ARE WE READY TO ADOPT THE UNIFORM CIVIL CODE?

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The Uniform Civil Code is encoded in the Article 44 of the Directive Principles of State Policy. The Article expects state to implement a common set of rules and regulations which will replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and the customs of every religion. Recently, the subjects like marriage, divorce, inheritance come under the realms of the Personal law. If we talk about the whole, the Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and the Buddhists which were governed by the Hindu personal laws has already codified by the government ages ago, in 1956. On the other hand, the personal laws of the Muslim, Christians and the Jews are still in unmodified and traditional approach. The concept of equality which was raised by various learned persons must have led to such conditions. Or could it be the orthodox of the Muslim community? In a secular country like India, there was always a need for a common code but it was only because of few Politicians and religious scholars that every attempt for such has been in vain. The reason behind this was the majority of vote bank. And the major community who will be affected by the code is the Muslim community. This is because the Hindu code was already modified and that was well adopted by the community. The right to practice religion becomes a controversial topic in Indian politics during the controversial Shah Bano case of 1985. The predictable challenges and questions that will be raised are, it will be declared unconstitutional. This is because; Freedom of religion gets into question with the right to equality. Article 14 and Article 15 will be raised as defense. “The right to conserve distinctive culture will be infringed”, Article 29. The Indian Constitution has provided he Indian citizens all the liberty that could be exercised not infringing others’ rights. This is why the people have right to religion and no one can interfere in their personal matters. In 2018, Law Commission of India stated that the UCC was “neither necessary nor desirable at this stage”. But every coin has two sides. The government must emulate Gaon practice of common civil code; they have been living under a uniform law since ages. The concept must not be understood as a common law instead it can be a uniform law which has a modified version of personal laws. For this people should not misinterpret it and not make rumors disgracing the country and the Government of India.

India is a continuously developing country and has adopted many changes in the constitution before. There have been many changes and amendments in the constitution that the country has adapted even before. Changes are necessary for the development of the nation and they are the signs of a healthy democracy. The people objecting the civil code may say that the country is trying to impose the Hindu code over all the community but it isn’t imposing it. The Hindu community has long ago gone through this phase of changing the personal laws. There were some objections but gradually the community has adopted it. So it can be said that the Hindus will not be affected by the change. Many can argue that the Indian territory consist of many religions so copying the west positivism centered legal trajectory would not be right but in order to unify the whole nation and stop the mishaps we will have to adopt the civil code. It can be argued that personal law system violates the principle of equality of the constitution because by having different personal laws for different religions, we are going against secularism and equality. But UCC would promote equality and unity as it will implement similar laws for all citizens.[1]

The time for establishment of the UCC might have come as it may help the Muslim community to break the taboos.[2]. It would be a strong step towards gender equality and gender justice. It is a mandatory provision of the constitution and if we are not ready for it after more than 70 years of independence, how much more time the people would seek?

It has been rightly pointed that UCC will not violate the Article 25 and 26 and it will help in attaining secularism and Article 44. Further, it can be argued that marriage, succession etc. are secular matters and law can regulate them. Implementing UCC will promote monogamy. It will promote a sense of equality among the citizens and betterment of the position of women in India. It will help to remove the prejudices against women regarding personal laws on marriage and maintenance.

Though, witnessing the large amount of protests against the CAA it can be concluded that the country is in a phase of sensitive minds. The people instead of thinking about the goods peacefully prefer the violent methods. Though, it can be a healthy sign of a democracy.                Even if the Uniform Civil Code cannot be implemented the government has always been implementing the laws in public interest. Gradually the people will start adapting to the codes and thus we will adapt to the Uniform Civil Code. Although, the majority government has worked wonders and taken decisions that were almost impossible. We can never guess what could be the next step taken by the government, and that too when it was mentioned in the manifesto.


[1]Nithya NR, Uniform Civil Code for India: Prospects and Constraints, Global Research Analysis Journal Vol.2

[2]Seshadri Chari RSS