Kasim Sait 0

Divorce rights of Bangladesh's Hindu women to be included into the law.

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To Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina Madam, We are a group of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and others, women and men, who support progressive thought and actions in India and the entire South Asian people. We write to congratulate you for passing the new law which allows Hindu Bangladeshis to register their marriages. We believe this will help Hindu women gain some, though not all, of their matrimonial rights, rights which their Muslim Bangladeshi counterparts are already enjoying. Madam Prime Minister, we have seen in India how Muslim women have been denied their matrimonial rights, rights enjoyed by the majority Hindu women, by the influential section of Muslim men - religious leaders and politicians. The excuse has always been that changing or reforming Muslim Personal Law as it exists in India, would be a violation of minority rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. The intention of course, is to keep Muslim women subjugated. Muslim women are never asked their opinion, and hence suffer from injustices such as unilateral triple talaq, that have, ironically, been done away with by all Islamic countries. Any advance in matrimonial law proposed by the Indian State to enhance women's rights is objected to by this section of Muslim men. The Indian government, scared of losing the votes of this influential section of Muslims, always succumbs to this phony objection. We therefore urge you not to pay attention to the objections put forward by Hindu male leaders who use the garb of religion and tradition to deny Hindu women rights they must be entitled to as equal citizens of Bangladesh. As a woman you would surely be aware of what the denial of matrimonial rights means to women of any community.

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