ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Codification of Muslim Personal LawSubscribe to Codification of Muslim Personal Law

Do Personal Laws Get their Authority from Religion or the State--Revisiting Constitutional Status

What enables an obscurantist, patriarchal body such as the All India Muslim Personal Law Board to challenge the state’s authority to intervene in Muslim Personal Law is uncertainty over the constitutional status of personal laws, that is, does the authority of personal law come from religion or the secular state. However, what eventually came to be known as “Hindu and Mahomedan laws” were creations of the colonial state following a complex process of rationalisation, rather than a simple codification of religious commands.

Women's Rights Walking the Tight Rope

THERE are many who believe that to be sensitive to the insecurity felt by the minorities in general and Muslims in particular is to support reforms from within the community. However, such political expediency has willy-nilly lent credibility to an ideological position which accords religious community a centrality in people's lives and concerns. It argues for reforms from within as being necessary and therefore, politically correct. Despite the difference, the political articulation of both have foregrounded Muslim Personal Law. The two day national convention of the All India Democratic Women' s Association (AIDWA) on Equal Rights and Equal Laws tried to break this prevalent mould. Held in Delhi (December 9-10) and drawing delegates from 18 states, the convention was significant for more than one reason. Being the largest democratic organisation the position articulated by AIDWA carries enormous weight. This is all the more important because there has been great deal of confusion among political activists on the question of women's rights after the Shah Bano case in 1985 and especially after the dgmohtiop of Babri masjid on December 6, 1992.
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