By polls in strategically important seats of Ajmer and Alwar and a constituency Mandalgarh in Rajasthan yielded a disastrous result for the BJP. The party will certainly look into the causes for the loss, but opportunism shown by its certain dissidents is wholly unfortunate. Shatrughan Sinha likened the loss in these three seats with Triple Talaq and used it as a fresh medium to take a jibe at the BJP. Opposing comments from Sinha is not surprising, but the level of his derogation this time was appalling.
On August 22, 2017, the Supreme Court in its historic judgment banned the instant form of Talaq and termed it as unconstitutional. The bill got passed in the Lok Sabha without much resistance owing to a simple majority which BJP enjoys in the lower house. Triple Talaq bill now faces a hurdle in the Rajya Sabha and many opponents of the same are demanding it to be sent to the House select committee for review. Triple Talaq bill is welcomed by the Muslim women who have been oppressed with the same for centuries. But the religious leaders and so called secular politicians are calling it as interference in the religion and the debate is expected to continue for some time now.
In this ensuing situation, the BJP is trying to position itself firmly as a lone fighter in ensuring that the bill is passed. PM Modi has reiterated his commitment for the same and the govt is projecting a phenomenal battle to end this inhuman ‘medieval’ practice. Sinha’s tasteless rants are damaging, as the issue is sensitive and caters to a religious minority.
Firstly, the jibe shows Shatrughan Sinha making fun of minority women who have an opportunity to be empowered with this bill. Since Shatrughan Sinha is still a member of the BJP, somewhere his comments may just dilute the whole stand of the party or the govt on the Triple Talaq issue. There has to be a thin line between criticism and mockery which seems to have surpassed with his lack of sensitivity over the issue.
Secondly, his comments look like a subtle endorsement of the cruel practice. Lives of innumerable Muslim women have been destroyed with Triple Talaq and this bill was going to give them a new lease of hope to fight the instantaneous monster. His comments come across as anti Muslim and anti women and demonstrated a regressive mindset.
Thirdly, it sets a dangerous precedent. Anybody opposing Modi for political gains is using issues which have set a national tone and have been welcomed as reforms. There is a tremendous support for abolition of Triple Talaq. These comments seems like PM Modi’s opponents are hijacking such path breaking reforms for mere political mileage. It may also embolden those who are opposing the bill and this may start a trend of insensitive polity.
Lastly, Shatrughan Sinha’s outbursts are embarrassing the BJP. As a matter of fact, as the BJP is refraining from removing or suspending him, this has resulted into an anti Party coterie within the organization. Shatrughan Sinha joined another dissident Yashwant Sinha who created a political forum called ‘Rasthra Manch’ to oppose Modi govt and its policies. Together they have always spearheaded a campaign against the current BJP top brass. But this time around, by indirectly attacking a reform, people like Sinha has muddied this political fight and lowered it to an unceremonious level.
Its important to note that perhaps Shatrughan Sinha’s latest barbs are a result of his overwhelming frustrations in not being able to seek attention. BJP’s large hearted tolerance for his foolish antics is repeatedly ignored by Shatrughan Sinha. This has resulted in the former actor taking an acrimonious position with respect to his party. However, he should have drawn a line. His latest strike on the BJP leadership amounts to an indirect attack against the minority women. As his exasperations reach a new low, it’s time for the BJP to take a note of his systematic indiscipline.