Radha Sharan talks about the need for Uniform Civil Code in the country.
India is a secular country which means that it has no particular religion to be followed. People are free to profess and practice any religion they wish to. Due to various religions in India, various personal laws are also there that govern the people and this comes out to be the major reason for the pendency of cases in the family court i.e matters regarding adoption, marriage, divorce, maintenance etc.
Thus, the question arises – Is Uniform Civil Code a solution to this or not? Why is there need for Uniform Civil Code in India? Uniform Civil Code is a proposal to enact a law which will be equally applicable on all the citizens of India no matter what their religion is and a law which will abolish all the personal laws applicable in the country at the moment, for the matters related to adoption, marriage, maintenance, inheritance of property and divorce. The personal laws were framed during British Rule to govern Hindus and Muslims matters separately but the main reason was to avoid any dispute and to cope with the fear of opposition to British rule form the two largest communities of India.
Uniform Civil Code first came in force in 1947 by our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ,who introduced it in parliament as a Bill to make it law, after a women freedom fighter demanded equal rights as male members because of equal contribution of female members in the fight for freedom but the Bill couldn’t be passed because of the opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) but it was added in the Constitution of India under Article 44 of the Directive Principles in India and sets its implementation as duty of the State.
The need for Uniform Civil Code is that there will be real secularism in India, what we have at the moment is selective secularism. We are secular in some areas but not in all area such as all the people of India are having freedom to profess and practice any religion but at same time at the time of elections and during reservation all the backward religion and castes are only given reservation which is not true secularism, if Uniform Civil Code is passed then all people will not only be treated as equals but also will be able to continue practicing their religion as according to their wish. The Uniform Civil Code also will give equal rights to women in the society what we are following in the name of law are some very old laws which give women some certain right, with time there should be a change for which all the people/ citizens of the country should be given fair and equal rights because no matter a child, a women or a man all are the part of the country and equal under the eye of law. If Uniform Civil Code is enforced then there will be speedy trial and there will be lesser burdens on the family courts that is caused because of different personal laws there are many cases pending which are only increasing day by day. One law means that all the cases of the same nature can be dealt the same way no matter what religion they are. One of the main reasons there is need for Uniform Civil Code is that there will be no politics for vote bank because politicians use different religion as a weapon to achieve more votes if Uniform Civil Code is passed then there will be equality among all the religions and they won’t be taken as a path to achieve more votes.
The main question is why it has not been passed up till now one of the main reason is people take their religion very seriously and same goes for their customs they will do anything to protect both so for them their own rules prevail it will be really hard to make them let go of those rules. The second reason is that what laws will be made under Uniform Civil Code? How will it be decided which part to take of which personal laws? Because of course the legislation would like to make the best law. One of the other main reasons is that the bill can never be passed because of the opposition party and Muslim parties.
According to the current controversy the Law Minister has directed the Law Commission to examine the matters regarding Uniform Civil Code and prepare a report. BJP since long is trying to conduct a parliamentary debate on the same topic but seems like despite being in power it can’t get support from the opposition party. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is totally against the idea of Common Civil Code as they claim that they are governed by the Holy Quran not by the rules laid by Supreme Court or by the parliament. How so ever almost 50,000 women and men have filed a petition seeking a ban on triple talaq calling it non-Quranic.
The Uniform Civil Code may be finding opposition from many parties but it is the first time since 1947 that the debate for need of it is very strong and may be it will be implemented in near future because Goa is a living example to a successful running of Uniform Civil Code.