~ Kolkata : Ishrat Jahan had thought the Supreme Court’s verdict declaring instant triple talaq unconstitutional will put an end to her ordeals. But little did she know that it will be the start of another fight battling social boycott and insinuations.
The braveheart who fought poverty and criticism to petition the country’s apex court against instant triple talaq is being ostracised by her in-laws and neighbours in Howrah’s Pilkhana.
Ishrat Jahan, who is being hailed as an icon of social justice and gender equality throughout the country, is at the receiving end of a smear campaign, insinuations and character assassination in her own neighbourhood since Tuesday after Supreme Court declared instant triple talaq unconstitutional. Jahan whose husband divorced her in 2014 over the phone from Dubai was one of the five petitioners, whose plea to the apex court prompted the instant triple talaq verdict.
“Ever since the Supreme Court verdict has come in it has opened floodgates of expletives, insulting remarks and comments targeted at my character assassination from my neighbours and in-laws. I have to hear words like gandi aurat (bad woman), enemy of men and unislamic. Many neighbours have even stopped speaking to me,” Jahan told TOI on Thursday.
Jahan stays in Howrah’s Pilkhana near Dobson Road. She has been staying in the house since 2004 that her husband had purchased from the dowry she had brought at the time of marriage in 2004. Her husband’s elder brother and his family also live in the same house.
“I am shocked, sad and I feel unsafe staying in this house. After such a long battle I don’t have any strength left to fight these people. I want to focus on my four children now,” said Jahan who has now mustered the courage to remove her naqab and show her face to the world.
“I realised that I am not a victim anymore. I want other women to see me and understand that if an ordinary woman like me can fight for her rights, so can they,” said Jahan, explaining the reason why she decide to remove her naqab.
Even Ishrat’s lawyer Nazia Ilahi Khan is being trolled online for fighting the case successfully. “Mere judgement by a court will not change the society. It will change the attitude of the people. In my case they have become even more hostile mocking and ridiculing me. The change has to come from within the community. When people decide that they are going to help a vulnerable and helpless woman instead of her character assassination, no woman will suffer my fate,” said Jahan.
But all the ridicule and criticism has not affected the braveheart who going to continue her crusade for justice and gender equality. “My children have been out of school for the past four years since I did not have the money to afford their education. I am going to file a case seeking maintenance and expenses for my children’s education. This is the birth right of my children,” said Jahan.