It is a political study of the controversy surrounding the issue of the uniform civil code vis-à-vis personal laws from a South Asian perspective.
At the centre of the debate is whether there should be a centralized view of the legal system in a given society or a decentralized view, both horizontally and vertically.
This issue is entangled within the threads of identity politics, minority rights, women’s rights, national integration, global Islamic politics and universal human rights. Champions of each category view it through their own prisms, making the debate extremely complex, especially in politically and socially plural South Asia.
So, this book attempts to harmonize the threads of the debate to provide a holistic political analysis.
"This book is important because it helps us understand the complex political choices that might be made in the area of personal law in South Asia." - Muneer Mustafa, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; Contemporary South Asia, Vol. 18, No. 3, September 2010
Contents 1. Introduction: Issues and Concepts 2. The Evolution of the Indian Discourse 3. It is Politics, Stupid! 4. On the Fringe: The Tribal Laws 5. The South Asian Mosaic 6. The Wider Context 7. Conclusion. Appendices. Glossary