Uniform Civil Code : Need of Hour Right time for India to Implement a Uniform Civil Code after more than 68 years of Independence By : Himadrish Suwan

It is melancholy that in our country we connect every roots with roots of religion. We often speak of implementing the Indian Constitution within the Indian territory & we often reiterate that we believe in Supremacy of the Constitution then how it is that the Uniform Civil Code has still not be formed when the Indian Constitution itself demands it. Article 44 of the Constitution of India reads: ‘The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India’. Its in our directive principles unfortunately we are ready to adopt other directive principle’s, but why can’t we adopt a UCC. We can adopt Right to Work, we can adopt Right to Sleep ,we can adopt Right to Education, we can adopt Right to Food and most probably we will be adopting Right to Health irrespective of Cast , Creed , Sex or Place of birth then why can’t we adopt a simple and a must needed Right a Right to equal laws.

The cases of Shah Bano Begum and Sarla Mudgal , expose the domination of religion over a community be it Muslim or Christian or any other minority group. It is a tyranny of the minority over majority. The unity of India would be at stake if religion is allowed to tighten its grip over Indian society. We have been a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and the State has no religion; it favours none and is a foe to none. Humanism is our creed and a Common Law for all Indian is our ideal. We believe and subscribe to rule of law and it is only a Common Civil Code that would help establish the rule of law. It is the panacea for all our ills. I strongly believe that there cannot be gender equality till such time India adopts a uniform civil code, which protects the rights of all women and yes this is the “actual time when India must implement a Uniform Civil Code”.

The claim that the sentiments of the minorities are not considered while implementing a common law is thus beyond comprehension. UCC does not insist people from one religion to start practicing rituals of other religions. The best, and the most strong reason to get this up and running should be the fact that we get rid of all gender discriminating laws, and send a blow to the patriarchal nature of our society.

Until 1947 both India and Pakistan had governed Muslims under the Shariat Act of 1937. However, by 1961 Pakistan, a Muslim country, had actually reformed its Muslim Law According to the constitution of India, it has been said in our directive principles and the Supreme Court has said three times to form a Common Civil Code but still we have not yet initiated a process in favour of UCC. In  developed countries of the world, there does not exists two laws for two different communities. When others can have it , why cant we. If Muslim countries can reform Muslim Personal Law, and if western democracies have fully secular systems, then why are Indian Muslims living under laws passed in the 1930s. It can be seen that much of the Muslim personal law is totally outdated and inhuman, but it is not allowed to be changed due to vote bank politics.

I submit that those who have not allowed changes in the Muslim personal law have done a great disservice to Muslims. Retaining the outdated personal law has contributed to keeping Muslims backward.

Let us focus on individual issues on the basis the women of these minority communities suffer let us start about the policy of Triple Talaq. The injustice in Muslim Law can be seen in the fact that a Muslim husband can divorce his wife by simply saying ‘Talaq, Talaq, Talaq’, without ascribing any reason, whereas a Muslim wife cannot do so. Is this Rational. It means that if a men even write on a wall talaq talaq talaq its Talaq,now I have heard the modified version of Talaq- Talaq through SMS. Is this with contrast to what we often says “India where Women are worshipped” . The Next, The Muslim husband need not give any ground for divorce, he can divorce his wife whimsically or merely because he has lost interest in her, whereas a Muslim wife has to plead some ground for divorce mentioned in section 2 of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, and she has to produce witnesses or documentary evidence in support of that ground, and prove it. This is not only very unjust to the wife; it is also violation of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution. Next, the Quran rules out that Husbands are a degree above their wives. A male gets a double share of the inheritance over that of a female. A woman’s testimony counts half of a man’s testimony.  Slave-girls are sexual property for their male owners. A man may be polygamous with up to four wives,  Husbands may hit their wives even if the husbands merely fear highhandedness in their wives (quite apart from whether they actually are highhanded—as if domestic violence in any form is acceptable). Mature men are allowed to marry prepubescent girls. This is what  to be followed in the 21st Century, If yes then that’s the reason India is still struggling  to be so called  a “ Developed Nation” .

The main reason behind the miserable state of our innocent minorities is the absence of Uniform Civil Code  as there is no modernisation of their personal law, as  An archaic law cant apply in 21st century .Its not just my opinion ,Maulana Maududi founder of Jamet-E-Islam a part of muslim law board in his book he says the right of women law known a mohameden law is very different from Shariat .It has immensely damaged the civil life of women and he further says the muslim law practiced today  is itself a problem.

It may be tough to predict the future of this code but the time has come to revisit this important but long delayed issue now for the sake of national unity. One should not be surprised if there is an overwhelming support for a uniform code from the minority community and particularly from the women. It’s a bold step which the Present NDA government led under the leadership of Narendra Modi has taken that they are ready for the debate at-least as others have just made fools of minorities and I submit that those who have not allowed changes in the Muslim personal law have done a great disservice to Muslims and the Minority group should support the move in favour of a Code to Unite India,it will benefit each and every Indian atlast .

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