December 09, 2016
Triple talaq is neither constitutional nor a Quranic form of divorce
by Irfan Engineer
The observations of Allahbad High Court on Thursday stating that the Muslim personal law on triple talaq didn’t give unbridled authority to a Muslim male to unilaterally divorce his wife would be welcomed by Muslim women who have been victims of misuse of the provision in particular, and to Muslim women in general, who face the threat of capricious use of the authority not granted to men by the Quran.
Though the court refused to comment on the legality of triple talaq enabling Muslim men to unilaterally divorce their wives by uttering the word “talaq” thrice, its observations are a tight slap on Muslim Personal Law Board, which had claimed in its affidavit before the Supreme Court in a writ petition filed by Shayara Bano case that the court had no jurisdiction to hold triple talaq as invalid from of divorce and claiming protection of Article 25 of the Constitution, under which every person is entitled to freely profess, practice and propagate religion.
The right granted under Article 25 is subject to other provisions of the chapter on fundamental rights in the Constitution. Right to practice religion is therefore subject to Article 14 — right to gender equality.
Severing marital relations instantly by pronouncing the word “talaq” thrice is not only anti-constitutional, it is also anti-Quranic. Quranic verse 2:229 states: “A divorce is only permissible twice: After that (the parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness. It is not lawful for you, (men), to take back any of your gifts (from your wives), except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah. . If you (judges) do indeed fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah, there is no blame on either of them if she gives something for her freedom. These are the limits ordained by Allah; so do not transgress them, if any do transgress the limits ordained by Allah, such persons wrong (themselves as well as others)”.
Pronouncing talaq in one sitting was a pre-Islamic practice which was not validated by the Quran. The second khalifa Hazrat Umar invoked this pre-Islamic form of divorce and made it irrevocable to punish men who would cheat their second wife they wanted to marry. They would claim that they had divorced their first wife by pronouncing “talaq” thrice knowing that it was not valid divorce.
This is not the first time that a high court has held triple talaq to be invalid in law. In Rukia Khatun’s case, the division bench of Gauhati High Court at para 13 held that the correct law of talaq, as ordained by Quran, is: (i) that “talaq” must be for a reasonable cause; and (ii) that it must be preceded by an attempt of reconciliation between the husband and the wife by two arbiters, one chosen by the wife from her family and the other by the husband from his. If their attempts fail, “talaq” may be effected.
Upholding these observations of the Gauhati High Court, the Supreme Court in the case of Shamim Ara v/s State of UP held, “A plea of previous divorce taken in the written statement cannot at all be treated as pronouncement of talaq by the husband on the wife on the date of filing of the written statement in the court”.
Triple talaq is neither constitutional nor a Quranic form of divorce. Observations of the Allahabad High Court would be before the Supreme Court for consideration in the writ petition filed by Shayara Bano strengthening the petitioner’s case.
Irfan Engineer is director, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai
India: For the second consecutive year, Jaipur Art Summit disrupted by goons of the Hindu Right [dec 2016]
Jaipur art show disrupted over nude painting
The women members of Lal Sena flanked by members of Rashtriya Ekta Manch arrived at Ravindra Manch where the summit is being held and Lal Sena leader Hemlata Sharma alleged that a painting of Radha Vinod Sharma was indecent, thus an insult of women.
She also snatched the painting from Mr Sharma’s hands and came out with it alleging that “such indecent depiction of mothers and sisters” should be stop under the garb of art. “Such lewd paintings can’t be described art, she said while asking if the artist would make such painting of her mother and sister.
She said that there should be action against such people and took the painting to the local police station to file a complaint. Thereafter, the organisers and artists participating in the summit also reached the police station to put forth their point of view.
However, the police managed to resolve the issue amicably and the painting was returned to the artist.
Later, artist Radha Vinod Sharma, who belongs to Tripura but is living in the US for nearly two decades, said that the Indian culture runs into his blood and that he respects women. “This painting is of an American model who herself gave permission to me to showcase it,” he said. According to him, one should not object without the knowledge of the art. “If my painting is lewd, what are Khajuraho temples? Shouldn’t they be demolished?”
He said that taking away his painting was a crime, while other artists rued that there was no security at the summit where they have been displaying art work worth lakhs. Founder of Jaipur Art Summit, Shailendra Bhatt, also defended the artist saying there was nothing indecent in the painting, though he said that art work displayed in the summit would be reviewed once again.
December 08, 2016
India: Jaipur Art Summit being held from December 7-11, 2016 comes under attack from Right-wing group Rashtriya Hindu Ekta Manch who vandalise & take away artwork
Right-wing group Rashtriya Hindu Ekta Manch vandalised Jaipur Art Summit
- 1 Bajrang Dal, VHP activists ransacked Garden Gallery of Arts and Textiles in Surat.
- 2 Rashtriya Hindu Ekta Manch had earlier taken offence to Raju Hiraniâ€™s movie PK.
- 3 Sri Ram Sene members destroyed several MF Husain paintings in a Delhi exhibition in August 2008.
The culprits have been identified. A police investigation is on.
Someone by the name Hemlata Sharma, president of an outfit called Lal Sena, can be seen in a video gesturing, shouting and trying to justify her vandalism with the chant â€œdoes freedom of expression allow you to call this artâ€�?
The other group responsible for vandalism at this art festival was Rashtriya Hindu Ekta Manch, a Hindu right-wing outfit, that had earlier taken offence to Raju Hiraniâ€™s movie PK.
LIST OF PREVIOUS INSTANCES
Many such incidents have been reported in the past. Various paintings and art galleries have been attacked by right-wing groups and related fringe elements.
On May 1, 1998, Bajrang Dal activists forced their way into acclaimed artist MF Husainâ€™s south Mumbai home and created mayhem. They were apparently provoked by one of his works exhibited in New Delhi. They interpreted that the painting depicted Sita perched on the tail of a flying Hanuman, both in the nude. Husain had never given a caption to this painting, and the Hindutvavadis gave a free rein to their imagination.
On October 11, 1996, a group of Bajrang Dal activists forced their way into the Herwitz Gallery in Ahmedabad's Husain-Doshi gufa, a well-known art complex. Armed with tridents and wearing saffron scarves, they intimidated the only guard on duty there and destroyed about 23 tapestry items and 28 paintings, which were on display there. The work destroyed included Husain's series on Hanuman, a depiction of the Last Supper and the famous Madhuri Dixit series.
It was on January 30, 2004 that the activists of the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) ransacked the Garden Gallery of Arts and Textiles inside the premises of the Garden Silk Mills (GSM) in Gujarat's Surat.
M F HUSAIN AT THE RECEIVING END
In 2006, Husain was accused of painting a 'Naked Bharat Mata' (nude Mother India). The painting was put up for auction by Apparao Galleries of Chennai. The title Bharat Mata was given by the auctioneer without referring to Husain. Husain again apologised and withdrew the painting from the charity auction.
On December 27, 2007, Shiv Sena activists attacked an exhibition of paintings by M F Husain in New Delhi, damaging two of his works on display. The activists managed to enter the art gallery at the famous India International Centre, despite a heavy police presence at the venue and prior information of Shiv Sainiks planning to attack the exhibition. The pamphlet released by Mangat Ram Munde, Delhi unit president of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarti Sena, Shiv Sena's students wing, alleged that Husain had made many obscene paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses. So we would not allow him to exhibit his paintings anywhere in the country", the pamphlet said.
In Delhi on August 24, 2008, Sri Ram Sene members barged into an art exhibition organised by NGO SAHMAT and destroyed several MF Husain paintings, leaving behind some pamphlets denouncing Husainâ€™s attempts to hurt Hindu pride.
On August 16, 2013, an art gallery exhibiting works by Pakistani artists at Amdavad-ni-Gufa in Ahmedabad was vandalised by alleged VHP activists, who tore all the paintings and ransacked furniture. Amdavad-ni-Gufa is an art gallery established jointly by the late MF Husain and noted architect BV Doshi.
o o o
Semi-nude paintings vandalised at Jaipur art summit, painter thrashed
The miscreants also took away one of the paintings displayed at the high-profile art fair.
- 1Miscreants belong to Lal Shakti, a fringe group that claims 90 per cent of its members are women.
- 2Founder of the Jaipur Art Summit calls it an attack on the freedom of expression.
- 3Jaipur Art Summit is being held from Dec 7-11. 500 artists from 25 nations are taking part.
A group of miscreants entered the venue of the ongoing Jaipur Art Summit today, vandalised the paintings and beat up one of the painters.
They also took away one of the paintings displayed at the high-profile art fair.
The painting titled Ã„nubhav, was made by London-based painter Radha Binod Sharma. According to Shailendra Bhatt, Founder Director of the Summit, the painter also got injured in the scuffle.
It looks like the miscreants took away the painting to protest against the display of a semi-nude painting at the summit.
The culprits have been identified. A police investigation is on.
WHAT IS LAL SHAKTI
The miscreants are said to be activists of Lal Shakti, a fringe group which claims that 90 per cent of its members are women. They reached Ravindra Manch, where the 4th edition of the high-profile art fair is being held, and had a tiff with the artists.
"It is an attack on freedom of expression. How can anyone become a judge and give orders. You should have knowledge about art before you decide what is right or wrong", Shailendra Bhatt said.
ACT HAS MALIGNED IMAGE OF SUMMIT
The event's organisers strongly condemned such acts of vandalism on the creative freedom of the artists. "It really is an attack on freedom of expression. The artists from 25 countries who are participating at the Summit were dismayed by today's incident. What impression will foreign artists attending the summit take back from here", Bhatt said.
Bhatt added, "We went to the police station and got the painting back. Since the painting has now been put back where it originally was, the artists are now relieved."
Jaipur Art Summit is being held from December 7-11 and around 500 artists from 25 countries are participating in the summit.
The summit had yesterday kicked up a row by displaying a partly-nude painting. In its previous editions, the summit has triggered similar controversies when Ganesha was painted inside a toilet seat and the sculpture of a cow was shown hanging mid-air with the help of a balloon resulting in detention of 2 artists by the police. The artists were later let off and officials responsible for the detention removed.
(WITH INPUTS FROM IANS)
source URL: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/jaipur-art-summit-paintings-vandalism-art-fair-police-investigation/1/830073.html