Thursday, May 18, 2017

Just my thoughts - 2

The writer in me seems to be hibernating. However much I wish to write I am not able to put down my thoughts on paper. Paper?? Well, I cannot write on paper these days. I only type out my thoughts in a word document and copy/paste it on my blog. It seems strange because I was known for the long and interesting letters that I wrote from my hostel. In fact, while in a boarding school, our letters were censored and our principal would make a weekly announcement on the best or most interesting letter written by the boarders and mine would be often declared the best. And how about all those exams that I answered? In these days of ticks and crosses I don’t think people consider long and descriptive answers worth a second glance but our days were different. We wrote out elaborate descriptive answers and a good answer would fetch us 5/10. No one heard of people scoring 90+ in language and literature. It was only in Mathematics that people got distinction marks.

Don’t get me wrong. I don't grudge the present system. But, with all the high scores one obtains, the proper application of the knowledge thus gained seems to be wanting. Getting a job means that one is trained to put theoretical knowledge to use and all promotions and perks depend on how well one’s skill is applied and how much the company benefits by such an application. To add to one’s woes ‘lay off’ has become common and loyalty to the organisation is limited because of lack of job security. I wouldn't know if the attitude is harmful in the long run. It is too early to say. I have worked in my college for 35 years and even after retirement I still feel connected to the institution. I willingly help out as much as I can and feel included. Would the current bunch of young office goers feel the same? I am not too sure about it.

The entire country is watching the arguments for and against ‘Triple Talaq’ and I feel happy to see victimised women opening up and sharing their experiences on TV. I do not for a moment claim that women are not ill treated in communities where Triple Talaq is not allowed. But divorcing a wedded wife for no fault of hers by uttering the word Talaq thrice over the phone or writing it on paper appears to be a practice that allows men to get away without giving the divorced wife any financial support by way of alimony. I hear that counselling the couple and advising them to make an effort to stay together precedes the process of actual divorce and just uttering Talaq thrice is not valid. Why then is it not practised? I am not competent enough to discuss the validity of the practice and wouldn't know if it is allowed in the Holy Quran. But I do feel that women have suffered for long enough and ought to be allowed to voice their protest even if a very small percentage of Muslim women are actually affected by it.

Polygamy is prevalent in almost all communities but it is not openly endorsed by society except among the followers of Islam. Yes, when men lost their lives in the battlefield and their wives had no one to support them society might have allowed the practice. But today it seems to be a license for men with roving eyes to resort to polygamy while the first wife is forced to remain a silent onlooker. At a time when census reports say that the male/female ratio is skewed in favour of men is it still necessary to allow the practice?

These are my views. I do not claim to know much about polygamy, nikah halala and Triple Talaq except what I was told by friends. A Muslim friend of mine explained the circumstances under which men were allowed to marry a second or third time and her explanation seemed acceptable enough. Over time, I believe, women were silenced and such practices were modified to suit men. 

Long back when I was in college a friend’s dad had three wives of whom the third wife was the most beautiful as well as the smartest. The first wife had no children and he married her younger sister who was my friend’s mother. My friend would joke that she was glad that her chinnamma was smart enough to put a stop to his adding a fourth wife to the list. All this happened when my friend did not belong to a community that permitted polygamy. 

I would be interested to know whether the Supreme Court would decide in favour or against Triple Talaq. There seems to be a provision in the marriage contract or ‘nikahnama’ wherein a women can insert a clause disallowing Talaq. If this is true I feel women ought to be rightfully informed of the provision and encouraged to exercise their right. 

It is long since I wrote and my writing is not very organised. I am just putting down whatever comes to my mind. Let me get going. I may improve with time. I have been lazing for long enough. Health was also a cause for concern. I haven’t been in great health for the past month. Writing is an activity I have always enjoyed. I need to get back to it to keep myself engaged if not for anything else.