"3 Seconds Divorce" -An uphill battle for justice


One of my friends recommended this film to me a few times back but I had kept it on the back-burner. After watching, I thought to write a blog on it. “3 Seconds Divorce”, a 2018 Indian film is a story of one woman, whose husband divorced her with an instant divorce, and the fight involving strenuous efforts she started to get that instant divorce practice legally abolished. Lubna’s husband threw her out of house with infant child by saying word “Talaq” three times. This divorce was final and permitted by law as per the prevailing sharia practice of triple divorce. This was endorsed not only by faith leaders but also accepted by India’s civil courts. In order to return to her husband, Lubna was asked to undergo halala. Halala is a tradition that requires the divorced woman to marry another man, let him ‘consummate the marriage’ and then he has to divorce her before she can remarry her original husband. 3 Seconds Divorce tells Lubna’s story as she reels under the effects of triple-divorce and finds her way into Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, an Indian muslim women’s group advocating for a legal ban on this type of divorce. However, Muslim faith leaders in power are adamant and accuse the muslim women of pandering to the agenda of the Hindu right wing. Under resourced and outnumbered, the women continue the struggle against all odds and celebrate small victories. The things I liked about this film is women’s activism (especially who’re double marginalized) that’s shown. For making of a movement, how women strived and how much personal sacrifices they’ve given. This film resonates “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” How Lubna took that small step and lead towards the voyage that marked as a milestone. Secondly, this film changes the concept that Muslim women lack power. In fact, in this film, women are shown as allies, fighting their own battles. You will see the frustration of the BMMA as they fight their difficult, undertaking struggle to outlaw triple divorce but they don’t give up. In our society, women’s experiences are considered as erroneous and if they ever speak up and make their voices heard, it’s taken as a threat to larger interests or the adamant people. This film also make us better understand the complexities around this issue, the socio-political context in which it exists at least in India, that this is a product and tool of patriarchy, that women have been deliberately kept out of authoritative spaces occupied by misogynist religious leaders. Once scene, which for me, encapsulates both struggles is one in which Lubna speaks of her interactions with her son, explaining how she never tells her son of what his father did to her or why he did it (to marry other women as she explains) for fear of her son doing the same to a woman when he is grown, or perhaps in the hope that she can raise a son who respects women as his equal. Although she has suffered by the oppressive actions of her son’s father, she works to protect other women from being treated as she has. There’s no doubt that triple divorce is destructive to women’s lives. It results in not only emotional and psychological pain, but financial hardship as well.

What do you think of this film? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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