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Thread: Interesting debate online on UCC. Will blog my views when I find the time, but the headlines- I am in favour 1. Cultural diversity doesn’t always need different family laws for different groups. 2. The liberal argument is clear- the state should frame laws for individuals
BUT even if one doesn’t accept the liberal argument, Indian conservatives have rightly embraced one aspect of modernity which is nationalism. Nationalism argues that the nation is a corporate body that seeks its sovereign state to advance its goals.
Different systems of law altogether (as opposed to mere provisions for disadvantaged groups as an exception) detract from that principle of a unified corporation. As a “strong society, weak state” (to use the Daren Acemoglu framing) India has been outside the “narrow corridor”..
Hence the Indian nationalist project (that conservatives also embrace) will naturally seek a stronger state, that plays a greater role in society than it historically did- that is a strong but Shackled Leviathan instead of a largely absent one, to achieve our collective goals
Hence while I think it is healthy in society to debate this and ensure there is a check against excessive state interference leading to cultural homogenisation, on this specific issue the vector will rightly point to a common civil code for all Indians.
Specifically, the Hindu code bill was passed after a democratic process. History is path dependent, so the standardisation of Hindu family law has already happened. Revivalism is as much of social engineering as any progressivism is, so seeking its reversal is flawed.
Rather it is better to frame a common civil code for Indians of all religious groups, and in general to shape and build a strong state (which we have historically lacked), while preserving our strong society to act as a check against it. (End)
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