A society progresses if its women have rights. A survey shows that the societies where the status of women are low, the men also are worse.

Rajiv Gandhi came under the pressure of Islamic radicals and passed such a law which degraded the status of the Muslim Women greatly.

Let me explain, What Shah Bano case is, how Congress under Rajiv Gandhi reacted to it

In 1932, Shah Bano, a Muslim woman, was married to Mohammed Ahmad Khan, an affluent and well-known advocate in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and had five children from the marriage. After 14 years, Khan took a younger woman as second wife and after years of living with both wives, he divorced Shah Bano, who was then aged 62 years. In April 1978, when Khan stopped giving her the ₹200 per month he had apparently promised, claiming that she had no means to support herself and her children, she filed a criminal suit at a local court in Indore, against her husband under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, asking him for a maintenance amount of ₹500 for herself and her children. In November 1978 her husband gave an triple talaq to her which was his prerogative under Islamic law and took up the defense that hence Bano had ceased to be his wife and therefore he was under no obligation to provide maintenance for her as except prescribed under the Islamic law which was in total ₹5,400. In August 1979, the local court directed Khan to pay a sum of ₹25 per month to Bano by way of maintenance. On 1 July 1980, on a revision application of Bano, the High Court of Madhya Pradesh enhanced the amount of maintenance to ₹179.20 per month. Khan then filed a petition to appeal before the Supreme Court claiming that Shah Bano is not his responsibility anymore because Mr. Khan had a second marriage which is also permitted under Islamic Law. On 23 April 1985, Supreme Court in a unanimous decision, dismissed the appeal and confirmed the judgment of the High Court.

If we look, Judiciary took a very progressive stance on Muslim women rights. After the backlash from Islamic clergy, Rajivji passed the “The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986”

The crux of the law is: A divorced Muslim woman is entitled to reasonable and fair provision and maintenance from her former husband, and this should be paid within the period of iddah i.e. for 3 months. After the 3 month iddah period, the magistrate is empowered to make an order for the payment of maintenance by her relatives who would be entitled to inherit her property on her death according to Muslim Law. But when a divorced woman has no such relatives, and does not have enough means to pay the maintenance, the magistrate would order the State Waqf Board to pay the maintenance.

Essentially, 3 months after uttering “talaq-talaq-talaq” husband has no duty to maintain his wife and Children, they are literally on their own. If the woman is not having a source of income, then she can literally come to streets and beg. Isn’t this inhuman? Apart from Muslims, men from every other religion have to provide lifelong maintenance for his wife/children if they are incapable of earning.

There were Muslims from within the Congress who sided with the SC verdict, there were other Muslims in Congress who stood against the verdict. Rajiv G decided to side with the later and passed the law nullifying the SC judgement.

Lets see, what would have happened had if Rajiv G had taken a progressive stance and sided with SC.

  1. First, The progressive elements and the ladies would have gotten stronger within the Muslims, and they would have had respect and regards for INC for inducing a reform, just as Hindus respect Raja Rammohun Roy.
  2. Secondly, this would have projected that INC is a secular party and Hindus would have not have lost trust on Congress. It is not a coincidence after this incident no Gandhi has been the PM.

Indian Muslims, you may vote for Congress. But you should push for kicking out the Gandhis out of Congress. They are your biggest enemies is disguise. As long as Gandhis are there in Congress, it will remain weak. They must be kicked out for Congress to become strong.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.