Last month, when the all-male Supreme Court bench was hearing arguments for and against the abolition of triple talaq, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) argued that women, too, can have the right to pronounce triple talaq.
That seems to be exactly what 16-year-old Mampi Khatoon from rural Bengal just did. When she was in class 9 in 2015, marriage was thrust upon her by her family, and at the time, she insisted she wanted to study further. Her husband and in-laws agreed to this, but later reneged on their word, ridiculing her for wanting to continue her studies. She passed her Madhyamik exam this year, and when she told her husband she wanted to enrol in class 11 last month, he refused to let her. She visited her parents a few days later, and told them that she wanted to continue studying and would not return to her husband’s home.
She got admitted into class XI to a school nine kilometers from her home, and seeing her eagerness to study, the headmaster of the school actually waived the admission and school fees. When word of this development reached her in-laws, they arrived at Mampi’s parents home and started yelling at them for daring to allow Mampi to go to school, and ordered Mampi to pack her bags and return with them. Amazingly, Mampi walked up to her husband and shouted “talaq” thrice, and everyone was stunned into silence, after which her in-laws left.
Her parents support her decision, and regret their own decision to force her into marriage at such an early age (the legal marriageable age for all women is 18 years). They want her to continue her education now for as long as she wants. In an interview with the Times of India, Mampi said, “I have to get on with life and carve my path just like Malala [Yousafzai] did.”