DREAMING A CIVIL CODE: ENVISIONING THE POSSIBILITIES AND FUTILITIES OF UNIFORM FAMILY LAW
Shriram Rishi, Jindal Global Law School, Sonepat
The talk of a ‘uniform civil code’ has been part of Indian legal discourse for decades, with no solution to the various contradictions that exist in personal laws and family law at large. It is imperative to understand the historical context of why such a code is not necessarily uniform in nature but functions as a homogenizing tool that may upstage cultural practices of minorities. The argument may also center around the law giving primacy to either secularism and continuing with the current trend of divergent personal laws or to focus on gender justice due to the inherent patriarchal nature of some of those laws, thus upholding a demand for uniform gender-positive legislation. This paper attempts to bust such arguments and present a thesis on why successful uniform legislation is not possible at this point in Indian history while also attempting to offer a roadmap towards a future where uniform legislation becomes an accepted form of family but not due to the imposition of a majoritarian regime but through gradual social change where it may be readily accepted by all while still preserving the integrity of minority cultures. India, after all, is a nation of diversity and a singular civil code must acknowledge that to be a successful legislation.