‘Votebank Politics is The Biggest Hurdle to Bring Uniform Civil Code’

Mrityunjay Dixit, a social worker based in Lucknow, feels that the Uniform Civil Code is in interest of the diversified population of India and an equitable justice delivery system. His views

Uniform Civil Code is based on the concept of one country one law. Under the UCC, a single law system is proposed for people belonging to all religions, sects and communities of the country. According to the Constitution, India is a secular country, in which followers of all religions and sects (such as Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, etc.) have the right to make laws related to their respective religions. But its directive principles clearly state: “The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.

Uniform laws are followed in many countries and these include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Turkey, Indonesia, Sudan, Egypt, America, Ireland, etc. All these countries have uniform laws for all religions and there are no separate laws for any particular religion or community. For, it strives to not only make justice delivery easier, but also aids the rapid pace of the development of the country.

Simply put, if there is one law for one member in a house and a different for another, will there be uniformity or harmony amongst the family members? Similarly, is it possible to run the country systematically with two different laws in the same house where people believe in many religions and live with diversification? The Supreme Court has also been repeatedly advocating for a UCC but it is only been opposed by those who are involved in vote bank politics and appeasement.

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Even the current government is moving forward on the UCC with great caution. That is why the Central Law Commission has asked common citizens and religious institutions for their suggestions and views on the subject. But as soon as this initiative of the Commission became public, all those involved in appeasement have once again started projecting themselves as the savior of the Constitution. The UCC is just a step forward for the equal rights to each and every citizen of India, as envisioned in the Constitution. At present, the UCC is in force in the state of Goa, while the process is underway in Gujarat and Uttarakhand.

The Central Government had earlier also sought suggestions on the UCC from the 21st Law Commission but the Commission had said in its report that, “There is no need for a Uniform Civil Code in the country right now.” Now, the 22nd Law Commission has given its go-ahead for the UCC. Earlier, in the Shah Bano case in 1985 and again in 2015, the Supreme Court expressed its concern over the UCC and spoke in favour of enacting a law.

Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution of India, had also argued strongly in favor of the UCC in the meetings of the Constituent Assembly and said, “I personally do not understand why religion should be given importance in this huge wide jurisdiction which is full of inequality, discrimination and other things which is in conflict with our fundamental rights?”

I believe, the UCC will bring a sense of equality among the citizens as it calls for a single law for India, which will apply to all religious communities in matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption.

As told to Rajat Rai

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9 months ago

A good article by Mrityanjay

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