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Uniform Civil Code Debate Is Not New, Divided Constituent Assembly As Well

Discussion in 'Internal Affairs' started by dadeechi, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Uniform Civil Code debate is not new, divided Constituent Assembly as well
    Uniform Civil Code: Among other Directive Principles is Article 44, which asks the State to “endeavour to secure for citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India”.
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    Maneesh Chhibber | Updated: October 17, 2016 10:02 am[​IMG]Members of the Constituent Assembly at its first meeting in Constitution Hall, now known as Central Hall, of Parliament, on December 9, 1946. Source: Parliament of India, Picture credit: Wikipedia/Public Domain
    Part IV of the Constitution of India deals with the Directive Principles of State Policy, which aren’t enforceable by any court, but which are supposed to play a fundamental role in the governance of the country, with the government duty-bound to apply these principles in making laws.

    Among other Directive Principles is Article 44, which asks the State to “endeavour to secure for citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India”.The Uniform Civil Code is currently at the centre of heated public debate, with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board accusing the government of attempting to sneak it in under the garb of promoting gender equality through its opposition to triple talaq in the Supreme Court.

    Centre Opposes Triple Talaq In Supreme Court: All You Need To Know




    The Uniform Civil Code is currently at the centre of heated public debate, with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board accusing the government of attempting to sneak it in under the garb of promoting gender equality through its opposition to triple talaq in the Supreme Court.

    In fact, Article 44 has always been contentious — as Article 35 of the draft Constitution, it was one of the most debated clauses in the Constituent Assembly as it set about the task of drafting a new Constitution for the recently-independent sovereign nation of India. The Constituent Assembly saw a division along communal lines among members, and the clause was adopted only after B R Ambedkar, Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, assured the minorities that the Article would not be thrust upon them.

    On November 23, 1948, when the Article was being discussed, Mohamad Ismail, a Member of the Constituent Assembly from Madras, proposed that a proviso be added to Article 35, which, if adopted, would have allowed “any group, section or community of people” to decide against giving up its own personal laws in case it had such a law.

    Ismail asserted that the right of a group or community to follow its own personal law was among the fundamental rights, since any tinkering with it would be “tantamount to interference with the way of life of those people who have been observing these laws for generations and ages”.He was followed by Naziruddin Ahmad of West Bengal, who argued that it was not just Muslims — “each religious community has certain religious laws, certain civil laws inseparably connected with religious beliefs and practices”.

    He was followed by Naziruddin Ahmad of West Bengal, who argued that it was not just Muslims — “each religious community has certain religious laws, certain civil laws inseparably connected with religious beliefs and practices”.

    When Mahboob Ali Baig Sahib Bahadur of Madras asserted that as far as the Muslims were concerned, “their laws of succession, inheritance, marriage and divorce are completely dependent upon their religion”, M Ananthasayanam Ayyangar, who went on to become the second Speaker of Lok Sabha, said marriages among Muslims are a “matter of contract”.

    To this, Baig responded that this contract “is enjoined on the Mussalmans by the Quran and if it is not followed, a marriage is not a legal marriage at all”.Backing the motion moved by Mohamad Ismail, B Pocker Sahib Bahadur (Madras) referred to the questions being raised by some Hindu Members to the proposed Article.

    Backing the motion moved by Mohamad Ismail, B Pocker Sahib Bahadur (Madras) referred to the questions being raised by some Hindu Members to the proposed Article.

    “I know there are great differences in the law of inheritance and various other matters between the various sections of the Hindu community. Is this Assembly going to set aside all these differences and make them uniform? By uniform, I ask, what do you mean and which particular law, of which community are you going to take as the standard?” he asked.“What have you got in your mind in enacting a clause like this? There are the Mitakshara and Dayabhaga systems; there are so many other systems followed by various other communities. What is it that you are making the basis?”

    “What have you got in your mind in enacting a clause like this? There are the Mitakshara and Dayabhaga systems; there are so many other systems followed by various other communities. What is it that you are making the basis?”The lawyer-educationist K M Munshi (Bombay) opposed any move to amend the Article, saying the law would affect members of all religions. He received support from several other Hindu Members.

    The lawyer-educationist K M Munshi (Bombay) opposed any move to amend the Article, saying the law would affect members of all religions. He received support from several other Hindu Members.

    “Are we going to permit this piecemeal legislation on the ground that it affects the personal law of the country? It is, therefore, not merely a question for minorities but it also affects the majority. I know there are many among Hindus who do not like a uniform civil code because they take the same view as the honourable Muslim Members who spoke last. They feel that the personal law of inheritance, succession, etc. is really a part of their religion,” Munshi said.Ambedkar too opposed the amendments, pointing out that in North Malabar (Kerala), “the Marumakkathayam Law applied to all — not only to Hindus, but also to Muslims”. And, “it is to be remembered that the Marumakkathayam Law is a matriarchal form of law and not a patriarchal form of law.”

    Ambedkar too opposed the amendments, pointing out that in North Malabar (Kerala), “the Marumakkathayam Law applied to all — not only to Hindus, but also to Muslims”. And, “it is to be remembered that the Marumakkathayam Law is a matriarchal form of law and not a patriarchal form of law.”

    Babasaheb then went on to reassure Muslims, saying that “they have read rather too much into Article 35, which merely proposes that the State shall endeavour to secure a civil code for the citizens of the country.

    “It does not say that after the Code is framed the State shall enforce it upon all citizens merely because they are citizens. It is perfectly possible that the future Parliament may make a provision by way of making a beginning that the Code shall apply only to those who make a declaration that they are prepared to be bound by it, so that in the initial stage the application of the Code may be purely voluntary. Parliament may feel the ground by some such method.“This”, Ambedkar said, “is not a novel method. It was adopted in the Shariat Act of 1937 when it was applied to territories other than the North-West Frontier Province. The law said that here is a Shariat law which should be applied to Mussulmans who wanted that he should be bound by the Shariat Act should go to an officer of the state, make a declaration that he is willing to be bound by it, and after he has made that declaration the law will bind him and his successors. It would be perfectly possible for Parliament to introduce a provision of that sort; so that the fear which my friends have expressed here will be altogether nullified.

    “This”, Ambedkar said, “is not a novel method. It was adopted in the Shariat Act of 1937 when it was applied to territories other than the North-West Frontier Province. The law said that here is a Shariat law which should be applied to Mussulmans who wanted that he should be bound by the Shariat Act should go to an officer of the state, make a declaration that he is willing to be bound by it, and after he has made that declaration the law will bind him and his successors. It would be perfectly possible for Parliament to introduce a provision of that sort; so that the fear which my friends have expressed here will be altogether nullified.

    “I, therefore, submit that there is no substance in these amendments and I oppose them,” Ambedkar said.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/ex...divided-constituent-assembly-as-well-3086583/
     
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  2. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  3. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    My take on it is that Hindus should leave the Muslims alone.

    Why do I care if a Muslim man has 4 wives or delivers a divorce through social media?

    As long as Hindus are not impacted, I do not care.
     
  4. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    I emphatically don't agree.

    The protection of our laws should extend to every citizen. And that includes the Muslim woman. We are 18% of us under the unconstitutional tyranny of obscurantist mullahs.

    It is quite another matter that we Hindus (did I just write that??????) have our own idiosyncratic laws: the HUF, Dayabhaga vs. Mitakshara, many more besides. It is quite another matter that we have our own obscurantist priests and God-men. Those should also go; they should also go to the trash-can.
     
  5. Bang Galore

    Bang Galore Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    "Hindus"
    may have no locus standi, "Indians" have......
     
  6. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Finally you have come out of the closet and announced yourself as an evil Hindu atheist :mrgreen:.

    On topic, let me clarify that I full support Uniform Civil code for dharmic religions for one dharmic religions are not organized religions and secondly marriage is a solemn vow. Dharmic religions have been and are being reformed from banning sati, re-marriage of widows, inheritance for girl child, abolishing child marriages, making dowry illegal etc.

    I am even okay having uniform civil code to include Christianity as Christians also believe marriage is a solemn vow. (This may be due to Christs association with Hinduism & Buddhism)

    But unlike Christianity & Dharmic religions, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Islam consider marriage as a contract between the bride and bridegroom. They literally sign a marriage contract.

    So implementing Uniform Civil Code would encroach upon their religious beliefs.

    This is like saying "Maan Na Maan Main Tera Mehmaan".


     
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  7. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Sure. But Jews, Parsis & Muslims are also Citizens of India and they are opposing UCC.

    Let them come out in majority and ask for their rights and I would surely support UCC for them. Until the UCC should exclude these three religions and should be rolled out to Christians & Dharmic religions only.
     
  8. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    There is no difficulty, technically, in designing a Uniform Civil Code for all citizens. It can continue to exclude certain practices of certain religions which simply cannot be fitted it. But the bulk should be covered. These changes have been adopted successfully in Muslim majority countries. As my ex-VC, a man I respect, puts it, a uniform civil code which pulls in Muslims is premature today, because first of all, we have to unify Muslim practice; it is not unified. Just briefly,
    1. Those clerics objecting are objecting to practices contrary to Islam; a divorce of three talaqs is not valid, it has to be one with several weeks between each, and serious efforts by the qazi, neighbours, friends and acquaintances, and family, to try and reconcile the couple. Only when this is still fruitless is there a second talaq, and the same reconciliation is tried, with increased effort. If this, too, fails, then the third. What is done is irregular, incorrect and not in accordance with even the Hanafi fiqh that most interpreters follow in India.
    2. There are three other fiqhs in Sunni Islam. For us to listen to this particular set of clerics and to conclude that that is the interpretation of all Muslim law experts is incorrect. Those are four in Sunni Islam; there are three more in Shia practice.
    3. There are Muslim sects, the Memons in Kutch, the Meos in southern Delhi and Haryana, and similar, who still follow Hindu personal law.
    So it isn't India vs. Muslim Indians at all; it's actually India and very many Muslim Indians, including 50,000 women who went to the extent of petitioning for reform, vs. some obscurantist clergy, and their political supporters, fishers in troubled waters, practitioners of vote-bank politics.

    If we look at the law in Tunisia and Algeria, we can see for ourselves how far the legal reformers have gone; it makes a joke of the obstructions put up by the Ulama. It is a different matter that the BJP and its oafish supporters are a bigger joke.
     
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  9. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    It is the Indian who is objecting: a Muslim Indian women's group, the Indian Supreme Court, Indian jurists......now we just need to find an Indian ministry. :p
     
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  10. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Please read about Ambedkar's suggestion. IMO, that is what should be done. Muslim Indians of either gender should be permitted to adopt a properly drafted UCC (not what it looks like or sounds like at the moment) to bind them and their descendants. Nobody can compel them to follow the traditional law supported by the mullahs. The obscurantist mullahs. People like Ghamidi of Pakistan, hounded out and currently in Malaysia, are on the other side.
     
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  11. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    You are talking about 50K women out of 175 million Muslims. And why are they complaining about their rights? Indian Special Marriage Act (SMA) of 1954 already provides them option to marry outside of Islamic marriage. It is they who are not choosing to marry under SMA and marrying under Muslim personal law and then crying foul.
     
  12. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Majority of Muslims want to get married under Muslim personal law. Only a minuscule oppose and want to marry outside Muslim personal law.

    So forcing UCC on all Muslims and then asking them to take an exception to marry under Muslim personal law does not make any sense. Rather, the exception should be followed by the Muslims who do not want to get married under Muslim personal law to get married under SMA.
     
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  13. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    GoI (all Ministries) has already object to triple-talaak in its affidavit to the court.
     
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  14. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Dadhichi, or @dadeechi as you continue to spell yourself, your contrarian views are undoubtedly useful. They set the outer boundary, and allow us a perspective. Let us take solace from that. But to refuse to drain the pus from the many different codes of personal law that afflict so many Indian citizens is simply a failure of governance.
     
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  15. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    I don't know much about Muslim personal law stuff, so are Women allowed to have four husbands too or is it just the men who can have four wives?
    Also this triple talaq works both ways or just for the men.....
     
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