What is famous Shahbano court case

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The Shah Bano case had its starting point as early as the late 1970s, when the lawyer Muhammad Ahmed Khan from Indore in Madhya Pradesh was sentenced to a monthly maintenance payment to his divorced wife Shah Bano in 1978 under Article 125 of Indian criminal procedure law 1975 after a long marriage. Since Khan did not want to accept this, he then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court (Supreme Court) in Delhi. First of all, he justified his complaint by stating that a Muslim woman was only allowed during the three-month period of the iddat[1] would be entitled to maintenance payments and that, secondly, with the bridal gift he has already set aside (more) a sufficiently high amount within the meaning of Art. 127 (3) (b) of the Criminal Procedure Law had been paid to his divorced wife. The appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court in 1985, but it was less the decision itself than the reasoning of the verdict by Presiding Judge Chandrachud that sparked bitter controversy between proponents of the verdict and those Muslim spokesmen who saw this as an assault on their culture Rejected rights as a minority. In order to avert further alienation of the Muslim electorate, the then Congress government under Rajiv Gandhi passed this very hastily in 1986 Muslim Women (Protection on Rights of Divorce) Bill as a supplementary paragraph to Art. 125 of the Criminal Procedure Law. With regard to maintenance issues, the priority of Islamic civil status law over criminal procedure law was set, whereby Muslim women were in fact excluded from its applicability and thus clearly discriminated against.

In particular, the political opponents of the Congress Party in the Hindu nationalist camp quickly recognized this controversial law as a welcome campaign topic. The press coverage from 1985-87 shows how much the debate was absorbed by the representatives of a hegemonic Hindu nationalism on the one hand and the representatives of an Islamic minority nationalism on the other. This article would like to first present the historical context of the Indian civil law debate and then explain the background to its repeated escalation over the past twenty years. Using the example of the English-language Indian press, the question will be discussed of the extent to which the way in which the debate is presented in the print media has hardened the fronts. [2]

Historical background to the controversy

The division into criminal and civil law took place in India under British rule. The criminal law (Indian Penal Code) and the law of criminal procedure (Criminal Procedure Code) were introduced in 1862 and both should be applied to all segments of Indian society regardless of religion or caste. In the first half of the 20th century, however, personal status rights (Personal Laws), which should apply to family law issues (marriage, divorce, maintenance, succession, adoption, religious foundations). First of all, it should be noted that religious personal status rights in India are primarily legal innovations that should primarily set the boundaries of religiously defined communities. [3] With the anchoring of religious personal status rights in the legal structures of the state, however, so-called primordial institutions were recognized and legitimized at the same time. This term refers to groups that use the "language of primordiality", i.e. they present their common history, culture and religion as unchangeable "givens" of group identity, whereas the history of their construction is hidden. [4] The focus of Indian Muslims on Islamic civil status law was not only strengthened after independence by the anchoring of cultural and religious group rights in the Indian constitution, but the basis of their cultural identity had already been "codified" by the state. Accordingly, the demand for a reform of the Islamic civil status law was actually interpreted by the reform opponents as an attack on the cultural identity of Indian Muslims, who saw themselves as an increasingly threatened and marginalized minority compared to the Hindu majority. Under the "guise" of secular reasoning, there was fear of forced assimilation into a hegemonic Hindu majority culture.

In this context, however, the inner-Islamic development since the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate by Mustafa Kemal must also be taken into account, because it also brought about the end of an a-national political space for Muslims, i.e. the possibility of constructing political communities that not oriented towards the model of the nation-state. In India, where the caliphate movement had achieved a fairly large radius of activity, after the fall of the caliphate and the end of the Ottoman Empire, Muslim scholars and intellectuals saw a last remaining common denominator, especially in Islamic civil status law, on the basis of which an identity of the strong could be established a fragmented Muslim community. [5]

As early as the end of the 19th century, however, Muslim reform movements had also called for the Islamic civil status law to come into force in order to modernize it within the logic of Sharia law. For example, they pointed out that women had rights under the Sharia law that were not guaranteed by any of the customary rights applied in India at the time. Examples of Muslim women’s rights to divorce, inheritance and remarriage after divorce or after the death of the spouse were given. The adoption of the Muslim Personal Law Application Act (1937) and des Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act (1939) initially regarded and supported by women's organizations as beneficial for the legal betterment of Muslim women in India. [6]

In contrast, after independence in 1947, supporters of a strong central power and cultural homogeneity assessed the existence of religious family rights in a completely different way, because they recognized them as the basis for political mobilization according to communalist criteria, especially in the post-Nehru era after 1964. As a result of the resulting, fundamental ambivalence of the Indian state and the violation of liberal principles, they are convinced that a "real" nation-building and modernization of India was prevented in the long term. Similar to the supporters of the Kemalist modernization project in Turkey, they were also convinced that a uniform, secular civil law would level out particular identities, avert communal excesses and thus accelerate the process of "national integration" and social reform. [7]

The main determinant for the public perception and discussion of the civil law issue in post-colonial India was initially the controversy over the reform and codification of Hindu civil status law from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s. The one used by Nehru Hindu Code Committee had already submitted a draft law in 1944, which included a reform of the laws on succession, marriage and divorce, adoption and custody. This ambitious reform project, which was originally scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 1948, failed due to bitter resistance within the legislative assembly, including large parts of the Congress Party. Nehru then decided to divide the new Hindu Code into four parts and to pursue a strategy of cautious, step-by-step reform. One by one, the Legislative Assembly of the Hindu Marriage Act (1955), the Hindu Succession Act as well as the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (both 1956) and the Dowry Prohibition Act (1961) adopted.

From a retrospective view, it is particularly clear today how much the arguments of the opponents of the Hindu code are similar to the objections that the opponents of a reform of Islamic civil status law later claimed for themselves and which are still raised today. For example, the legislature's competence to interpret the Shastras questioned - just as in the course of the debate in the mid-1980s on the part of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) the ability of the Supreme Court to interpret Koranic suras was negated. In the course of the reform of Hindu family law, disputes over the monogamy and divorce clause and the maintenance regulations provided were just as protracted and bitter as later in connection with the required codification and reform of Islamic family law. In the eyes of Hindu organizations as well as conservative Hindus within The Congress Party presented these new regulations as an "attack on the foundations of Hindu culture and civilization", which, if the "polygamy" of Muslims were maintained, would amount to a real "racial suicide". [8]

In the bitterness of the conservative Hindus as well as the Hindu nationalists about the fact that they renounce their "cultural customs" and traditions in favor of social reform and modernization and the introduction of the Hindu code had to accept, leads to suspicion with regard to the still "untouched" family law of the Muslims. In the years that followed, Islamic civil status law became, on the one hand, a symbol of the "backwardness and unwillingness to reform" of the Indian Muslims and, on the other hand, the epitome of the "privileging" of the Muslim minority by the Congress government. Similarly, the oppositional strategy of Jana Sangh and her successor, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was based on the "unmasking" of the post-colonial modernization project as "pseudo-secular" and "inconsistent". By clearly differentiating itself from this, the BJP tried to present itself as the more modern and more consistent party in the sense of civil liberties and to create an additional basis of legitimation in its political program by anchoring the demand for a uniform, secular civil law in accordance with Article 44 of the Indian Constitution . [9]

With this double construction of another, i.e. the secular modernization and "westernization project" of the post-colonial state on the one hand and the "oriental", "premodern" culture on the other, the idea of ​​an integral totality of Hindu culture, including its identity-creating function as "national culture" gain ground in the first place. This explains the "excessive focus" of the Hindu nationalists on Islamic civil status law and their adoption of the demand for a uniform civil law, especially in the 1980s and 1990s. [10]

The polarization of the Indian public over the question of Islamic civil status law ultimately even gave rise to a strange "argumentative alliance", to which both parts of the Indian women's movement and extremely Hindu nationalist organizations such as the Shiv Sena from Maharashtra and the RSS. [11] This can be explained against the background that the Indian women's movement from the 1940s to the early 1980s was founded on the general consensus that it was up to the state to bring about cultural, social and political progress in Indian society through its legislation and thereby strengthen "national integration". Doubts about the model of the secular nation state only arose in the wake of the general wave of "anti-secular" criticism, which since the mid-1980s has been reinforced by the emergence of so-called neo-nationalist movements. Above all, the basic assumption and legitimation of the post-colonial political elite, which had been upheld for decades, that social change and progress were inherent in the process of nation-building, was criticized. [12]

Although they continue to represent very different positions on the question, Zoya Hasan assumes that none of the major women's organizations now supports the demand for a uniform civil law, from which she draws the conclusion: "BJP has appropriated what was otherwise a feminist demand". [13]

The civil law debate as a "media event" (1986-2003)

As an event that was mainly brought about by media reporting and representation, the dispute over the Indian civil law issue had "boom" several times in the past two decades alone, for example in 1985/86 on the occasion of the Shah Bano case, in 1995 due to the Sarla Mudgal Case and in 2003 as a result of the John Vallamattam case. The triggering function for the extensive media coverage of the three cases and the subsequent controversies in the Indian public were the reasons given by the presiding judge of the Supreme Court in Delhi, Y.C. Chandrachud (1985), Kuldip Singh (1995) and V.N. Khare (2003). The three judges used the pronouncements to complain about the fact that there is still no uniform civil law in India, although its establishment is laid down as a directive in Article 44 of the Indian Constitution.

While in the Shah Bano case the question of support for divorced or outcast Muslim women was in the foreground, the Sarla Mudgal case rekindled the discussion about "polygamy" after a Hindu converted to Islam because he had mistakenly assumed that it was as a Muslim man to be able to get a second marriage to another woman in addition to his already existing one. In the grounds of the judgment in the John Vallamattam case (2003), also known as Christian Bequest Case on the other hand, it was found that Paragraph 118 of Indian Succession Act (1925) violates Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, as it prohibits Christians from bequeathing their property to religious and charitable institutions. In contrast to the Shah Bano and Sarla Mudgal cases, the John Vallamattam case did not deal with a conflict between Islamic and secular law, which, along with a few other factors, also contributed to the fact that this time the subsequent debate focused more on the area of ​​tension focused between religious and secular law and did not refer exclusively to Islam. In the meantime, Islamic civil status law has undergone far-reaching changes that put the prevailing image of "non-reformability" and "standstill" into perspective (see below). However, this development has so far hardly been taken into account in the media presentation and discussion of the civil law problem.

Even if parts of the Hindi press played a central role in promoting Hindu nationalism in the 1980s and 1990s, the media strategists of the BJP by no means underestimated the great importance of the English-language press in India for its political success. [14] With the civil law debate in particular, they found the welcome opportunity in the mid-1980s to be heard by a reading public that was based on political concepts, rhetoric and argumentation as represented in the English-language press in India since the independence movement. [15] BJP politicians with media experience like L.K. In interviews with English-language newspapers, Advani focused on the "pseudo-secular" character of the congress order and propagated its "secularism in a Hindu way" as its "more consistent" alternative. [16] Especially in the Indian Express, but also in the Times of India and in Statesman they found an open forum to launch their attacks against the Congress Party and the Muslims on the occasion of the Shah Bano case and thereby establish themselves politically in this particularly powerful public, which is focused on the English-language media.

In this way, the BJP even succeeded in determining the discursive framework within which the civil law problem was perceived and discussed in India in the 1980s and 1990s: By deliberately reinterpreting the debate, the uniform, secular civil law became a symbol of "national integration "and anyone who spoke out against it was defamed as" anti-national ". This reinterpretation of the civil law question had the consequence that the originally related concern of legal equality between men and women was completely pushed into the background.Even if the "oppression of Muslim women" has repeatedly been used as an argument, it is primarily to assert the "backwardness" and "brutality" of Islamic civilization as such and the "incompatibility" of Islam with modernity, and not in the interests of a reform-oriented dialogue with the aim of equal rights for men and women. Incidentally, the prevailing topoi of "polygamy" and "overpopulation" make it clear that the discussion is less about the situation of Muslim women and more about the alleged "privileging" of Muslims Men compared to the Men other communities that did not have the "right" to conduct multiple marriages.

The English-language press also increasingly followed the BJP's portrayal patterns when it came to generally equating the question of civil law with the "problem" of Islamic civil status law. As a result, the debate in the 1980s and 1990s hardly dealt with the question of how all religious personal status rights existing in India, including Hindu family law, could be reformed and codified Abolition was often called for. This created, firstly, in the English-language press the erroneous idea that women are only discriminated against in Islam and, secondly, that the reforming and codification process of Hindu law and other religious family rights has long been concluded. [17]

The English-language press has also taken up the three interventions mentioned by the presiding judges Chandrachud, Singh and Khare and made them an issue, but did not report any contradicting statements by the Supreme Court. Although there was never a consensus among the lawyers on this issue, this again strengthened the public impression that the Supreme Court consistently represented a unified conviction on the civil law issue and that "inactive" politicians repeatedly admonish the mandate of the constitution had to.

The English-language press also paid little attention to the changes that have been made to Islamic civil status law since the adoption of the Muslim Women Bill (1986) actually found out, which perpetuated the image of the "non-reformability" of the Muslim Personal Law. Undoubtedly, the serious fact remains that divorced Muslims are excluded by this law from the applicability of the law that applies to all other women in India, and with it before the law not treated as equals, but discriminated against. The criticism of the Muslim Women Bill However, since its inception, the majority has concentrated on the issue of maintenance, because since this law stipulates that divorced Muslim women only during the three months of the iddat are dependent, it was feared that they would de facto no longer receive any maintenance at all. As a result, especially in the second half of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, it became a recurring topos in the English-language press that divorced Muslim women "inevitably" become involved in "prostitution" or, for example, in the "smuggling business between Pakistan and India" (e.g. of textiles) as they would find no other way out of their abject poverty.

In the meantime, however, the Indian courts have opened up ways through the divorced or ostracized Muslim women despite the said iddat-Compensation can be awarded that is at least equivalent to maintenance payments. For example, by the sum that the still-husband received during the three-month period of the iddat has to pay, is set accordingly high. [18] Extremely important for the clarification of this problem was also a judgment of the Supreme Court from the year 2001, which the continued payment of maintenance over the period of iddat addition allows. A year later (2002), the Bombay High Court also ruled that any divorce was subject to the application of civil procedure law and the Indian Evidence Act Must be proven in an Indian court. So when a Muslim woman the divorce unilaterally declared by her husband (talaq), its validity must be checked in court and can only be recognized if certain conditions are clearly met. These include, for example, the specification of specific reasons for the divorce (in order to prevent "spontaneous" divorces), the payment of the bridal money (more), the payment of alimony during the three months of the iddat and the handing over of all belongings to the woman. Similar pronouncements of verdicts had already been announced in the previous years in the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka; In Andhra Pradesh, the government under Prime Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had already introduced a mandatory marriage certificate in April 2002.

Regardless of these developments, the BJP maintained its one-sided focus on Islamic personal status law and the demand that uniform civil law should replace all existing religious personal status rights even during the new edition or continuation of the civil law debate on the occasion of the John Vallamattam case (2003) must. This time, however, the English-language press increasingly distanced itself from this discursive framework, which was essentially given by the media strategists of the BJP, when the civil law debate became an "issue" again in the summer of 2003. In quantitative terms, too, the representatives of the BJP no longer dominated the debate, because a large part of the comments now dealt with questioning the arguments put forward by the Hindu nationalists for over two decades and in some cases refuting them in detail. In general, more women and significantly more Muslims spoke up on the opinion pages of the English-language newspapers than during the Shah Bano debate, for example, whereas politicians no longer intervened in the debate to the same extent as before, or the newspapers possibly their own strategy in this regard have changed. In addition, however, the two decisive political debates during this period led to the discussion about the report of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) about Ayodhya and the question of property rights to the property on which the destroyed Babri Mosque is located and about the phenomenon of "Islamist" terror, so that the civil law debate this year, unlike the mid-1980s and Was not a priority headline topic of national politics in the mid-1990s. [19]

Correction of the selective perception of reform measures actually carried out

In 2002, the Shamim Ara Supreme Court found the infamous "Triple Talaq" [20] who was part of the not codified Islamic civil status law was declared invalid and thus de facto an important reform measure of Islamic personal status law was implemented. Muslim women's organizations in particular feared at the time that the timing for such measures was badly chosen in view of the uncertainty among Muslims caused by the pogroms in Gujarat. The expected storm of protest failed to materialize, as did the feared evocation of new threat scenarios by the "mullahs". Rather, the judgment of the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court (High Court) of Bombay on the evidence of divorces found the express approval of the Secretary General of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Syed Nizamuddin. [21]

This significant development, which on the one hand was completely ignored by the representatives of the BJP, but on the other hand was also barely visible and comprehensible in the "national" press, was first attempted by numerous commentators in the context of the 2003 debate. On the one hand, they wanted to show that there was by no means a standstill between 1986 and 2003 when it came to the legal betterment of Muslim women. On the other hand, they justified their criticism of the media representation, which had strengthened the conviction in the Indian public that the Supreme Court consistently followed a uniform line with regard to the question of civil law. This was repeatedly addressed to politicians as an "order" in the form of an explicit demand for a civil law code in accordance with Article 44 of the Indian Constitution. [22]

In several statements, for example, the women's rights activist and practicing lawyer at the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court (High Court) of Bombay, Flavia Agnes, described the legal possibility of awarding divorced Muslim women a lump sum payment as a groundbreaking development that is hardly published and therefore not by the Indian public was noted. [23] Similarly, with regard to the divorce divorce judicial review decided by the Bombay High Court in 2002:

A full Bench of the Bombay High Court recently held that arbitration is essential prior to talaq and this has curtailed the right of Muslim men to arbitrary and universal talaq. There have been many such significant changes that take place every day. But while some judgments and court observations get blown out of proportion by the media and become matter of public discussion and debate, others are ignored. [24]

Through its one-sided reporting, the English-language press has contributed significantly to the conviction of the Indian public that only the family rights of religious minorities are in need of reform, while the Hindu Code was wrongly presented and perceived as the result of a completed reform and codification process. [25] In the course of this criticism, attention was drawn for the first time to those areas of Hindu family law in which women are still disadvantaged and are not recognized as having equal rights. The codification process of Hindu family law had manifested itself in the laws on marriage, succession, adoption, and guardianship passed between 1955-56. After a bitter dispute between Prime Minister Nehru and the then President Rajendra Prasad regarding the important question of how the property of large families should be divided among the heirs, i.e. whether and how daughters should be considered as heirs, the reform process remained Codification process, however, incomplete. The succession was im Hindu Succession Act so determined that the property remains in the hands of the male successor and thus in the "undivided Hindu family". [26] As Rajeev Dhavan put it pointedly, this led to the bizarre situation that a woman in India can become prime minister but never the head of a "Hindu joint family". [27] In this context, Agnes also points out that in many other areas through the Hindu Code Bill In no way has a degree of "uniformity" been achieved that roughly corresponds to public representation and perception:

The Hindu Code Bill, which is widely thought to have brought uniformity for Hindus, is in fact a code that grants legitimacy to all sorts of diverse customary practices. It is a myth that Hindus have a single law on marriage and divorce. But even where uniformity has been attempted, it has been done in accordance with Brahmanical norms, which have no bearing on the lives of Dalits and lower castes. Let me also inform you that the Hindu law is as diverse internally as the laws of other communities. For instance, while the northern states deny women property rights through the concept of coparcenary, the southern states have made women coparceners in Mitakshara property. Kerala has abolished the concept of coparcenary altogether. So a Hindu woman’s right would depend upon the state where she is located. [28]

These and many other examples emphasize that basically none of the family rights currently existing in India guarantee real equality and equal treatment for women. Before discussing a common or uniform civil law, however, an understanding of the elementary necessity of equality and gender justice various women's rights activists and legal scholars are calling for this to be established. However, this applies not only to society, but also to the state and its institutions in particular, which have so far lacked both the vision and the political will on this issue to tackle women's problems. In particular, the political climate of the past two decades had prevented a general debate about necessary changes in all religious family rights. Unlike in previous decades, most women's organizations therefore seem to be pursuing a strategy of gradual reform at the moment within to pursue the persistent disparate family rights. Agnes also considers this strategy to be the most sensible solution and at the same time the best possible guarantee of legal and social plurality in India. [29] However, while she assumes that a general civil law would even mean a "catastrophe" for a pluralistic society like India and consequently flatly rejects efforts in this direction, other intellectuals see an optional civil law code as the optimal complement to the existing family rights ]

Although he initially follows this line of argument and also advocates coexistence or an optional civil law code, B.G. Verghese, on the other hand, does not provide the best possible guarantee of plurality in the continued existence of religious personal status rights, but the other way round, in a uniform civil law. He justifies this, among other things, with the fact that the religions no longer necessarily reflect the actual diversity that is increasingly manifesting itself in the course of the modernization and globalization of Indian society. [31] Accordingly, in the long term, Verghese hopes that these intercultural, interreligious and other newly forming groups will contribute their voices to the civil law debate and advocate a liberal, uniform civil law. He considers the "traditional" civil status rights in their existing form to be fundamentally out of date. On the other hand, he fills the formula of "Unity in diversity" propagated after India's independence with new content and thus argues for its continued validity.

Résumé

Even if the focus was no longer exclusively on Islamic civil status law, but more on the need to reform and codify all existing religious family rights in India, the question of civil law and the controversy over the political identity and representation of Indian Muslims still seem so closely related to be linked that they simply cannot be solved separately. On the one hand, this is due to the historical development, according to which Islamic civil status law became a core element of a "Muslim identity policy" in India after the loss of the caliphate in the Ottoman Empire and is still regarded as such. On the other hand, no political or legal body can decide and bring about fundamental changes in Islamic civil status law as long as Muslims are clearly underrepresented in all institutions in the country. As long as there are neither state institutions nor organizations in which the interests of Muslims are demonstrably and permanently represented, no policy can, in turn, consider itself legitimized according to democratic rules or rely on the consent of Muslims. Seen in this light, it clearly seems to be a fallacy to insist that the question of a distinct political identity for Muslims would become “superfluous” or “national mainstream” through the introduction of a general or uniform civil law. Rather, a solution to the problem of the political identity and representation of Indian Muslims seems to be the prerequisite for a credible discussion and the process of reforming and codifying Islamic personal status law.

Remarks

[1] This period corresponds to three consecutive cycles of the woman, which is intended to ensure that there was no pregnancy at the time of the repudiation or divorce.

[2] Since the monitoring activities by non-governmental organizations and media activists in the course of political developments in the 1990s were primarily aimed at the representatives of the national-language press (especially the Hindi and Gujarati press), who cooperated with the Hindu nationalist Movement were associated, a systematic media analysis of the English-language press has long been neglected. Particularly in the context of the civil law debate (1985-97), however, the English-language press shows a pronounced openness to the arguments of Hindu nationalist actors and the associated, drastic deterioration in the image of Islam. Cf. on the problem of the dichotomous categorization of the Indian press landscape ("national, English-speaking" vs. "regional, Indian-speaking") and the associated stereotyping in more detail: Schneider (2005: 79-150).

[3] Cf. Hasan (1999: 140)

[4] Cf. Randeria (1996: 26-56)

[5] See Minault (1982), Robinson (1997: 257-356) and Shaikh (1991: 160-194).

[6] Cf. Mahmood (1972: 81-84 and 1986: 46ff.).

[7] Cf. Ghose (1972: 50f.), Mansfield (1993: 139f.) And Göle (1995: 95).

[8] See Som (1994: 165-194).

[9] Article 44 of the Indian constitution reads: "Uniform civil code for the citizen: The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India".

[10] See Hasan (1999: 146).

[11] Cf. Som (1994: 172f.) And Mody (1987: 944f.).

[12] See Hasan (1999: 146).

[13] Ibid. (1999: 138).

[14] See Rajagopal (2001) and Rawat (2003).

[15] Cf. Schneider (2005: 137ff.).

[16] See Berglund (2000).

[17] Cf. Flavia Agnes, "Diverse Justice", Times of India, (23.08.03) and Anjali Mody, "The Shah Bano legacy", The Hindu, (10.08.2003).

[18] See Agnes and Mody, FN 16.

[19] A few BJP politicians, such as the head of the BJP's "think tank", Balbir K. Punj, nevertheless tried to steer the discussion in the same way and with the same polemics as in previous years. Under the pretext of taking sides for the rights of Muslim women, he attacked both the Congress Party and the "spokesmen" for Indian Muslims and "exposed" them again as "pseudo-secular". See B.K. Punj, "Common Chord. A Uniform Approach to the Law", Times of India, (15.08.03).

[20] Behind this is the threefold exclamation of the formula "Talaq" (literally: repudiation) by the spouse, which leads to the immediate and irrevocable divorce of the marriage.

[21] S. Vasudev, "Taming Talaq", India Today International, (20.05.02).

[22] Cf. Schneider (2005: 255ff.).

[23] F. Agnes, "Diverse Justice", Times of India, (23.08.03), see also A. Mody, loc. Cit.

[24] F. Agnes, "Diverse Justice", Times of India (08/23/03). Much like Agnes, legal scholar and former chairman of the National Minorities Commission, Tahir Mahmood, and Rajeev Dhavan, attorney at the New Delhi Supreme Court, made statements.

[25] C. Gonsalves, "Does the BJP really want the code?", Indian Express, (23.08.03).

[26] A. Mody, "Laws of inequality", The Hindu, (10.08.03).

[27] R. Dhavan, "Codifying personal laws", The Hindu, (01.08.03).

[28] F. Agnes, "Diverse Justice", The Times of India, (23.08.03).

[29] F. Agnes, "Diverse Justice", The Times of India, (23.08.03).

[30] E.g. V.R.K.Iyer, "Unifying personal laws", The Hindu, (06.09.03).

[31] B.G. Verghese, "Who’s afraid of a uniform civil code?", The Hindu, (13.08.03)

This article belongs to the focus: Islam in South Asia.

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