In this section, I'm going to be talking about Muslim women and talking about them with reference to the Shah Bano case and the implications of this particular case for Muslim women's rights in India. Now to start with, what's important to note is that in India, each religious community has personal laws that are recognized, constitutionally recognized, that allows that community to have its own practices around marriage, around custody, around inheritance. And there is also simultaneously what's known as the Uniform Civil Code, which is a civil law that is free from any kind of religious inflexions. And so anyone can get married under the Uniform Civil Code or underv religious personal laws. So for instance, you have Muslim personal law, you have Hindu personal law, you have Parsi personal law and Christian personal laws and each community then can have its recognition of its own practices within these laws. But if somebody wanted to get married under the Uniform Civil Code, then that would take precedence over the religious personal laws. So that's by way of a bit of a backdrop to this particular verdict. Now, in 1985, the Supreme Court directed Mohammed Ahmed Khan to pay Shah Bano an allowance, a maintenance allowance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Now, to explain this again, you have to understand that under Muslim personal law, maintenance post divorce would only be paid in the first three months after the divorce, after which the husband would no longer be liable for maintenance. Now, Shah Bano was a penurious old woman, a 69 year old woman, who was being divorced by Mohammed Ahmed Khan after 43 years of marriage. She had no source of income and would therefore be left destitute after that three month period. Now Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code is actually a section that prevents vagrancy and begging. And so what the Supreme Court was in effect doing was finding a route out of the stipulation of Muslim personal law which doesn't allow for maintenance beyond that three month period and allowing Shah Bano to receive a paltry couple of hundred as maintenance. Now this judgment was hailed as a triumph of justice, a triumph of gender justice. One can query how much of a triumph it is, if it's only a matter of a couple of hundred, which was certainly not enough to secure any kind of economic independence for Shah Bano. However- so it was hailed as a triumph of gender justice in secular India at the time. However, the Muslim clergy were outraged and and they condemned what they perceived as the Supreme Court's interference in Muslim personal law. Now what happened next was deeply regressive. In order to appease the Muslim electoral sentiment, Rajiv Gandhi, the then prime minister, used the majority of the Congress government in the Lok Sabha to nullify the Supreme Court verdict by the enactment of the Muslim Women Protection` of Rights on Divorce Act of 1986. Now although it says the protection of rights, it does not indeed protect the rights of women. In fact, it sets aside the rights of divorced women to receive maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Now what's at issue here is in effect a contest between the rights of Muslim women as citizens, as equal citizens, the constitutional rights of women and which are coming into conflict with the rights of the Muslim community to their own personal laws. And within - and you know the other communities, for instance, the Christians also do have similar kinds of debates ongoing. And there's been much discussion, heated discussion on what would be the best way to advance the rights of Muslim women, while at the same time not endangering the rights of the Muslim community. And it's quite a vexed issue. And one of the more recent sort of positive changes that has occurred has been the interpretation of the way - of the period, the maintenance period of three months, which is the the period when the man is supposed to pay maintenance to his divorced wife. Now recently, a few courts have come up with judgments that stipulate the maintenance amount to be not just the maintenance for those three months, but a larger amount that would cover a longer period of time and be a more substantial maintenance that would be granted to women. So this is one of the sort of progressive shifts in the interpretation of the law that has happened. But importantly also, another shift that has happened since the 1980s when the Shah Bano judgment was enacted has been the emergence of Muslim women's groups. And these women's groups are working within the Muslim communities to raise awareness on the concerns of Muslim women and engage in a dialogue with the wider Muslim community, with clerics, with men within the Muslim community on reforms from within that are not imposed by the state or by state initiated legislation. And these are some of the shifts that we see today when we're talking about Muslim women. Though it is still very much a contested area when we're looking at the rights of Muslim women in the Indian context.