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Though mandated by the constitution, a uniform civil code of law has never been written or instituted in India. As a result, in matters of personal law - the segment of law which concerns marriage, dowry, divorce, parentage, legitimacy, wills and inheritance - individuals of different religious backgrounds must appeal to their respective religious laws for guidance or rulings. But balancing the claims of religious communities with those of a modern secular state has caused some intractable problems for India as a nation.
This study provides a comprehensive look into the issues and challenges that India faces as it tries to put a uniform civil code into practice.;Themes such as the extent and jurisdiction of civil laws, the relationship between religious law and a system of personal law, the desirability of a uniform civil code, the treatment of women and minorities under a single law, and the maintenance of religious pluralism in India, are explored in 16 thought-provoking essays.
Scholars representing a wide range of disciplines, from both North America and India, provide a comparative perspective on complex issues of multiculturalism that characterize Indian society and identities.