Equality is guaranteed under Article 14. On this basis alone triple talaq makes the Muslim woman unequal with the Muslim man as well as other Indian women. Moreover, triple talaq is highly arbitrary, if not also capricious. Polygamy similarly makes the Muslim man much more unequal than the Muslim woman as well as any other male citizen of India.
The Muslim man cannot take shelter under Article 13 for the simple reason that equality of all Indian citizens cannot be considered inconsistent with any religion. We should not forget that the Constitution claims to be secular which either means that the state and religion are separate or alternatively all religions are equal in the eyes of the state. If, however, leaders of Islam in India seek protection under Article 13, why should they not be subjected to the Sharia in so far as criminal law is concerned? Why can a convicted Muslim not suffer the loss of his hand? They cannot insist on the Sharia in any department of law convenient to them and reject or avoid the Sharia in a sphere inconvenient to them.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, in 1940 (Vol.8 of Writings And Speeches published by the Government of Maharashtra) wrote (pages 226-227) the following :
"The Muslim woman is the most helpless person in the world. To quote an Egyptian Muslim leader:-
'Islam has set its seal of inferiority upon her, and given the sanction of religion to social customs which have deprived her of the full opportunity for self-expression and development of personality.'
No Muslim girl has the courage to repudiate her marriage, although it may be open to her on the ground that she was a child and that it was brought about by persons other than her parents. No Muslim wife will think it proper to have a clause entered into her marriage contract reserving her the right to divorce. In that event, her fate is "once married, always married." She cannot escape the marriage tie, however, irksome it may be. While she cannot repudiate the marriage, the husband can always do it without having to show any cause. Utter the word "Tallak" and observe continence for three weeks and the woman is cast away. The only restraint on his caprice is the obligation to pay dower. If the dower has already been remitted, his right to divorce is a matter of his sweet will.
This latitude in the matter of divorce destroys that sense of security which is so fundamental for a full, free and happy life for a woman. This insecurity of life, to which a Muslim woman is exposed, is greatly augmented by the right of polygamy and concubinage, which the Muslim Law gives to the husband.
No words can adequately express the great and many evils of polygamy and concubinage and especially as a source of misery to a Muslim woman. It is true that because polygamy and concubinage are sanctioned, one must not suppose they are indulged in by the generality of Muslims; still the fact remains that they are privileges which are easy for a Muslim to abuse to the misery and unhappiness of his wife."