Triple Talaq Bill: Asaduddin Owaisi earns plaudits for fiery speech, video goes viral

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The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Triple Talaq Bill by 238 to 12 votes as most opposition parties including the Congress staged a walkout. The voting on the controversial Bill had followed an intense debate with members of parliament from across parties expressing their views.

Triple Talaq Bill

Speaking on the matter, the Congress’ Sushmita Dev said, “If this government really believes in women empowerment, they must let this Bill go to the joint select committee. Listen to the women and men who are impacted. We have no right to play the messiah.”

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Bill was not against any community, religion or belief. “This bill is for the rights of women and about justice,” he said.

However, one speech that stood out was that of AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi, who accused the Centre’s Narendra Modi government of intending to harass Muslim men through the Bill. Owaisi reminded how the Centre had no objection on the Supreme Court decriminalising homosexuality and adultery, but it was hell bent on criminalising Triple Talaq.

He said, “Hundred per cent of the Muslim population is against the move to criminalise Triple Talaq. Why are you criminalising Triple Talaq while supporting the decriminalisation of homosexuality? If sexual minorities can get a choice in Section 377, why can’t religious minorities?”

Owaisi added, “The Supreme Court refuses to criminalise adultery and you remain silent, but on the issue of Triple Talaq, you are keen to criminalise it.” The AIMIM MP also reminded how the BJP top brass including its President Amit Shah had invoked faith on the Supreme Court’s verdict on Sabarimala.

“Your faith is faith and mine isn’t?” he asked.

On Sabarimala, the Supreme Court had allowed women’s entry into the temple, but the BJP and its supporters had violently opposed the verdict. Despite the top court ruling in favour of women’s entry, not a single woman has been allowed to enter the temple till date.

Addressing Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, the AIMIM MP said, “Madam Speaker you are a woman, please allow me to say this today. If a man is found to be having an extra-marital relationship with multiple women, it’s not a crime any more. But he pronounces Triple Talaq, he will be sent to jail for three years. If the Supreme Court has ruled that the marriage doesn’t get annulled as a result of pronouncement of Triple Talaq, then what will you punish (Muslim men) for?”

Owaisi has been earning plaudits for his speech from journalists and social media users. Pollster Yashwant Deshmukh wrote, “You may completely disagree with @asadowaisi on #TripleTalaq, or any issue for that matter, but tell me a better parliamentarian as on today, who debates so passionately with facts and figures and within our constitutional framework.”

Journalist Shahid Siddiqui tweeted, “I normally don’t agree with Owaisi but here I agree with him.T3 Divorce is wrong & unacceptable but once it has been declared null&void by Supreme Court, there was no need for this law. It’s only to insult& criminalise Muslims. It is unconstitutional & discriminatory.”

Writer Rana Safvi wrote, “I don’t think there’s much to disagree with Mr. Owaisi here. He’s on point on every point. Brilliant speech.”

Here are some more reactions to his speech:

The video of Owaisi’s speech went viral on Twitter, clocking hundreds of thousands of views. Owaisi later wrote that he had to stay back for the debate on the Triple Talaq Bill even though his daughter’s wedding is scheduled this week in Hyderabad. He later tweeted, “My friend Abdul Hamed texted me earlier today asking me to stay back in Delhi if the session today were to spillover to tomorrow. Knowing that I’d a family engagement tomorrow, he said he’d charter a plane for me if need be.”

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