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Is Shatrughan Sinha’s triple talaq jibe against BJP derogatory towards Muslim women?

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    New Delhi, Feb 3: It is understandable that actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha is mighty miffed with his own party--the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He has his own reasons for his unhappiness towards his party, some of which are genuine ones and the nation too shares the same grouses against the ruling party at the Centre.

    But how fair is it for the Bihar Member of Parliament (MP) to mock the BJP with the triple talaq jibe?

    triple talaq

    After the BJP lost all the three seats in the recent bypolls in Rajasthan, the veteran leader and former minister decided to once again attack his party. This time, Sinha used the "triple talaq" jibe to attack the BJP on Friday. He said Rajasthan had become the first state to give the BJP "triple talaq".

    "Breaking news with record breaking disastrous results for ruling party--Rajasthan becomes first state to give BJP Triple Talaq. Ajmer: Talaq, Alwar: Talaq, Mandalgarh: Talaq. Our opponents winning the elections with record margins, giving our party a jolt," Sinha said in his latest tweet on Friday.

    In another tweet, the BJP MP from Patna Sahib in Bihar warned the party over its defeat in Rajasthan. "Better late than never, otherwise the disastrous results could or would be soon reformed as Tata-Bye-Bye results. Wake up BJP. Jai Hind."

    The entire triple talaq issue is a sensitive one. On August 22 last year, the Supreme Court banned the instant triple talaq (the practice under which a Muslim man can divorce his wife by simply uttering the word "talaq" three times) calling it unconstitutional.

    The triple talaq bill will be once again tabled in the Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament. In the Winter Session of Parliament, the triple talaq bill got stuck in the Rajya Sabha after opposition parties demanded that it should be first sent to a select committee for review.

    The bill got passed in the Lok Sabha without much protest as the ruling BJP enjoys a majority in the Lower House of Parliament. Now, the bill has to be passed by the Upper House of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, to become a law.

    The passage of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill will make the practice of triple talaq criminal.

    While a majority of Muslim women want a ban on triple talaq which has ruined the lives of several women and families, various Muslim groups and religious heads opposed an end to triple talaq citing interference with their religion. The political parties, including the Congress, are opposing the bill as it criminalises triple talaq.

    However, the BJP is determined to pass the triple talaq bill in Parliament, no matter what comes on its way. In fact, the BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been steadfastly supporting the cause of Muslim women to end the cruel practice of triple talaq.

    The critics of BJP say that the saffron party which is known to be a party of the Hindus is using the issue of triple talaq to attack the Muslim community, especially its men, in the name of women empowerment.

    Since the whole debate has a strong religious tone to it and is a matter of women's rights, Sinha's use of triple talaq jibe against the BJP sounds anti-women and anti-Muslim.

    With the latest jibe, the actor-politician indirectly endorsed the "medieval" practice of men unilaterally divorcing their wives without following any proper rule.

    In the same tweet, the parliamentarian seemed to be making fun of the controversial topic which has the potential of further relegating the Muslim community to the background under the current BJP regime.

    On Monday, when the results of Rajasthan bypolls were declared, the Congress won both the parliamentary seats--Alwar and Ajmer--and the assembly seat in Mandalgarh.

    For the last several months, Sinha has been openly criticising the BJP over various issues. In fact, unconfirmed reports say the party wants to suspend him. However, the party is not taking any action against the actor-politician fearing backlash from voters as Sinha is a popular leader.

    He and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha have been causing a lot of embarrassment to the BJP because of their frequent criticism against the party and its top leadership, including PM Modi. It is said that both of them are raising a revolt against the BJP as they have been denied any post in the Modi cabinet.

    The former finance minister on Tuesday launched a political action group--Rashtra Manch. The actor-turned-politician too joined the group. The Rashtra Manch has leaders from various parties and is said to be a "united front" against the Modi government at the Centre.

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