| 26 February 2024, Monday |

Indian state leader pushes to replace religion-based laws

The chief minister of a northeastern state said on Sunday that India should replace religiously based marriage and inheritance laws with an unified civil code, referring to restrictions that enable Muslim males, for example, to have four wives.

For fear of offending India’s Hindu majority as well as its Muslim and Christian minorities, successive administrations have avoided implementing such a code.

Members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party and its hardline affiliates, however, want to test the law in a few states first to measure the severity of any opposition before launching a nationwide campaign.

“No Muslim lady wants her husband to marry three to four wives… simply ask any Muslim woman and they will back me up,” he told Reuters.

Different religious norms currently control legal concerns such as marriage, divorce, and inheritance.

Sarma said he supported the law because it will put a stop to discriminatory religion-based regulations and empower Muslim women who cannot readily challenge polygamy in court.

  • Reuters