“Uniformity within the class not for everyone”, said Prof. Faizan Mustafa, Vice-Chancellor of NALSAR Law University, in a talk organised by the Students Union of University of Hyderabad in DST auditorium on October 20, 2016. Dr. B.L. Biju, presided the event with his remarks on Uniform Civil Code.
Prof. Faizan Mustafa speaking on the ongoing debate over ‘Uniform Civil Code” in the country reiterated that Islam recognizes the rights of women. Marriages were made with the agreement of both parties; Husband and Wife have the equal right to take ‘Talaq’. “Under the Hindu law divorce was unimaginable. Islam is the first religion which provides the option of separation among couples as the last resort while describing marriage as a contract,” he pointed out. “Moreover, cases after cases were being registered on Polygamy by Hindus, why doesn’t Government make reforms in Hindu Law’s”, he expressed his views.
He asserted that, he is not against Reforms, Gender Justice or Uniform Civil Code. His only concern is Uniformity of Right rather than Uniformity of Law. He beseeched the State, why the Uniformity in wages is not being implemented even though it is in a form of law, similarly Right to Education.
The jurist had also expressed his concern on federal spirit of the nation over taking State Governments’ power by imposing laws on them. He elucidated the definition of federal government as: the power distribution between the federal government (the Centre or union) and the States in India is divided between legislative, administrative and executive powers. He also opined that “No Government should have obsession with religion in any form. State should have diversity not uniformity.”
The Vice-Chancellor recalled Jawaharlal Nehru’s remarks, “There is no surer method of rousing the resentment of the minority and keeping it apart from the rest of the nation than to make it feel that it has not got the freedom to stick to its own ways”. He also raised questions, why the state is so interested in reforming Muslim law, and you’re not talking about the reforms in Hindu Law – have it worked? A medicine which has not worked in 70 years, it has failed, why the same medicine used to be administered to another set of people?
Britishers have passed the Child Marriage Act, “Child Marriages Act Britishers has passed, still child marriages are rampant because they are part of culture. Try to slowly and slowly bring about a change in culture. Law is the producers of the culture. Law is also an object of culture. Law is a very small powerless colony in big empire of culture. Cultural practical people will not leave just if you enact a law and changing a culture through law is not easy, he concluded.
Department of Communication