In a recent update, the Supreme Court of India stated that the Muslims like every other community in India have the right to follow their religion but in terms of equality and as per the constitution of India, those rights don’t allow them to have multiple wives.
Many would see this as an injustice to the Muslims but I don’t think it is. I believe that banning polygamy in India is the best justice for the women in India. It is nowhere relevant to any particular religion but it’s a question of morality. As a man couldn’t bear his wife being with another man, similarly it is not easy for a woman to share her husband with another woman either.
The judgment came from Supreme Court Justices T.S. Thakur and A.K. Goel that said, “What was protected under Article 25 (right to practice and propagate any religion) was the religious faith and not a practice which may run counter to public order, health or morality. Polygamy was not integral part of religion and monogamy was a reform within the power of the State under Article 25.”
Although the judgment was ruled against a Muslim opposing the tradition wherethey are allowed to have multiple wives, the Justices also ruled that for public order, equality and justice in India, it was essential to regulate marriage issues within the country especially those dealing with polygamy practices.
The ruling actually came against a Government employee who was fired for misconduct after it was found that he had a second marriage in spite of being already married. The judgment was supported by the fact that no religion is bigger than Indian laws and polygamy isn’t an important practice in any religion in India.
As per the India Times report, Khursheed Ahmad Khan, the accused who was fired from his government job, was employed as an irrigation supervisor. The details of his second marriage came out in the open when the sister of his first wife filed a complaint with India’s National Human Rights Commission.
The judgment further added: “as regards the charge of misconduct in question, it is patent that there is no material on record to show that the appellant divorced his first wife before the second marriage or he informed the Government about contracting the second marriage. In absence thereof, the second marriage is a misconduct under the Conduct Rules.”
This is the first time that Indian law has ruled out against an unnecessary or immoral practice that is shielded through religion by certain authorities irrespective of the fact that polygamy has no connection with any religion in India. Polygamy is an injustice to women and must be banned completely in India. Also, law must be the primary religion for every Indian citizen beyond any other religion they practice.
Image Courtesy: insideislam.wisc.edu