Muslim women can now hold their heads high: Shayara Bano

Agencies/New Delhi
August 23, 2017 NATIONAL 133 Views

Q. What is your first reaction to the verdict+ ?
Bano: This is a historic day for me and for all Muslim women. This will be a milestone on the road to reforms.
Q. How did you muster courage to file a petition on such a sensitive issue?
Bano: It was 2015. I was residing in Kashipur, Uttarakhand. My husband sent me the talaqnama via Speed Post. I was left in dire straits, with two kids to bring up. I somehow managed to survive with support from my family members. I was initially rattled, but then resolved to fight this injustice. I received encouragement from many people. My brother Arshad was always by my side. He brought me to Delhi, where we met Supreme Court advocate Balaji Srinivasan. He assured me of all legal help.
Q. What was the net step you took?
Bano: With help of my lawyer I filed the petition to declare triple talaq unconstitutional and bar the practice. I was confident of getting justice from the Supreme Court.
Q. Did you come under pressure from any organisation during your legal battle?
I did not, and no amount or pressure would have dented my determination. My lawyer was once told by a Muslim organisation that nothing will change, and he will only put his reputation at stake. But he too was determined to carry on the fight.
This is a huge moment. Now Muslim women cannot be turned out of the house at someone’s whims and fancies. But it is still a long road ahead for reforms. We need to raise awareness against practices like polygamy and nikah halala.
Definitely I will go to court against polygamy. Some even said that the Prophet too did not support triple talaq, yet the practice had prevailed. Such comments should not dent our resolve. People need to speak out against such evils.
Now I will fight for the custody of my two children. I have filed a petition in a lower court, and hope to get justice. I have an MBA degree, I hope to take up a job and also continue my fight for the rights and dignity of Muslim women. I hope my daughter doesn’t go through the sad experiences that I did.

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