MNS general secretary Shalini Thackeray
MNS general secretary Shalini Thackeray

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which otherwise rallies around issues concerning the Marathi manoos, has decided to take up cudgels for women in the Muslim community. Last week, the party was seen putting up a number of hoardings and posters in Andheri and Versova condemning the practice.

Even as the Supreme Court will continue its hearing on the triple talaq case today, party's general secretary Shalini Thackeray, who is also a resident of Lokhandwala in Andheri (West), said that the MNS will fight tooth and nail to ensure that the age-old practice is done and dusted with.

Fighting for women's rights
Speaking to mid-day, Thackeray said, "The issue of triple talaq should have been raised earlier, but as we have seen over the years, anything related to women's issues is always put on the backburner."

While refraining from pointing fingers at any particular party, she added, "We still do not give women's issues the kind of attention they deserve. Before the elections, every party talks about fighting for women's rights, but when they come to power, they only debate about it without taking any firm action."

Describing the MNS' stance on the issue, Thackeray said, "Our party does not support any particular caste or religion. We are standing up for the rights of women in the country. We are waiting for justice to be given by the Supreme Court. But, if that gets delayed, the MNS Mahila Sena will take certain things in their own hands."

'Unjust and unfair'
When asked whether MNS' posters condemning triple talaq could ruffle feathers in Muslim pockets of the city, Thackeray said, "Muslim wo­men want triple talaq to be abolished. If supporting them means hurting the sentiments of the men in the community, I think I am justified in doing so. These men have already hurt a lot of women with this unlawful practice."

According to Thackeray, the issue is of great concern, because many people have abused the practice. "Triple talaq should be construed as instant talaq," she said.

"People are misusing it for their own benefit. Today, if a husband and wife have a disagreement, he can even divorce her over the phone. There are problems in every relationship, but this is an inhuman way to address the issue. There are no proper procedures that are followed, and despite the law stating that is not legal, a lot of women continue to be hurt by this act. This practice is unjust and breaks apart families."