Dear Ishrat Jahan, Don’t Become a Pawn in Triple Talaq Politics
I just got back home today after a whirlwind new year celebration with my eleven-year-old son, to find a letter on my window. My son tried to look, but I knew what it was, so hurriedly snatched it away.
Despite the fact that the gentleman in question and I have had differences for almost a decade, and haven’t lived together for almost eight of those years, I wasn’t ready to let go, and I am not sure I still am.
I have been to counsellors, spoken to friends, family, and friends who are family, yet I haven’t found it in me to let go. Which is why, when you say that any man who pronounces ‘talaq’ three times and casts his wife asunder should be imprisoned, I understand. Your words resonate with me on more levels than you can imagine.
You must have wanted to hurt your husband while with him. And the same applies to him. Ad nauseum. Because that’s what men and women do to each other in marriages that eventually come to an end. And apparently in so many marriages that don’t.
You got no time to prepare yourself for a life on your own, you got no time to prepare the kids, and hell, you don’t know how you will deal with your life ahead.
Let Law Take Its Course
And like you, Ishrat, I was born a Muslim. A faith I practice as much as I understand it, in a syntax that is far from the fire-spewing God we grew up with. But I am a Hindu too. I was married under the Hindu Marriage Act due to a ‘comedy of errors’, but that is something we can discuss over tea some day.
The courts have done well to call triple talaq illegal and akin to domestic violence. There is, then, a law of the land that will take its course.
A law that has, at your behest, cast aside something despicable, which, despite its violent nature, found social acceptance for ages.
Don’t Let the State Hijack Your Narrative
I know you would want him to be in pain and I know it would soothe your soul to have him writhe in agony.
The fight is between you and the man who had promised you a ‘forever’, and then reneged on that promise, leaving you without enough to live on. It is not a matter between the State and your ex-husband. But imagine the State taking over, or someone other than you, deciding to prosecute the man you were married to.
Implications of Being ‘Poster Girl’ Against Triple Talaq
Do not for a moment believe that I do not share your agony and helplessness at having been denied the time to come to terms with such a life-changing event. I am just hoping you understand the implications of what you are now ready to be the poster girl for.
But when you sit down with a cup of tea, or whatever your poison is, all by yourself, think about why those who are using you as the face of their heinous agenda are doing so.
Don’t Further Alienate Muslims
This Bill will take away that option from every Muslim – man or woman.
Do not let your bitterness, desperation and fear fuel this madness. Do not let your personal grief cloud your judgement, do not let your lack of discretion in this moment alienate an entire community more than it already is. Because that is exactly what this Bill wants to do.
It isn’t about women’s rights anymore. It’s about flexing one’s muscles and intimidating an entire demographic in your country and mine.
Woman to woman, Ishrat, I hope you find your peace. And I promise you, you will know, as will I, that there is so much more to life than being someone’s wife.
Best wishes always,
(The writer is a Gurugram-based doctor. This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)