Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rethinking the UCC debate

In a recent opinion piece I argue that the rather hackneyed debate on the UCC and Indian multiculturalism needs to be reimagined given certain significant shifts in ground realities.

"Legislative reforms in Hindu and Christian law and the increasing juridification of Muslim law have created a greater degree of uniformity between the different personal laws. Secondly, there has been greater democratization inside communities and a concerted attempt to reform family law from within. Third, new social surveys have demonstrated that the differences in gender dynamics and family structures bear a greater correlation to economic class and geography than to religious identity. Finally, the focus in family law reform has expanded to address questions of domestic violence and the right to a matrimonial home which cut across community identities"

Because of the limits of the format I was not able to supply all the references that I would have liked, but for those who are interested I would recommend

-on the juridification of Muslim family law
Flavia Agnes, Law, Justice and Gender: Family Law and Constitutional Provisions in India (Oxford, New Delhi, 2010)

- on fragmentation within Muslim organizations

Justin Jones, ‘Signs of churning’: Muslim Personal Law and public contestation in twenty-first century India"

Sylvia Vatuk, “Islamic Feminism in India? Indian Muslim Women Activists and the Reform of Muslim Person Law.” In F. Osella and C. Osella, eds., Islamic Reform in India, Special Issue, Modern Asian Studies 42/2 & 3, 2008.

-on survey data on the conditions of Indian women

Zoya Hasan and Ritu Menon, Unequal Citizens: A Study of Muslim Women in India (Oxford University Press, 2004)
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