Why the triple talaq must stop: Interrogating a slice of contemporary history in India

Presenter/s: Professor Syed Tanveer Nasreen, University of Burdwan

Event type: Public lecture

Event date: Thursday, 26 April 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Event venue: Barton Theatre, JG Crawford Building #132, ANU

Unlike the Hindu community that experienced reforms in their personal laws that dictate matters relating to marriage, inheritance and other matters pertaining to the domestic sphere, the Muslim community in India continues to be governed by a number of colonial laws, of which the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, or Act 26 of 1937 is crucial. Taking advantage of this Act, the Muslim patriarchy in the country has established talaq-e-bidat or triple talaq as a valid process of divorce. This has been presented to Muslims as a matter of their religious right as a minority community. However, the custom of arbitrary triple talaq for the dissolution of marriage needs to be viewed with a feminist lens. It is a custom that jeopardizes the rights of women. Recently, the issue of women’s rights-vs-community rights caused a rift within the political and social milieus in India when the topmost Court, in a landmark judgement in 2017, declared the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional.

In this lecture, Professor Nasreen will present the background and discuss the implications of this judgment. The lecture is based on her personal encounters with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). She will also review the different phases of the movement, and roles of different actors, political and religious, in raising patriarchal obstacles to the process to empower Muslim women in India. Professor Nasreen will show that triple talaq has become an acid test for Indian democracy that aims to offer all women rights equal to that enjoyed by men.

About the speaker

Syed Tanveer Nasreen ( b.1973) is a Professor of History and Professor-in-Charge, Department of Women’s Studies, The  University of Burdwan, India. She holds a PhD degree from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, on the identity of Muslim women in India. Professor Nasreen has authored three and edited five books along with several articles in national and international journals, on gender and the identity of minority women. Her proficiency in Sanskrit language has led her also to interrogate the position of women in the Dharmasastras, the legal texts of ancient India and compile a Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit-Bangla Manuscripts at Sripata-Sri khanda, India. 

In recent years, Professor Nasreen has taken up activist roles in addition to policy advocacy for the equal Constitutional and Human Rights of Muslim women in India. She has spearheaded the movement against triple talaq in India, on which she will speak at The Australian National University.

Professor Nasreen is also a trained classical dancer and theatre enthusiast.

This event is proudly sponsored by the Gender Institute and the South Asia Research Institute.

Please register for this event via this webform

» podcast (mp3, 61.4 MB) Duration 42minutes 39 seconds


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