Sunday, July 10, 2005

tales out of school

Salman Rushdie compares India and Pakistan, and finds India more backward than its neighbor in regard to violence against women. I always say that India should stop using Pakistan as its measuring stick--the two countries are hardly comparable, and the comparison only gives India reason to pat itself on the back, instead of confronting its slow progress on matters like electricity generation--but in this case Rushdie may have a point. After all, saying India is even worse than Pakistan is about the only way to get people moving over here.


Anonymous said...

Kudos to Rushdie, a male, for bringing up the issue even if it to compare tocountries in gross violation of women's rights. He's doing a lot more than the literate and educated women of the two countries in question.

An interesting blog to visit in this connection :

thalassa_mikra said...

Rape falls under the Criminal Procedure Code, that apply uniformly to all Indians irrespective of religion. Hence the Darul Uloom has no locus standi in the matter.

But certainly in UP, the Deobandis are influential and I wouldn't be surprised if many of the Personal Law Board members have Deobandi affiliations themselves. Which is not to say that their interpretations are accepted unquestioningly by UP Muslims, in fact, many are vocal in their criticism of Deobandi rigidities.

A bit of nitpicking on Rushdie's article though. The honour of the most fundamental and puritan interpretation should go to the Wahhabi/Ahle-Hadis cult of Saudi Arabia, not the Deobandis. In fact if you read up on the history of the Deobandis, you'd see that the founder, Ashraf Ali Thanvi fully supported the Muslim Women's Right to Divorce Act, proposed in 1931. Also the link between the Taliban and the Deobandis is purely ideological, not institutional. None of the Taliban actually trained at the Deoband madarsa, as far as I know.

Oops!! Sorry for the long comment :)