Why the special law to protect journalists in Maharashtra is flawed

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According to media reports, Maharashtra has become the first state in India to enact a law that aims to protect journalists and media organisations from violence.

The bill “Maharashtra Mediapersons and Media Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to Property) Act, 2017” was reportedly passed without any discussions on the last day of the budget session of the state assembly yesterday.

The news led to many on social media question the rationale behind such a move. While no one disagreed over the fact that violence needs to be stopped and punished, people wondered why give a special status to journalists? Are the provisions in the IPC (Indian Penal Code) not enough to stop violence? Continue reading

This is why bodies like Muslim Personal Law Board oppose Uniform Civil Code

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One of the oft-repeated arguments put forward against Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is that this is against the fundamental right to practice one’s religion. It is argued that the act of the state to legislate in matters, which ought to be governed through religious texts, is an attack on religious freedom.

Outwardly it might appear so, but in practice, UCC doesn’t take away any religious freedom. Yes, it takes away the rights of religious bodies to control a group – and that’s why those who fancy themselves as representatives or leaders of a religion are opposing it – but it doesn’t strip an individual his freedom to follow certain religious practices or rules. Continue reading

The problem with ‘reforms must come from within among minorities’ argument

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Last week, the government took a stand in the Supreme Court against triple talaq, arguing that such practices were regressive and needed reconsideration. Around the same time, the Law Commission of India issued an appeal (pdf link) seeking public consultation on the issue of Uniform Civil Code (UCC). Continue reading