Featured Blogger ( as per SFC’s Open Source)
Prachi is currently pursuing B.A Honours in Political Science from Delhi University. Her interests lies in contemporary political and economic issues, writing about them and debating. Her passion lies in doing good for the society and serving the needy.
Should Uniform Civil Code be implemented in India?
Uniform civil code is the most debatable and controversial issue of our Indian political and social arrangement. Article 44 in the part 4 our Indian constitution says “the State shall endeavour to secure for all the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. This implies that our forefathers who prepared our constitution were of the view that governments of our nation must strive for the implementation of the UCC. But today it stands as a conflicting idea to some social groups and communities in India. In this article we shall analyse that should UCC be implemented in India? Is it the right time to do so? Or is India ready for change a radical change?
What is UCC?
Uniform civil code sought to replace differential personal laws of communities. It calls for the formulation of the one civil law for the nation which would be applicable to all religious communities in matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption.
UCC as the need of an hour?
Uniform civil code has been advocated since long time in order to secure the rights of the woman and to bring social reforms to empower women suppressed by the diseased ways of religion and culture. Some of the personal laws of different religious communities has some practices ingrained in them which discriminates against the women and their rights. The most famous example being Triple Talaq which allowed the muslim men to give divorce to their female counterparts by just uttering the word Talaq thrice be it in physical mode or on any social media platform. But thanks to our judiciary who in the Shayara Bano case abolished the practice of triple talaq. Since long time the women have been discriminated in practices such as Sati , child marriage etc which stands against the principle of equality in our constitution. The advocates of UCC are of the idea that the concept promotes national integration, accommodates the aspirations of the young population
UCC opposed to interests of the minorities?
Considering the change that UCC is expected to bring about, it has been vehemently opposed by many minority groups and political parties. One of them is the Naga community. The Nagaland Bar Association has written a letter to Prime Minister suggesting to exercise caution while implementing the UCC across India. They expressed that implementation of uniform civil code would act as an interference in the personal and social life of Naga people and would cause hardships to the normal functioning of their community. Another identified group standing against this concept is the Indian Muslims. The religious community of muslim consists of different sects namely Shia and Sunni sect. Within them, there are still smaller communities who exercise their own personal laws. Therefore implementation of Uniform civil code would act as a majoritarian rule which would suppress the sentiments of the minorities. They are of the view that matters related to divorce, marriage, adoption and inheritance is a part of the muslim personal law and only they have the right to decide upon them. Recently Law Commission of India gave its recommendations on this issue. It says that UCC is “neither necessary nor desirable at this stage”. Further it clarified that secularism cannot contradict the plurality prevalent in the country. “Cultural diversity cannot be compromised to the extent that our urge for uniformity itself becomes a reason for the threat to the territorial integrity of the nation” (Law commission).
The NDA government in it’s manifesto had promised to implement UCC. Goa is the only state in India where uniform civil code has been successfully implemented. Well, if it would be implemented or not , it depends upon the political will our country. If implemented, what governments should do is to integrate the personal laws of various communities and the uniform civil code to frame best of the laws for the whole nation which would serve not only one community or majority but would be harbinger of the fraternity and harmony amongst various communities of our nation.