The supreme court of India on Friday expressed its concern over the failure of governments to enact a Uniform Civil Code(UCC). The apex court had made repeated appeals for the enactment if the same.
SC mentioned ‘Goa’ as a shining example for UCC. Because in Goa the Portugese Civil Code – which is same for all of its citizens- still in place in the form of UCC.
Justice Guptha said that court can not order the Parliment to frame a law but van only the urge the government to considering enacting one. He also said that personal laws must be excluded in the matters of marriage, divorce, inheritance and succession.
BJP too in its 2019 election manifesto had a point on the implementation of UCC.
And the Modi government had requested the legal council to study the hurdles need to be overcome for successful implementation of UCC. This move was criticised by the opposition as usual.
Uniform Civil Code is not political agenda. The Indian Constitution under Article 44, states that,
“the state shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code”.
Congress argues that Directive principles are just guidelines and are not mandatory to enforce.
Important point to understand here is, even though UCC is enforceable by the court, they are fundamental to the governance of the country. The ‘debate’ on the topic even after 68 years as a republic is nothing but of political essence.
Why UCC is being politicized? Why none of the government till date showed any interest in enacting one?
- UCC had often been criticized as political agenda.
None of the governments other than the current NDA government showed true will to include UCC even in manifesto. Because the congress led government always favoured personal laws because suggesting otherwise would harm their vote bank.
The Shah Bano case is the perfect example for their incompetence.
- UCC is not about elections or wooing voters, it is not even about current government or opposition. It is something which will affect each and every citizen of India in coming future. Just like demonetisation.
- UCC does not take away rights of one religion, UCC doesn’t favour any religion. It is just the extension if Article 14 of Indian constitution which grants equality before law and equal protection of law.
Hence Congress deviating the topic to Muslim personal law and blaming BJP of interfering with it is just a way of keeping common people ignorant about the provision.
When one speaks about UCC, it always turns towards minorities and their personal laws. We must know that India became ‘Secular’ only upon the 42nd constitutional amendment in 1976. And Secularism means equal respects for all religion.
Then how can anyone calling them self ‘Secular’ can oppose UCC hiding behind shield of minority appeasement.
When most of the Hindu personal laws have been consolidated and brought in sink with the constitutional laws and even Christian community too obey these set of laws, problem arise in case of Muslim personal laws which are not codified.
Triple Talaq is now obsolete, thanks to the efforts by Modi government. But still many discrimination against women are prevalent in Muslim community. And political leaders doesn’t speak against those personal laws all for their personal gain.
The secularism in actual term can be achieved only, when we have a common set of code governing each religion, when there is no gender discrimination under the various personal laws and everyone is treated equally.
To end vote bank politics, to unite India strongly we do need UCC. This will reduce burden even on the judiciary, as there will common set of laws governing every religion.
Let us hope At least this time oppositions co operate with the government’s will to pass uniform civil code and end all kind of discrimination. Let us all support,
One nation, One law.
Dr Sindhu Prashanth