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Agent of change

5 15 0

Popular cinema is a potent agent of social change. Following the build-up to the Supreme Court’s recent landmark judgment that effectively put an end to the practice of triple talaq, many jogged their minds to the first time they might have heard the word "talaq" spoken thrice in quick succession.

Chances of it being in the course of viewing BR Chopra’s film Nikaah (1982) that brought to light the almost 1,400-year-old Islamic practice where Muslim men could instantly divorce their wives by uttering "talaq, talaq, talaq" would be very high. Made with the abject aim to comment on the shari’ah laws of divorce and, also in a major way, its misuse in Muslim community, Chopra’s film went on to become an important treatise on the subject. More than a simple comment on a social evil, Nikaah can also be credited for reviving the debate both within the community and society, in general, to do away with such practices.


In the three decades since the release of Nikaah, the issue it addressed has come a full circle from Shah Bano to Shayara Bano. Despite most failing to recall the film today beyond its songs, "Dil Ke Armaan Aansuon Mein", "Beete Hue Lamhon Ki Kasak", "Fiza Bhi Hai Jawan Jawan", to name a few, is it possible that the film played a significant role in the three-decade-old Shah Bano case judgment?

The immense popularity of Nikaah — one of the biggest box office hits of 1982 — made it omnipresent and perhaps, therefore, would it be too........

© DailyO