Essay

Hindutva’s stick

Print edition : November 27, 2015

Personal and family laws are intimately connected with the practice of religion, as the early leaders of independent India acknowledged. Here, a file photograph of a couple of Muslim brides in Ahmedabad. Photo: VIJAY SONEJI

Romila Thapar delivering a lecture on "Indian Society and Secularism" at K.C. College in Mumbai on October 26. She advocated the use of a persuasive rather than a coercive approach to the issue of a civil code. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

There is never any murmur about Articles 371A and 371G of the Constitution giving special status to Nagaland and Mizoram, though Article 370 with relation to Jammu and Kashmir regularly draws criticism. These provisions protect the religious and social practices of these States, among other things, no matter what the Constitution says. Here, a file photograph of a tradiditional war dance by Khiamniungan Naga men. Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR

Justice K.S. Hegde, who said in 1971 that no court can issue a mandate to a legislature to enact a particular law or direct it to not enact a law that it may be competent to enact. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Hindutva groups use the idea of a uniform civil code as a stick to beat the minorities with, an enterprise that finds an answering echo in judicial zeal informed by poor scholarship.

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