Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) will benefit Muslim women only when it is formulated honestly, keeping its different implications and possible results in mind.
This was the broad view of Muslim women in the city whom Free Press talked with against the backdrop of the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s announcement that the state government would form a committee for UCC implementation in Madhya Pradesh.
Director of Nirbhaya Shelter Home for Women, Samar Khan, said that only change in the law would not change the situation on the ground. “Suppose you impose a ban on four marriages. It will encourage live-in relationships,” she added.
She said that the ban on triple talaq hadn’t helped Muslim women. “Men are not giving triple talaq due to fear of punishment. They are now simply abandoning their wives. And the result is that women are suffering even more. They cannot even re-marry,” she said.
Director, MP Urdu Academy, Nusrat Mehdi said banning four marriages might benefit women. Counsellor at Mahila Police Station, Mohib Ahmed, said there should be clarity on what is meant by UCC. “For Muslims, Quran is the highest law. If UCC would mean dissolution of Muslim Personal Law Board, it is not something which Muslims will accept,” she said.
Counsellor at the district court Noor Unnisha said that UCC would create chaos. “It will not ensure equality between men and women. Instead of that, safeguards should be provided for women who are abandoned by their husbands” she added.
‘Should include good practices of all religions’
If Uniform Civil Code is to be drafted, it should be done with honesty and transparency and good practices of all religions should be included in it. There is much talk of four marriages. Just conduct a survey and you will find that not even 1% Muslim men have more than one wife. Quran does permit men to marry more than one woman but lays down stringent conditions like treating all of them equally.
-Advocate Owais Arab, president, Association of Indian Muslims
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