When Meena Kumari Became a Victim of Triple Talaq

The Quint 22 August 2017
View photos
Even as the country rejoices over the Supreme Court’s historic verdict declaring the practice of triple talaq unconstitutional, it’s important not to forget the women who have been its victim over centuries. And if you look to Bollywood, Meena Kumari is the first name that pops up.
Famous as B-town’s “tragedy queen”, Meena Kumari wowed generations with one heartfelt performance after another. But her personal life underwent a series of upheavals that included the humiliation and pain of a triple talaq.
The actor fell in love and married filmmaker Kamal Amrohi - who later directed her in the unforgettable Pakeezah - in 1952. The marriage hit rock bottom soon and Amrohi, reportedly in a fit of anger, pronounced the triple talaq.
View photos
Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari.
The incident understandably broke the actor down emotionally. When the couple decided to remarry later, Meena Kumari had to undergo another draconian practice - the nikah halala, where a divorced woman has to marry another man first, consummate the marriage, and secure a divorce by mutual consent before being allowed to reunite with the first husband.
Meena Kumari married Amaan Ullah Khan, Zeenat Aman’s father, and divorced him after a month to remarry Amrohi.