A day after the Muslim bodies announced its boycott of the Law Commission’s move to seek public opinion on the Uniform Civil Code, the Centre sought for an “enlightened debate” on the subject. Rebuking the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, the Central government dubbed its opposition to the move as “politicising” the issue.
“You (All India Muslim Personal Law Board) join the debate. Let there be enlightened debate you put forth your point of view. Let a consensus be evolved. Why are you trying to bring in the name of Prime Minister and call him dictator,” Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said.
The senior Union minister also clarified that Law Commission’s move should not be linked to ‘triple talaq’, where the core issue is gender justice and ending discrimination against women.
“The real mood of the country is that people want this triple talaq to end. People do not want any discrimination on basis of any religious faith agianst women. As I told you the issues are gender justice, non-discrimination and dignity of women,” he said.
Claiming that some people were confusing the issue of triple talaq with Uniform Civil Code, Naidu criticised the Muslim Personal Law Board saying, “If you are so interested in making political comments you can as well join any political party of your choice. This is not expected from Muslim Personal Law Board and other religious leaders”.
On Thursday, Muslims bodies opposed the Law Commission’s questionnaire seeking public feedback on the issues of Triple Talaq and the Uniform Civil Code. They had contended that Uniform Civil Code (UCC), if implemented, will paint all people in “one colour” which will threaten the country’s pluralism and diversity.
In a first such initiative, the Law Commission had on October 7 sought feedback from public on whether the practice of Triple Talaq be abolished and whether a uniform civil code should be optional.
Last week, the Centre had opposed the practice of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims while arguing before the Supreme Court.
Responding to a batch of petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of such practices among Muslims, the Union Ministry of Law and Justice, in its affidavit, referred to constitutional principles like gender equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital law prevalent in various Islamic countries to drive home the point.
The Centre’s move was strongly opposed by prominent Muslim organisations, which had dubbed it an “infringement” and insisted that there should be no interference “in the belief and religion of any citizen”.
Several political parties too came up with reactions over the subject with Congress party saying that Uniform Civil Code’s implementation would be impossible. The ruling BJP, on the other hand, backed the Law Commission’s decision terming it a move towards a progressive society.
Other opposition parties also reacted accusing the BJP-led central government of trying to “polarise” the people ahead of Assembly polls in several states, while its ally Shiv Sena defended the move.