ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Criminalising Muslim Men


We the undersigned groups and individuals condemn the government’s attempt to criminalise Muslim men in the guise of protecting Muslim women. We stand today in strong opposition to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 which has been pushed through the Rajya Sabha in great haste by this government. Why was it not sent to a select committee? We shall petition the Honorable President to not sign it into law.

At a time when all right-thinking Indians are alarmed at the daily barbaric acts of lynching of Muslims and the impunity to the perpetrators being provided by the government, this bill is a complete charade. You cannot pretend to save Muslim women, while seeking to bring the Muslim community to its knees.

After the Supreme Court in 2017 already made the pronouncement of talaq in a single setting void in law, it is an absurdity to make a person uttering it criminally liable, facing three years of imprisonment. Does this bill really care about Muslim women’s access to justice? Imprisoning the husband for three years leaves the aggrieved complainant at the mercy of her matrimonial family, liable to turn hostile and vengeful towards the wife for putting him behind the bars. Her financial security and that of her children is of no concern in this bill.

Personal laws of all communities are civil matters, not criminal. This is the first time in the history of India, that we are witnessing criminal provisions in matters of marriage and divorce. In its intent and target, it is clear that this is not a pro-woman, but an anti-minority bill.

We further condemn the utterly ineffective floor management by opposition parties. The time opposition leaders have spent in making passionate speeches against this bill would have been better spent in reaching out to all parties and ensuring their presence for this vote. This is not the kind of opposition that many Indians voted for, and we deserve and demand better. We urge the opposition to stand up to its constitutional duty and protect Indian democracy that is being eroded by the day, with the number of anti-people legislations that are being passed by the government.

1 Bebaak Collective

2 United Against Hate

3 Farah Naqvi, Writer, and Activist, Delhi

4 Uma Chakravarti, Historian, feminist activist, Delhi

5 Harsh Mander- Aman Biradari

6 Kalyani Menon sen, Activist and Researcher, Delhi

7 Brinelle D’Souza, TISS

8 Geeta Seshu, Journalist - Mumbai

9 Arundhati Dhuru - Human Right Activist, Lucknow

10 Madhavi Kukreja - Women activist, Lucknow

11 Ritu Dewan , Economist - Mumbai

12 Muniza Khan, Banaras

13 Hameeda Khatoon, Lucknow

14 Dev Desai - Social activist, Delhi

15 Johanna Lokhande

16 Nandita Narain -Delhi

17 Sophia Khan lawyer and women activist - Gujarat

18 Nasiruddin Haider - Journalist and activist - Lucknow

19 Sangita Malshe - Maharashtra

20 Manisha Gupte - Women Activist, Pune

21 Biraj Mehta - Academician, Mumbai

22 Persis Ginwala - Ahmedabad

23 Sandhya Panaskar - women activist

24 Purnima Gupta - Delhi

25 Anita Rego, Hyderabad

26 Dimple Oberoi Vahali

27 Mamta Singh, Women Right Activist - Lucknow

28 Sadaf Jafar - Lucknow

29 Talat Aziz - Lucknow

30 Mumtaz Shaikh - Maharashtra

31 Supriya Sonar - Maharashtra

32 Padma , Womens rights Activist, Allahabad

33 Anita Cheria - Bangalore

34 Shilpa Phadke - Academician

35 Sylvia Karpagam - public health doctor and Researcher

36 Saurav Datta - journalist and activist

37 AdvSanobar Kishwar

38 Aatish Inderkar, Cultural activist,Gujrat

39 Runu Chakrvarty - Delhi

40 Sheeba George, Women Activist, Ahmedabad

41 Pouru Wadia , Women activist and lawyer,Mumbai

42 Indian Christian Women’s Movement (Mumbai)

43 Forum Against Oppression for women

44 Aawaz E Niswan

45 Parwaaz, Gujarat

46 Sahiyar, Gujarat


Updated On : 2nd Aug, 2019


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