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Uniform Civil Code

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  • Pages: 6
  • Word count: 1372
  • Category: Life

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The enduring political accounts in India, seen in pages of journals, whispers in the streets, and bolstered by statements by political leaders from the central Bharatiya Janata Party and allies are pointing towards moving to put Uniform Civil Code in place a by the right wing nationalist on India’s plural proud, and diverse country and society . This, however, is not a product of contemporary times. The movement which is responsible for the idea that demands ,creation of a UCC for the nation is a little over 180 years old and has been questioned and debated widely, albeit sporadically, among public and political discourses ever since.
Uniform Civil Code
Article 44 of the Constitution of India lists Uniform Civil Code as one of the Directive Principles of State Policy. BJP believes that there cannot be gender equality till such time India adopts a Uniform Civil Code, which protects the rights of all women, and the BJP reiterates its stand to draft a Uniform Civil Code, drawing upon the best traditions and harmonizing them with the modern times.”

An ideologue of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Seshadri Chari, as recently as August 19, 2019, made the case for the BJP government to bring in a UCC on the heels of the revocation of Article 370. “The Uniform Civil Code was part of the BJP manifesto and had been of the Jan Sangh’s manifesto too. The RSS has also been claiming it. In fact, the UCC and abrogation of Article 370 have been the longest standing demands of the Jan Sangh right from its formation. The only addition in the BJP manifesto is Ram Janmabhoomi.” Since the roots of the present goes to the history, therefore this present is a very appropriate moment to look for its roots. The intention behind bringing the UCC erstwhile articulated. The thing that we have observed from the government hitherto is a reputation of enforcing and implementing legislation as the only resolution to litigious issues.

Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and our Union Home Minister, Mr. Amit Shah have given away a sturdy determination in pushing ahead their decisions. Choices of issues that are being addressed moreover propose that a great deal of thought and consideration have paid into this process: the rendering invalidity of talaq in all its manners is a leading illustration. But for some wandering objections which a waving Congress could beckon, there was seen a general support regarding the steps taken. The present government, as it means, picks it battles cautiously, and subsequently steps in inexorably, leaving the bemused Opposition in a disunited position and disbarred. Consequently, this appears an convenient moment for the rule to focus on the pending matters of UCC 

The Second Law Commission, which submitted its report in 1835, which emphasized the necessity for ‘uniformity in codification of Indian law relating to crimes, evidences and contracts’, however, specified that ‘personal laws of Hindus and Muslims should be kept outside such codification.’

‘In their Second Report the Commission examined the problems of Lex Loci and codification and came to the conclusion that “what India wants is a body of substantive civil law, in preparing which the law of England should be used as the basis, but which, once enacted, should be the law of India on the subject it embraced. And such a body of law, prepared as it ought to be with a constant regard to the condition and institutions of India, and character, religions, usages of the population, would, we are convinced, be of great importance to that country.” The Commission also recommended that codification should not extend to matters like the personal laws of the Hindus and Mohammedans which derived their authority from their respective religions.’ The Report constituted the views of J.H. Harington, part of the Viceroy’s Council, who advocated a general application specifying British laws to the native Indians.

There were 3 grounds which supported this statement: first, that the unchanging habits, behaviors and prejudices and lengthy established local mores were totally principally opposite and practice as in England; further , most of the people here were ignorant of the language in the manner these laws were scribed , but possibly couldn’t acquire comprehension of “our complex, though excellent, system of municipal law”; and lastly, that the England laws couldn’t be applied here, as they are “suitable to the genius of the people and all the circumstances in which they may be placed”.

The1835 decision that was taken by the Report recommended to separate the personal laws of every religion and community. At the end of the day, it was reflected in Queen’s Proclamation of 1858 , issued when British rule took over as the sovereign of the administration of india after displacing the East India Company in the aftermath of the revolt of 1857 – promising an absolute and non-interference in religious affairs. “We do strictly charge and enjoin all those who may be in authority under Us, that they abstain from all interference with the Religious Belief or Worship of any of Our subjects, on pain of Our highest Displeasure.” This clearly meant the apparent separation of the two departments of law. The public; and the personal laws of people on matters such as inheritance, marriage, and religious ceremonies.

Three issues
It can be said that, it was perhaps wise back in 1858 for a foreign power to stay out of the menace of diping into areas related with religion in the overall interest of maintaining tranquility and peace in the nation. This emphasizes the insight as in the Proclamation of Queen’s, because it was necessary then to calm the 1857 turmoil.
if we analyze the present, we can further state that in post colonial India, where the supreme power are vested with the inhabitants in a democracy like ours, with no external constraint which can prevent the government of Indian to rule according to a common code to administer the personal space of law such as succession and marriages etc.
Not only non Hindus but Hindus are also skeptical about a common law that will direct a common law for the practices as it will affect their religious believes. A lot of opposition can be seen from Hindus.

In fact, the time when this issue was hotly debated in Parliament in the course of the dialogues on the ‘Hindu Code’, some defenders of the ‘status quo’ referred to the ‘Vedas’ and the ‘dharmashashtras”, stating ‘rule of conduct’ is the ‘highest’ law: also they tried to put tradition and custom above human rights production. Others, while supporting the case for a UCC, smartly masked their opposition by stressing to respect diversity among Hindus. Of course, some more critics spoke about the problems and dangers that lie in front of hindus if ucc was implemented.

And lastly, in support of UCC, it’s well known that the ‘Hindu law’ discriminated against women for a long time by ‘depriving them of inheritance, remarriage and divorce’. The condition of Hindu widows and daughters was really poor due to prevalent ugly customs. Can religious practice deny basic freedoms and rights to women? Can not the UCC be implemented to correct the errors of discriminatory society and bring equality and compassion into society? This question applies to other religions as well, especially the Muslim law that ‘discriminated against women’ more apparently. it can ne rightly understood that it is the urgent need of the hour to raise the standard of Indian muslin women and enable them to make their own identity as independent individuals.
The progressive parts of people in British India started protesting against the decades long decimation against the women. A number pf organizations set up and this tension led to the formulation of a number of laws ‘ such as the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act of 1856, Married Women’s Property Act of 1874, with its Amendment Act of 1923, and the Hindu Inheritance  Act of 1928, which in a significant move, permitted a Hindu woman’s right to property.9 So also the Hindu Women’s Right to Property Act of 1937 was a significant step for assuring rights to women.’
This growing tensions and awareness led to a great deal of discussions and debated in the country. a response was extracted from the government finally. let us analyze some responses.

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