THE India Policy Foundation recently organised a spirited debate on the contentious issue of Uniform Civil Code and release of “Judiciary, Gender and Uniform Civil Code”. Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest Shri Arif Mohammad Khan, a former Union Minister and eminent thinker rued the absence of a Uniform Civil Code in India. He alluded to the infamous Shah Bano case from 1986 which had ignited a furious debate on the feasibility of having a code that applied to one and all, and had divided the country on secular lines.
India’s mainstream media had criticised the decision. The case had resulted in Muslim women getting a one-time payment called iddat from their husbands. Shri Khan said the Indian government lacked the will to have a Uniform Civil Code in the country; he quoted extensively from the Koran saying nowhere in that holy book is the provision of a husband uttering talaq three times and dissolving a marriage. This practice is a travesty of marriage and is a creation of mischievous elements out to denigrate Islam, he claimed. The programme was moderated by Dr Kapil Kapoor, former Pro Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University while the guest of honour was Dr Bajrang Lal Gupta, an eminent thinker.