Under Islamic law as it is practiced in India, a woman cannot divorce a husband like men do by just saying talaq thrice unless the husband has given her the right to do it. This glaring gender discrimination in the religious laws was put into spotlight when this 16 year old girl from Bengal uttered triple talaq to divorce her husband who refused to allow her to study further.
Mampi, a resident of Mullickpur Mandirbazar, around 55km from Kolkata along the Lakshikantapur train line, was thrust into marriage by her parents in 2015. With three daughters to marry off and two sons to rear, Sarjul Gharami — a tea stall owner — was glad when he received the proposal from a family in Tekpanja village in Mandirbazar, about 6km away. Though Mampi, then in Class IX, wanted to study further, she was unable to wriggle out. She, however, got her in-laws and husband to agree to her continuing studies.
But Mampi’s in-laws soon reneged on the promise and began objecting to her attending school. They ridiculed her desire to study and thrust domestic work on her. Undeterred, Mampi persisted and passed her Madhyamik exam this year. But when she told her husband she wished to get admitted to Class XI at an HS school, he refused. Her repeated pleas failed to move him and her in-laws. When she visited her parents’ home some days later, she told them she wanted to study and would not return to the husband’s house.