The Bold Voice of J&K

Uniform Civil Code took a centre stage

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Omkar Dattatray

There is growing realization among the political parties about the fact that there should be a common civil code for all Indian’s irrespective of the religion to which they belong. The BJP state government of Uttarakhand and its chief minister Puskar Singh Dammi has ensured that a bill on UCC be introduced and then passed in the current session of state assembly. The chief minister of Uttarakhand is the strong votary and advocate of UCC and thus his government has passed a bill regarding uniform civil code. The passage of the UCC bill in the legislative assembly of Uttarakhand is worth emulation by other states of India and it will open the Pandora box as other states and the centre as well will also push for a bill in this regard and the centre government under Modi will introduce common civil code bill before the upcoming general elections. If the NDA government headed by BJP will bring a bill in parliament to introduce common civil code in the country, it will be a big political development in the country and it will have great ramifications for the country and it will lead to uniform laws for all communities irrespective of their religion. All discrimination and injustice will be done away with as all citizens will be subject to same laws and regulations and in this way all discrimination and injustice will end. But whenever some sincere efforts are made in this regard,the so called secular parties and some Muslim parties raise untenable hue and cry and raise apprehensions that Muslims and other minority citizens will be discriminated and the government will attack the religious freedom of the minority communities .However all opposition and criticism to the UCC is untenable and unwarranted as well as uncalled far and hence has no value except doing petty politics ostensibly in the interest of Muslim community and other smaller religious denominations. Other states of India and the centre government should take a cue from Uttarakhand and initiate the process of introducing the need bills in this regard so that UCC will become a reality. The uniform civil code for all citizens has remained an agenda item of the BJP’s manifesto from last many general elections and now the Modi government which has the required numbers as well should make sincere efforts to introduce the necessary bill in this connection in the current winter session of the parliament. So before the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the centre government of NDA should fulfill its election promise and introduce and get passed that common civil code for all citizens irrespective of religion and faith. Uniform civil code Bill was tabled in Uttarakhand assembly. Once it becomes an act, Uttarakhand will become the first state in the country after independence to adopt the UCC. The Uttarakhand government on February 6,tabled the Uniform Civil Code bill in the state assembly which when passed will be the first such legislation to be implemented in any law state after independence. The bill proposes a common on marriage, divorce, land, property and inheritance for all citizens irrespective of their religion in Uttarakhand. Final Uniform Civil Code draft for Uttarakhand recommends ban on triple talaq and Halala and tribals are sought to be kept out of the bills ambit.UCC committee suggests legalizing live-in relationships ,equal rights in inheritance for women and men ,minimum age of marriage for women at 21 years among others. The five -member committee constituted for drafting the uniform civil code -UCC in Uttarakhand handed over its final report to states chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Friday.T he committee has recommended strict punishment for triple talaq and nikahhalala practices ,pertaining to Muslim personal laws and also suggested keeping the tribal community out of UCC ambit. The Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami led government tabled the uniform civil code Bill in the state legislative assembly. The UCC bill proposes a common law on marriage, divorce, land, property and inheritance for all citizens irrespective of their religion in the state ,excluding the Scheduled Tribes.The proposed UCC aims to establish uniform civil laws applicable to all communities within the state. The passage of the UCC bill fulfils a significant promise made by the BJP during the 2022 assembly polls. The uniform civil code bill presented by Uttarakhand CM in assembly on Tuesday ,will also impose a complete ban on child marriage and will introduce a uniform process for divorce. The passage of the UCC bill will in Uttarakhand assembly will have its ramifications in other states and all over the country. Other states will emulate the example of Uttarakhand and will be motivated to take sincere efforts in the direction of making the UCC a reality.The fact is that the BJP state governments have no reservation in making efforts to have a common civil code in their states.Similarly the centre NDA government under the leadership and guidance of the prime minister Narendra Modi will take steps to introduce the UCC bill in the winter session of the parliament to fulfill its election promise.It will be so good and will be in the interest of the country and its citizens if the Modi government will table a bill on UCC before the upcoming general elections. The political parties and especially the common citizenry will come to understand that what Modi and his BJP promises ,it delivers and fulfills such promises.UCC adoption and implementation is the core agenda and part of the idealogy of BJP from Jansangh days and so the centre government should take a cue from the Uttarakhand government and thus take serious steps to adopt the UCC at centre level.The significant development of Uttarakhand will have demonstrational effect and other states and the centre government may take necessary steps to adopt and implement the common civil code in the country as the BJP is committed to ensure that the new law in this regard is introduced and implemented in the country.
The uniform civil code -UCC has been one of the intense subjects of discussion for over a decade. But recently it took centre stage when prime minister Narendra Modi mentioned the importance of UCC in one of the rallies in MP.
But now with the initiative of the Uttarakhand government that the centre stage impact and position has been strengthened as other states and the union government as well will be marching towards making UCC a reality.
But ,the implementation of UCC poses severe hurdles as a result of the cultural and religious diversity present in India. But when intentions are good, it will not now take long time to make UCC a reality in India and the start has now been made by Uttarakhand government and some other state governments will take a cue from this state’s developments with regard to UCC and take necessary steps to introduce, pass and implement UCC for all Indians irrespective of religion.
In short the day will not be far off when UCC will be a reality in India and all discrimination and injustice with women will come to an end and the nation will have a UCC which is the need of the hour.
(The author is a columnist, social and KP activist)

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