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The Crusader

Shayara Bano fought a fierce battle against triple talaq and got the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional.
Devika Singh | Print Edition: September 23, 2018
The Crusader

Triple Talaq petitioner Shayara Bano will continue her campaign against regressive practices. Bano, 36, was dealt a severe blow, when her husband of 13 years, divorced her through Speed Post. He cited mental imbalance as the reason for divorcing her instantly while she was at her hometown. This nudged her to battle against Triple Talaq or instant divorce, using which a Muslim husband can divorce his wife by simply saying "talaq" three times. The regressive practice, though not prevalent in most Islamic countries, is quite often used in India.

When Bano filed a petition against Triple Talaq in 2016, she had no idea her efforts would lead to such a monumental decision. In August 2017, the Supreme Court of India, in Shayara Bano vs Union of India case, gave a landmark verdict and declared Triple Talaq unconstitutional and banned the practice in the country.

"I had never imagined that this could happen and I would win," Bano says. But she also stresses that despite the Supreme's Court verdict, women in her community are still being divorced instantly.

After the judgement, the Indian government moved to make a law against the practice of Triple Talaq. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, or the Triple Talaq Bill, has already been approved in Lok Sabha, and is now pending for approval in Rajya Sabha.

Bano's battle is far from over. She is still fighting a case in Kashipur family court for the custody of her children and despite directions from court for visitation, has not been able to meet her children since her divorce. Her husband, who lives in Allahabad, has remarried and refuses to bring children for visitation to Kashipur.

While the Triple Talaq Bill is now on its way to become legislation, Bano, who is pursuing an MBA, has pledged to crusade against other regressive practices in her community such as polygamy and Nikah Halala.

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