Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: was independent India’s first law minister and the principal architect of the Constitution of India.
One may well ask if there is any social evil which is found among the Hindus and is not found among the Muslims? … Take child-marriage … [quoting from 1931 census statistics] Can the position among the Musalmans so far as child-marriage goes, be considered better than the position among the Hindus?” (P. 225-6) “ Take the position of women. It is insisted by Muslims that the legal rights given to Muslim women, ensure them a greater measure of independence than allowed to other Eastern women … the Muslim woman is the most helpless person in the world … 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 … This latitude in the marriage 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” (P. 226-227) “ Take the caste system. Islam speaks of brotherhood. Everybody infers that Islam must be free from slavery and caste. Regarding slavery nothing needs to be said. It stand abolished now by law. But while it existed much of its support was derived from Islam and Islamic countries … But if slavery has gone, caste among Musalmans has remained ” (P. 228). Dr. Ambedkar then quotes the 1901 census report for Bengal to show that Muslims there have several castes including Arzal or untouchable castes with whom no other Mohamedan would associate and who are forbidden to enter the mosque to use the public burial ground. He also quotes from the same Report about the panchayat system of each caste which extends to social as well as trade matters resulting in castes which are as strictly endogamous as Hindu castes. He concludes, “the Mohamedans observe not only caste but also untouchability” (P. 230)