by India’s parliament in December 2016, but all the states have yet to decide if they will accept it. So far, only one has agreed.