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Congress should support anti-triple talaq bill to undo its blunder in the infamous Shah Bano case
I think Congress has a golden opportunity to rectify its historic blunder. Initially the party had supported the anti-triple talaq bill but took a U-turn later when the bill reached the Rajya Sabha.

Perhaps the Congress is a bit confused as to how to deal with the situation! Shall the party continue with its minority appeasement policy or take the soft Hindutva approach as they had done during the recently concluded Gujarat Assembly election!

In 1984, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) started the Ram Mandir movement. But it couldn't attract much attention. In 1985, the Supreme Court gave its historic verdict in the Saha Bano case which angered the Islamic clerics. The erstwhile Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was advised to appease these clerics for votes. Rajiv Gandhi-led government made an amendment in the Constitution to annul the Supreme Court's verdict in the Shah Bano case.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Thus, appeasement of Muslims by the Congress created a rift between the party and the majority Hindus. The VHP and the BJP started to take advantage of the situation. Rajiv Gandhi realised that he can't afford to displease the majority community. Thus, he reopened the gates of the Ram Mandir as a balancing act. But the Babri Masjid Action Committee was formed.

After the focus of the nation shifted on the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid issue, the entire nation got polarised along religious lines. Both the VHP and the BJP started gaining prominence and 30 years later, the BJP was able to form its government with complete majority in 2014. Not to forget that at one point of time, the BJP had just two seats where as Congress had 404 seats.

The point is that had Rajiv Gandhi allowed the SC's verdict in the Sahah Bano case to prevail, the need for his party to rake up the Ram Mandir issue would never have arisen. When a party favours a particular community, counter polarisation does occur sooner or later. That has been proved time and again.

Frankly speaking, the message that the Congress is giving is that it has done course correction and doesn't want to distance itself from the majority community. So, lending support to the anti-triple talaq bill will serve as a golden opportunity for India's Grand Old Party. Congress should send out a message that the party isn't interested in repeating its 1985 blunder of meddling with the apex court's verdict in the Shah Bano case.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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