Thursday, February 14, 2008

Open Mike 2 : Uniform Civil Code etc. (a comment republished)

I'm creating a new post of one of Santhosh's comments since the comments are hidden away from the main page. Lots of relevant points and interesting links in this comment post. Hence putting this up here.

Hi All,

In last TOM, one discussion led to another and we reached a point
where we talked about 'Religion and State' in the US. So, the general
thought was that religion and state are sufficiently separated in at
least how laws are formed. I was not so sure about it. Did some more
research to find that -

1. Legal cases regarding interpretation of laws and separating the
bible from rights/laws -

2. While its generally true that the federal constitution is free from
the mention of 'god', state constitutions are not -
( In fact, in Arkansas and maryland, if you don't believe in God, you
are constitutionally forbidden from being witnesses in a trial.)

3. When presidents form opinions on aspects like abortion or gay
marriage based on their faith or bible
(, it
does mean that religion could play a role in the direction of law
making process.

4. If a presidential nominee can put an 'advtmt' mentioning himself as
a 'Christian Leader' (
it again shows the belief of the nominee who is not hesitant to admit
most of his thought process would be based of what his faith taught
him. If elected, this faith could play a role in law making process.

Now, I sent these links to not discuss the merit vs demerits of
religion in state - but, just to understand that religion does
influence policies and law making process in many countries including
the US.


Open Mike 2 : Uniform Civil Code etc. (minutes)

We started the discussion with Uniform Civil Code and then it meandered after a rather desultory fashion.

* Discussion on Uniform Civil Code. Details of what is legal, and what is open to social interpretation. When is human rights violated and the law should step in, and when is the local community law applicable? Specifically talked about the details in issues of:
-- land holdings and property acquisition
-- marriages and divorces
-- inheritance and bequeaths

* Discussion on Prison systems, and death penalty. Should we ever have death penalties? What is the motivation of a prison system? Is it to isolate the bad elements of society (hide the problem) or is it to reform the harmful-non-conformists to become either conformists or harmless?

* Discussion on the freedom of press, and what level of personal privacy is legally considered okay to invade.

Open Mike 2 : Uniform Civil Code etc. (links)

[1]Winds of change : The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) recently suggested that the custom of the man declaring "talaq" at one go and divorcing his wife should be discouraged. It stopped short of drafting further reform to the marriage contract, but this decade is seeing muslim women asserting for more, says Kalpana Sharma.

[2] Obscuring the real issues : Opinion piece by Pratap Bhanu Mehta on Supreme Court judgement/recommendation related to Uniform Civil Code

[3]Unifying Personal Laws: By V.R.Krishna Iyer, retired supreme court justice

[4]Supreme Court Ruling that commented on UCC

[5]Open page on 'Hindu' : UCC and national integration

[6]Dissecting a directive : Book review

[7]India succession act amendments proposed by the NCW - National Commission for Women

[8]Hindu Code Bill

Open Mike 2 : Uniform Civil Code etc. (topic)

Thursday Open Mike 2
Topic: Uniform Civil Code and other topics
February 14, 2008 [Thursday]
@ 8PM in Gaurav's House.
1781 Spyglass Drive #244
Austin TX 78746