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Parties hail Triple Talaq verdict, PM Modi calls it powerful measure for women’s empowerment

LiveMint logoLiveMint 22-08-2017 Anuja

New Delhi: Exhibiting rare consensus, all political parties backed the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court on Tuesday striking down the controversial Islamic practice of triple talaq.

The ruling is of key political significance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself leading the chorus against the practice, referring to it most recently in his Independence Day speech.

“Judgment of the Hon’ble SC on Triple Talaq is historic. It grants equality to Muslim women and is a powerful measure for women empowerment,” Modi posted on Twitter.

Political analysts feel that the judgment could revive efforts for a uniform civil code (UCC)—a manifesto promise by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“It is a narrow majority judgment and will boost the move for a uniform civil code and provide space for the community to be more assertive in its rights and free of religious leadership control,” said Sandeep Shastri, political analyst and pro-vice chancellor of Jain University in Bengaluru.

The UCC, which would replace the existing system of personal laws based on the respective customs of various religious communities in India, is likely to become a political flashpoint between the BJP and opposition parties.

“SC’s order on triple talaq is bound to have political implications. The order will help the BJP appease its core support base because they think that it is the BJP which is taking up controversial, age-old issues for discussion. It will however increase the demand for a push for UCC,” said Sanjeer Alam, assistant professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). He added that while political traction will gain on this issue, the political class needs to focus on more significant issues like generating jobs, and providing education and health services for disadvantaged people.

Meanwhile, soon after the pronouncement of the order, BJP president Amit Shah held a media briefing welcoming it. “This is a victory for the fundamental constitutional rights and equal rights for Muslim women,” he said.

The Congress party echoed similar views. “Welcome the Supreme Court decision setting aside instant Triple Talaq. I congratulate the women who fought for justice,” Congress’ vice-president Rahul Gandhi wrote on Twitter. Other opposition parties, including Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left parties, Bahujan Samaj Party, Aam Aadmi Party even as Asaduddin Owaidi, chief of All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen, said it would be a “herculean task” to implement the order.

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