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Uniform civil code: Shariat was made 1400 years ago. Must society remain stagnant for 1400 years?

By Markandey Katju*
I am a strong supporter of a uniform civil code. All modern countries have a common law for all citizens, and India must modernize if it is to progress.
It is stupid to say that if sharia is abolished Islam will be abolished. It is also stupid to say that Sharia was made by God. Sharia grew out of the feudal, backward social customs in Saudi Arabia in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is totally outdated today.
The old ( non statutory ) Hindu Law was abolished in 1955 and 1956 by Parliamentary statutes, e.g. the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, etc despite the strong protest of orthodox Hindu swamis and saints ( e.g. Karpatriji, Prabhudatt Brahmachari, etc ) who said that this will abolish the Hindu religion as Hindu Law emanated from the Vedas. However, that never happened. Hindus are still going to temples, doing puja, and observing their rituals, etc.
So abolishing the oudated, feudal sharia will certainly not abolish Islam. Has abolition of the shariat criminal law e.g. abolition of the barbaric law of stoning women to death for adultery ( sangsad ) or cutting off the limbs for theft, put an end to Islam ? So even after abolishing shariat personal law, Muslims will keep going to masjids, saying namaz, etc.
In fact shariat personal law has kept Muslims backward, because oral talaq ( and burqa ) have kept many Muslims backward. Since women comprise of half of society, keeping women backward means plucking off one of the two eyes from one's face.
Shariat was made 1400 years ago. Must society remain stagnant for 1400 years? Must laws made in the 7th century be applied today though society has totally changed since then? After all, laws must reflect social conditions, and if social conditions have changed, so must the laws. In this age of cars and aeroplanes must one continue travelling on a camel?
Some Muslims say that sharia was made by Allah. but the same argument was made by orthodox Hindus, who said that the old ( non statutory ) Hindu law emanated from the divine Vedas and so was unchangeable, and orthodox Christians who said that the biblical injunctions regarding marriage etc were made by God. All this is nonsense and humbug.
Laws have to change as society changes. How long will stupidity be tolerated? How can you have oral talaq, which keeps a Damocles sword hanging over every married Muslim woman, in this age of equality between men and women? How can you support burqa, which is really keeping women in cages, in the modern age ? How can you say that if a woman is not wearing a burqa she is naked or in a bikini (as many idiotic supporters of burqa contend)? Is a woman wearing a sari or salwar kameez naked or in a bikini?
I know this post will draw a lot of flak on me by many bigoted idiots, but so be it. I am a sworn enemy of idiots.
---
*Former chairman, Press Council of India; former Judge, Supreme Court of India. Source: https://www.facebook.com/justicekatju/. 
Views expressed above are those of the author and not of www.counterview.net 

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