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

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Beyond Personal Laws

Successive governments have sided with the minority conservative opinion, which on important occasions has reframed and reconstituted the identity of the community only as a religious minority. This top-down construction of identity has had an important connotation in reference to the identity structure of Indian Muslims, as religious identity continued to occupy a place of priority and as a result came to be asserted more often. Insofar as Muslims continue to manifest personal laws as an indispensable part of their socio-religious identity and as a part of their right to live as a religious minority, an abrupt transition from personal laws to the Uniform Civil Code, politically, remains inexpedient.

Personal Laws versus Gender Justice: Will a Uniform Civil Code Solve the Problem?

Personal Laws in India present a situation where abolishing them in the interest of gender justice also inadvertently benefits the reactionary side.

Uniform Civil Code: A Heedless Quest?

The necessity or otherwise of a uniform civil code cannot be debated in the absence of a coherent conception of what the UCC will be and what it will do. Although it has urged the government to enact one, the Supreme Court's own judgments reveal the hollowness in its understanding of the UCC. Perhaps, uniformity itself is no answer to the myriad problems of religion-based personal laws.

Female Intestate Succession under Hindu Law

Gender equality often stands compromised in various personal laws in India, with the legislature's history of having a non-interfering attitude in amending discriminatory personal laws--in order to avoid compromising on their political vote bank--unless rebuked by the judiciary. This article discusses one such admonishment by the courts, a rather progressive development, declaring a part of the female intestate succession scheme under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 as unconstitutional.

Pluralism vs Universalism

Religion and Personal Law in Secular India: A Call to Judgment , Gerald James Larson (ed); Social Science Press, New Delhi, 2001; pp viii+362, index, bibliography, hb, Rs 525.
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