An average guy with a below-average resume, “Sam,” said my father. “This is the 36th rejection you have faced from a company; I think we don’t have any more left here.” he continued. I knew that very well, and they never told me what the issue is. All they say is, “we will contact you.” My mom says my father started earning when he was 16, and here I am, 25. Getting a job is not at all difficult, but getting a job matching your passion was what I craved for.
A call brought some happiness to my family. It was a job offer. One of our tenants, we had good relations with, their daughter was working in a hospital as an assistant manager. She said that the hospital is going to need another manager, and she recommended my name. The pay is handsome, better than what others provide. She had left our house with her family two years ago; still, she remembered me and wanted me to work with her. That was my charm.
It took me around 14 hours of train travel and 2 hours in a cab to reach the place. A hospital in Noida named “Hope”. It was a multi-speciality hospital having three gates and some part still in construction. She was standing right in front of me, at entrance no. 2. Having a flashback of some part of my teenage, might be evident in this situation. Wearing her uniform, she walked towards me smiling. “There are rooms for staff in the hospital for stay, and I have already asked them to keep a room ready for you. It’s 31C, and you can freshen yourself up, take some rest and call me after that.” She said while walking with me towards the accommodation building.
After around 4 hours, I called her. She asked me to come to the reception. I have to walk straight from the exit and take the second right. “He is the guy you were talking about.” said the receptionist. I was given some forms to fill. Due to my experience, I filled 12 documents in 10 minutes. The basic pay mentioned was Rs 60,000 plus different allowances. The receptionist said my interview is scheduled after 45 minutes. By that time I can have lunch in the nearby canteen. I asked Anisha out for lunch.
Anisha has changed a lot, lost some weight, has more of a sad and pale face and talked a lot less. She answered my questions saying that it might be due to pollution and water in this city. “Working in a hospital is very different from working in any other sector. The people who come here are already stressed and on the verge of losing hope. You might feel their sorrow, pain. Try to give a hand in their mourning. But they might never believe you are doing it for real. Initially, I used to be sad all day, and slowly I started to adjust by becoming more emotionless, not much engaging. It’s a different life here, from the outside world.” These words by her were the only important part of our conversation, rest all was remembering our childhood. They postponed the interview, as seniors were busy, and I was selected on a provisional basis and asked to start work from tomorrow.
As she said, working in the hospital was different. My part of the work was to check if there is any communication error in the various departments and make sure everything goes smoothly. On my first day, I was given the dermatology department, as there were fewer sub-departments there than in other places. In between, I used to see people in pain, suffering, confused emotion. They were running from one place to another. Helping them was also an essential duty for my conscience. Anisha accompanied me to most of the places so that I will be familiar. She was doing it, in so much hurry as if there was no tomorrow. I had to carry a notebook and make notes of all the places. My first working day lasted for more than 10 hours, but she said, don’t worry, it is just for today.
After having dinner, she came to drop me at my room. While at that gate, I looked into her eyes. She held my hand and said, “take care, good night.”
Sending me butterflies in my stomach, she went to her room, which was on the fourth floor. I felt like my life was now setting itself up. I had a proper job, probably a girl who is in the same field of work. It was early morning, and I heard some noise outside. I looked out through my window; there was an ambulance standing there. People surrounded a dead body, which was lying in what I assume was a pool of blood. Someone from staff jumped from the building. I wore my jeans from the last day and rushed down to see who was it. A moment of complete blackout struck me, realising it was ‘Anisha’. The following two days were difficult, explaining to her and my parents what happened. Her parents didn’t attend her last rites; it was weird.
My father asked me to come back while I was looking at the piece of paper, which she might have put in my jeans, that night. I found it in my pockets after she died. It read –
“I am sorry, I had no choice. If you want to escape this fate, find the one who ran from here seven years ago. That person can only help you. I tried a lot to look for him, but my time was over. And don’t try to run. They will find you! They are running an experiment called “Past Tense“. Find our favourite place in my room.”
To Be Continued…
Written by Satyam Kumar Tiwari
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Suicide is never an option. Allow us to help you. Anonymously speak up yourself here – ‘Speak Up‘
Also called mal politics, corruption is the use of power by government officials or their network contacts for illegitimate private gain, violating their vows to uphold the Constitution and the sanctity of the land’s law during their oath-taking ceremonies are typically broadcasted all over the world. This political ideology of robbing your own constituencies’ resources for self greed fulfilment even though Mahatma Gandhi rightly said,” the Earth provides sufficiently for every man’s need not for every man’s greed.” and if left unchecked, will slowly but surely erode the fundamental spirit of democracy not just in one country but in the whole world for it has now become a threat to the global egalitarian society of humans in 2021
Someone has rightly said Crisis Covets Corruption, and the world has faced no crisis as explosive as the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic that brought human civilization to the brink of extinction. States worldwide have taken significant measures to address the health emergency and avoid a global economic collapse. They hastily mobilized billions in funds to procure medical equipment and provide a financial safety net for citizens and businesses in distress. However, the urgent responses required led some States to trade compliance, oversight, and accountability for the achievement of immediate impact, thus creating significant opportunities for fraud. Today the Indian bureaucratic system has become synonymous with bribery and dishonesty. The gap between the rich and the poor has widened, as has the misuse of public funds and embezzlement of black money into swiss banks by business directors.
Despite legislation like demonetization and tax reforms like the introduction of GST, India is still a far cry from being corruption-free. People who indulge in corruption show a severe loss of moral values and must be penalized under the Indian Penal Code’s stringent laws. Media, both print and electronic, can impact awareness and sensitise the masses against this issue plaguing the world. Awakened & enlightened citizens need to join hands as one and demolish and vanquish this social evil once and for all.
Uniform Civil Code is basically the proposal for codification of various personal laws prevailing in India. Other Civil and Criminal laws such Indian penal Code, Indian evidence act, law of contract etc are uniformly codified and are implemented on each and every citizen fairly and evenly. However, personal laws like laws regarding marriage, divorce, succession, adoption are regulated by specific religious communities, i.e, Hindu marriage act 1956 for Hindus and Sunni-Shariyat laws for Muslims. Thus, uniform civil code aims to uniformly codify these personal laws for every citizen irrespective of their religions or communities.
What does the provision of Uniform Civil Code say in Constitution of India?
Constitution of India provides in Article 441 – “ 44. Uniform civil code for the citizens- The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.” According to Constitution Of India, It is the duty of the state to ensure implementation of uniform civil code as a part of their directive principles policy to protect basic constitutional and fundamental rights of the citizens.
India has always been a multi-religious and multilingual country, yet with a distinction presenting unity in diversity. However, India also has an interesting history of religious tensions and conflicts besides a peculiar characteristic of harmony. Under the rule of East India Company also, Governor Generals like Lord William Bentick also tried to suppress certain customs performed by some specific religious communities like Hinduism at that time believed in the practice of ‘Sati’, the prescribed death of the widow on her husband’s funeral pyre, by passing laws.2
Lex-Loci Report of October 1840:
This controversy regarding unification of laws dates back to British India, the colonial period. In 1840’s Lex-Loci report, British emphasised on importance and necessity of codification of laws like laws relating to crimes, evidences, contracts etc. but they decided to exclude the scope of personal laws in this report as they understood that these laws are governed by specific religious communities, their customs and their religious beliefs. These laws were applied in civil courts while dealing with people of the same religion, and the state would interfere only in exceptional cases.
Some legislative reforms during colonial period:
In various personal laws, women were deprived of certain basic rights and thus, their condition,especially the condition of Hindu widows or daughters was very low. Hence, Britishers and other social reformers tried to reform these Hindu laws by legislative processes like passing the acts like Hindu widow remarriage act of 1856, Married women’s property act of 1923 etc. The special marriage act was also enacted in 1872 giving citizens a choice of a civil marriage, however, it was applicable to only those who renounced their religion or were non-Hindus. But later, it was implemented with an amendment called Special Marriage (amendment) act, 1923 which allowed Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains to marry either under their personal laws or under the civil act without renouncing the religion. Next, an important step by Britishers was Hindu women’s right to property act,1937, which tried to assure women’s rights, it ceased the practice of deceased husband’s passing on his co-shares, instead, the act gave similar rights to widows which the husband had when he was alive. The legislation caused actively growing debates between men and women at that time. Hence, there was a committee formed in 1941 called ‘The Hindu Law Committee’ to look into extensive legislation covering all laws for Hindus. It was reinstituted in 1944 under the chairmanship of Sir B.N. Rau. Committee favoured Uniform Civil Code, which would give equal rights to women in the modern times of society and gave its report in 1947 to Indian Parliament.
Post Independence (1947):
Nation got independence in 1947. The report given by Sir B.N. Rau committee was discussed and reviewed in 1952. It stated that India should have a Uniform Civil Code in the form of a Hindu code Bill, which dealt with all specific Hindu laws, i.e, marriage, divorce, succession, adoption etc. As a law minister, B.R. Ambedkar was responsible to present the details of the bill, he himself recommended the uniform civil code but due to his various attacks on Hindu laws made him unlikely and Hindu code bill received a huge criticism. Hence, lesser version of Hindu code bill was implemented in the form of four separate acts, i.e, Hindu marriage act3, Hindu succession act4, Hindu minority and guardianship act5, Hindu adoptions and maintenance act6.
ROLE OF JUDICIARY WITH REGARDS TO UNIFORM CIVIL CODE:
Mohammad Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Case7 This was the first time in India, when the supreme court tried to implement uniform civil code in India. In the given case, there was a woman, 73 years old, who sought maintenance from her husband when he divorced her after 40 years of their marriage by way of ‘triple talaq’, a practice of unilateral divorce in Muslims personal laws. Shah Bano filed the case claiming maintenance under section 125 of code of criminal procedure8 which applied to every citizen irrespective of their religion. Initially, she was granted maintenance from the local court, however, her husband, being a lawyer himself challenged the decision and took it to the Supreme Court, in a confidence that he had completed all his obligations under islamic laws. But, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the wife, allowing her maintenance under the section 125 of code of criminal procedure. Further, the chief justice, Y.V. Chandrachud, observed that, “A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to law which have conflicting ideologies”. Soon after this decision, there were nationwide agitations, meetings and discussions. Government of Rajiv Gandhi lost the local elections due to their endorsement of the supreme court’s decision. The orthodox muslim community felt like they need to preserve their culture and religion as according to them, applying uniform civil code will mean to apply hindu laws to every Indian uniformly. Hence, Rajiv Gandhi government overturned the decision of Shah Bano case by way of Muslim Women (Right to Protection on Divorce) Act, 1986 , which made section 125 of criminal9 procedure code inapplicable to Muslim women. Explanation given for implementing this act 10 was that the supreme court had merely given the idea of uniform law, which does not make it bound for the government to interfere in personal laws. This drastic reversal of the Muslim women law heavily hampered the women’s movement in 1980s.
2. Sarla Mudgal v. UOI11 In this particular case, a Hindu husband married according to customs and practices of Hindu marriage act, 1955, got converted into islamic religion, to marry another Muslim women as Muslim personal laws allowed polygamy. But, the court held that a Hindu marriage solemnised under hindu laws can only be dissolved under certain provisions given by hindu marriage act12 1955, and if he marries again even within islam community, he could be prosecuted for bigamy under section 494 of Indian Penal Code13 . The supreme court directed the Prime Minister of India, to take a fresh look on Article 44. Justice Kuldip Singh held that since 1950, a no. of governments had come and gone but they14 had failed to implement constitutional mandate under article 44 of the constitution.15 Consequently, the problem has arised that many hindus were converting their religion into islam as it permits four wives instead of one, allowed under hindu law. Hence, with the uniform law for all the religious communities, no person could escape from the provisions of the given law.
3. John Vallamattom v. Union of India Case16 The supreme court gave another reminder to the government of India for implementation of a uniform civil code throughout the nation because disparities between different religious communities were creating discriminations among the people of the country. In the given case, a priest from Kerala filed a writ petition challenging the constitutional validity of section 118 of Indian succession act , saying that the Act was discriminatory against the Christians as it17 imposes unreasonable restrictions on their donation of property for religious or charitable purposes by will. The bench including Chief Justice of India V.N. Khare declared the section18 to be unconstitutional and struck it down. Chief Justice Khare stated that “We would like to State that Article 44 provides that the State shall endeavour to secure for all citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India. It is a matter of great regret that Article 44 of the Constitution has not been given effect to. Parliament is still to step in for framing a common civil code in the country. A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing the contradictions based on ideologies”19. Thus, from the above instances, it can easily be inferred that the supreme court has directed on many occasions to the government of India to implement uniform civil code mentioned in article 44 of the constitution of India, yet, it is still just a directive principle of state policy with no actual or strict implementation.
CONSTITUTION AND UNIFORM CIVIL CODE:
The preamble of the constitution declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic. The term ‘Secularism’ means a state which has no religion of its own as recognised religion of the state. It treats all religions equally. State is concerned with relations between man and man, not with relations of man with God. Under Constitution of India, Articles 25 to 28 guarantees Right to freedom of Religion in India20. Article 25 provides for ‘Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion’ but this right is subjected to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of part III (Fundamental rights) of the Constitution of India. The protection of Articles 25 and 26 is not limited to matters of doctrine of belief. It extends to acts done in pursuance of religion and, therefore, contains a guarantee for ritual and observations, ceremonies and modes of worship, which are the integral parts of religion.21 It could be added that Uniform Civil Code is not an opposition to ‘secularism’ or violative of Articles 25 to 28. It just provides that laws regarding marriage, divorce, adoption etc. should be same and uniform for every religious community of a nation. Uniform civil code only aims to increase national integration and better uniformity in laws and their implementation.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN IMPLEMENTATION OF UNIFORM CIVIL CODE:
The biggest example can of UCC for India can be seen in Goa, called as Goa Family Law22. It is based on Portuguese Civil Code 1867, enacted in Goa in 1870. The Goa UCC model includes- • Compulsory registration of every birth, death and marriage in Goa • Strict provisions regarding divorces • Muslims residing in Goa cannot practice polygamy or ‘triple talaq’23
• Equal division of property amongst the couple in case of divorce and if one dies, the ownership is retained by the other one.
During the month of August 2018, the Law commission submitted a report “Reform of Family Law”. The report presents us with the diversity of Indian culture and how the weaker sections of the society must not be “dis-privileged” in the process. Also, after the ban on ‘ Triple talaq’ and subduing the status of Jammu and Kashmir under article 37024, the next big step by Modi’s Government25 could be the implementation of Uniform Civil Code, which is already the need of the hour.
NEED FOR UNIFORM CIVIL CODE IN INDIA:
The Government of India strongly needs to implement UCC in India for making it a progressive and integrated nation. There have been a number of petitions regarding the urgent need to the Uniform Civil Code in order to promote national integration as well as gender justice, equality & dignity of women26. Following are the key-points which are achievable through implementation of UCC in India- ● Equal status to all citizens: Uniform civil code implies that a uniformly balanced law should prevail in India which will be free from any biases of religion, caste, race, community etc. It will definitely promote equality and secularism among the citizens. ● Promoting Gender equality and justice: Almost every personal law in India, is preferential towards men than women. All these laws are discriminatory for women as they mostly have lesser rights in successions or inheritances etc. Therefore, a uniform civil code applicable to every citizen irrespective of their sex will help in achieving gender quality. ● National integration: All Indian citizens are already equal before the court of law as the criminal laws and other civil laws (except personal laws) are the same for all27. We can also observe that various judicial persons have also observed in their decisions that UCC will help in national integration in India. Y.V. Chandrachud, observed that, “A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to law which have conflicting ideologies”28. Chief Justice Khare stated that, “ A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing the contradictions based on ideologies”29 ● Turn down discriminatory personal laws: Existing personal laws are mainly based on the upper-class patriarchal imaginations of the society in all religions. The demand of UCC is normally made by aggrieved women as a substitute for existing personal laws as patriarchal orthodox people still deem the reforms in personal laws will destroy their sanctity and oppose it profusely.
Hence, from the above given all arguments and statements, It can be inferred that Uniform Civil Code is such a need for a widely diverse nation like India. However, I firmly think that its practical implementation could be totally voluntary initially, so as to make people comfortable with the idea as the personal laws of the different communities are in practice since always. Also, each community should be convinced that UCC is to bring reforms not suppress them and it will never intend to interfere with the rights, rituals, ceremonies or religious beliefs of a community.
Of India, Article 44- Uniform Civil Code
Bengal sati regulation act, 1829
Hindu marriage act, 1955 (25 of 1955)
Hindu succession act, 1956 (30 of 1956)
Hindu minority and guardianship act, 1956 (32 of 1956)
Hindu adoptions and maintenance act, 1956 (78 of 1956)
AIR 1985 SC 945; 1985 SCR (3) 844
The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Section 125: Order for Maintenance of Wives, Children and parents.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 was a landmark legislation passed by the Parliament of India in 1986 to allegedly protect the rights of Muslim women who have been divorced by, or have obtained divorce from, their husbands.
Supra note 8
AIR 1995 SC 153
Hindu marriage act, 1955, section 13- ‘Divorce’
The Indian Penal Code, (45 of 1860), Section 494: Marrying again during the lifetime of husband or wife.
Supra note 11
Supra note 1
John Vallamatton v. Union Of India, AIR 2003 SC 2902
The Indian Succession Act, 1925, Section 118: Bequest to Religious or Charitable Uses.
Supra note 17
Supra note 16
The Constitution of India, Part – III (Fundamental Rights), Articles 25 – 28: Right to Freedom of Religion
Acharya Jagdishwaranand v. Commissioner of Police, AIR 1984 SC 512: 1984 SCR (1) 447
Since PM NARENDRA MODI addressed the nation on INDEPENDENCE DAY, 2020 about raising the legal age for marriage of women in India, there has been an ongoing debate. The controversy is for what should be done and what should be done the public suggests for the same.
We live in a country that sees girls as the embodiments of Goodness of wealth, knowledge, and destruction; ironically, the same society sees the same girl as a burden, responsibility, and liability.
Is an 18-year-old girl too young to marry? An appointed government panel is studying the question, PM Modi said recently. Well, we can see that a minimum age given as a “MANDATORY AGE” by most of the population. The given period only means that there could be criminal prosecution under the child marriage law below that age.
Getting eligible for marriage at the age of 18 does not mean that as soon as the girl turns 18, you bound her in a bond and pressurize her under responsibilities, which she is not ready to take or carry. Many say that girls mature earlier than boys. So they should have a lower age of marriage, but this is a very old concept now. It is the 21st century; if you say that men and women are equal, then don’t discriminate by something that is the most fundamental part of life.
Marriage is not something that is done to gain social or economic status. Many experts who favor raising the marriage age for girls from 18 to 21 years- the same as for boys- say it will have many social and economic benefits, including reducing malnutrition and maternal mortality.
But others say that marrying before 18 is more about poverty, lack of access to education, and inability to find jobs rather than social pressures and community practices.
We can say that there is a problem with society’s mentality – taking a girl child as a burden from the start and finding all means and ways to get rid of that burden. No doubt that better education and job opportunities will reduce early marriage.
Every fourth woman in India is married by the age of 18. Further, on if we see there are other setbacks too if a girl’s marriage occurs at a young age :
BAD FOR THE WOMEN AND CHILD:
A WHO survey across 29 countries, including India, shows early childbearing increases the risk of death during pregnancy and labor. Girls under 18 years are at greater risk during childbirth than those aged 20-22 years. Also, girls married early are twice as likely to be undernourished as those married 25 years and above. · India has a higher maternal mortality rate than any of its BRICS counterparts. It does better than Bangladesh and Nepal but worse than Pakistan and Sri Lanka · Early childbearing also raises risks for the child. A study found that becoming a mother before 19 has a 20-30% higher risk of preterm and low-weight birth than at 20-24 years. Children of teenage mothers are more likely to die in infancy.
WORKING WOMEN MEANS MORE WEALTH:
Women trapped early in-home and fulfilling responsibilities can’t go out to work, which is not just a personal but also a national loss. A 2018 report by the McKinsey Global Institute said India’s GDP would be $770 billion higher by 2025 if women got the same opportunities to work as men. According to Oxfam, unpaid work by Indian women is worth 3.1% of the GDP.
LARGE FAMILY SIZE
INCREASE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
DECLINE IN PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH FOR WOMEN
TRAFFICKING AND SALES OF GIRLS BECOMES EASIER.
THE COUPLE REMAINS IMMATURE TO COPE UP WITH MARRIAGE (fail to understand the value of marriage.) No doubt, early marriage is a lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation, especially for girls. It’s high time now that we realize that raising the age to 21 is necessary for the foundation of a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable country. Education and awareness have undoubtedly played a key to empowerment and have reduced the percentage of women getting married at an early age, but still, we have a lot reduced. SHE IS NEITHER A BURDEN NOR A LIABILITY, SHE IS JUST A HUMAN WHO WISHES TO ACHIEVE HER DREAMS! AND LIVE A LIFE WHAT SHE DECIDES FOR HERSELF AS AN INDIVIDUAL!
Let’s hope the government panel in charge of the issue makes a wise decision. And the minimum age of a girl for marriage should raise to 21 years.
According to some dictionaries, equality somewhat means the situation in which everyone has the same rights and advantages, whereas equity is the quality of being fair and impartial. Nowadays, everyone craves equality rather than equity. Equality means sameness, and equity means fairness. The inequality we provide everyone with the same opportunities and inequity offers everyone access to the same options. Equality works when everyone starts from the same place, which means equity must stand before equality.
For example, everyone stands on the same starting point during a race to reach the same endpoint. Who will win that depends on who comes first from the start to end, not someone who joins the race after the mid point? Your Success depends on your work. I don’t think our dignity should allow us to possess equality just for the sake of providing someone with access to opportunities and some with none.
For example— in India, a national level entrance medical test NEET is conducted to get category reservations. To Achieve Success, you need more hard work if you belong to a general category. In contrast, others can get it for a relatively lower score.
How can you expect the one who is getting a college at a much lower rank and the one who has done a lot to get this who would be a better doctor whereas, in the exam for chartered accountancy, the CA exam? There is no such reservation. You have to work for what you want to achieve.
Equality and equity go hand in hand. We have several misconceptions regarding them, even in our families. Parents provide things to their babies to be impartial so that their children don’t think that. Parents should teach their children it isn’t partiality when one gets more it’s about their needs their is a bit different. The needy one should get more of it, not the one who is already full. Still, to ensure equality, this happens in our democracy; also rich get access to more than those who are not, which I don’t think should prevail.
Equality is fundamental, but unless equity is possessed, it doesn’t mean anything. And equity will only be possessed when we teach ourselves about our needs.
Similarly, we choose our needs more than just luxuries. Everyone wants to live a better life, but earning to pass on to the next generations doesn’t mean anything. If one is capable, they will get it by themselves, no need to teach how to beg for and take advantage of your state because you stop someone from getting what they deserve. You want yourself to deserve that.
Written by Prachi Chand.
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