After coming to power BJP has fulfilled its core election promises such as scrapping of Article 370, abolishing Triple Talaq, Ram Temple in Ayodhya, now many of BJP voters are expecting to introduce Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India.
Uniform Civil Code is defined in our Constitution under Article 44 of Directive Principles of State Policy. It states that it is the duty of the state to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India. In other words we can say that it means ‘one country one rule’. The question of Uniform Civil Code‘ (UCC) has remained a controversial topic in Indian politics. In a country like ours where individuals are governed on civil matters such as marriage, inheritance, adoption and succession on the basis of the personal laws of their religion, UCC will contain same set of secular civil laws for each and every individual irrespective of his/her religion, gender, caste, creed, race etc. Our country is a culturally diverse one where religion is a very sensitive topic and so bringing about a change in personal laws is a challenging task. The very idea of having a UCC has ignited many debates in the present political scenario and in the past too. Afternoon Voice took opinion of people to know the pros and cons.—
Najmul Hasan Rizvi, senior journalist said, “Article 25 in the Constitution gives fundamental rights to everyone for practising their own religion. And almost every religion has their own personal law. Uniform Civil Code is a political gimmick, which doesn’t stand in common citizens’ view. Hindus get rebate in taxes through Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) whereas in one religion widow can remarry. Muslims have their own personal law.”
Sumita Chakraborty, Editor of STARDUST magazine said, “Yes I think it’s time we follow the common civil code in India. For long we have had personal rules governing various communities. This caused a lot of chaos and disruption. A common or Uniform Civil Code sets the same rules for everyone so nobody can hide behind antiquated laws of the past and get away. I think it will work very well in India as we have now become on par in terms of norms with all the modern countries of the world.”
Arya Money, Reporter at Rajshree Production said, “Uniform Civil Code may or may not work in India because of one major reason. Being the age old tradition or method, it is very difficult to change the mindset easily. The adaptation be it extremely good or bad because society takes time to adapt to it.”
She further said, “The civil code in India is good, till it respects the culture and need of the people, while amending acts for the people. Before taking any major acts into consideration the government should consider the interests of the people, as in if they need such a change rather than imposing something on them. “A change is a must, but not at the cost of violation of public beliefs and interests,” she added.
Abhishek Rai, journalist said, “As far as I know, India officially calls itself a secular country, which means every citizen of India is equal before laws, rule and regulations of our nation, regardless of its religion, caste, culture or creed. Therefore when it comes to maintaining its secular nature, we should have Uniform Civil Code. Because it seems hypocritical to me if there is no equal application of law on various communities in a secular country. The government should introduce Uniform Civil Code as soon as possible.”
Manisha Karki, journalist at UrbanAsian said, “I think it is a matter of debate on Uniform Civil Code since 1949 and because we believe in ‘One Nation One Law‘. India is a diverse country and every set of religion has their own personal laws. No matter there are differences but we all are bound to follow some laws as being the part of the nation. With change in time and generation we see many cases around us either its inappropriate divorce or about gender equality.”
She continued, “I think it’s time for India to take a stand and set an example like other countries. As we can see the Uniform Civil Code can help in solving many problems and settling down thing. In the world where people can see religious extremism, India can be one of the country which others can look into and see how a diverse nation can stand united with its people.”
BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, “Uniform Civil Code is our constitutional commitment in the preamble of our constitution. We had committed that we shall bring Uniform Civil Code. In every secular country in the world has a Uniform Civil Code. In our constitution we are saying that we are secular nation.”
Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said, “Basically all other codes are uniformed like CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) and IPC ( Indian Penal Code). The sections of these acts are equally applicable to each and every community present in India. The introduction of Marriage Act, Succession Act is remaining. Uniform Civil Code should be implemented only after arriving at a consensus among all communities in India.”
Adv. Vibin Nair, Managing Partner, Orizon Legal said, “The implementation of Uniform Civil Code is the need of the hour to project the outlook of ‘Sarva Dharma Sama Bhav’ – (All religions are equal). It will also bring a positive change in the field of marriage, divorce, property, succession and inheritance laws in our country with the Parliament also in review and recodification of CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) and IPC (Indian Penal Code) . Having said that, our Parliamentarians should also bear in mind about it’s application having a retrospective or prospective effect to the existing matters already going on.”
Shivani Lokhande, Freelancer Hr executive said, “The Uniform Civil Code is a very sensitive topic and I will support this rule because firstly it will lead to gender equality, there’ll be secularism. People that are divided due to religions can be united and there won’t be discrimination as law will be same for everyone.”
When asked whether Uniform Civil Code should be applicable in India she replied, “Implementing Uniform Civil Code will be a grave problem as people in India are way more religious, they will feel that law is enforced on their way to pray, do rituals, etc. As we all know Indian mentality is majorly conservative in such situation and bringing UCC will be difficult. But like I said initially it’s really needed.”
Aditaya Iyer, CA intern said, “Uniform Civil Code looks to be a good idea as it states equal rights for all citizens and will promote national integration. But at the same time, we need to keep in mind that India is a very diverse nation and there are various laws governing, keeping the interests of the various sections of the society safe. These laws safeguard the interests of both sections of society differently.”
“I feel there will be a lot of difficulty in the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code and don’t see it happening in the near future. But I do feel as time passes all these laws may individually be amended and overtime when almost all are on the same page we can think of a Uniform Civil Code,” he added.
Bhaskar Parikh, Architect said, “Yes, a common civil code should be amended on every citizen in India and there are some major changes that needs to be taken place in the Constitution. He further said, “Though it will be very difficult and a sensitive task to put forth because of the diversity in India. However, this needs to be implemented so that people in India get equal rights, equal status and no gender discrimination.”
“I think this step will take a major turn on the positive side of national integration,” he added.