tirsdag 31. mai 2022

The coming storm over a single common law in India

When it comes to matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption, India has different laws for different communities based on their religion, faith and beliefs. But since Independence there's been talk of a Uniform Civil Code or UCC, a single personal law for all citizens irrespective of religion, sex, gender and sexual orientation. Even the constitution says the state should "endeavour" to provide such a law to its citizens.

But a common law - resisted both by the country's Hindu majority and Muslims, the main minority - has remained, in the words of the Supreme Court, a "dead letter". PM Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now resurrecting the idea. BJP-ruled states such as Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have been talking up the UCC.