Rejecting charges that the issue of Uniform Civil Code has been raked up by the ruling party for electoral gains, the Central government came out assuring that no step will be taken unless arriving at a “broad consensus”. Off-late, the issue has drawn a sharp debate, with some prominent muslim groups and opposition parties accusing the government of interfering in the ambit of personal laws.
“You cannot have a Uniform Civil Code without a broad consensus. You have to work and move in that direction,” Union Information and Broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu said.
The senior cabinet minister, speaking for the Central government, also asserted that issues like triple talaq, civil code and Ram temple will not be used by BJP for political mileage in the upcoming elections, instead it will go to public with an agenda of development.
“The Government does not consider it (triple talaq) as a religious matter. It is a question of gender sensitivity. It is wrong to say that we are interfering in Muslim issues,” he said.
“The same Indian Parliament, the same political system had brought Hindu Code Bill, Divorce Act, banning Hindu Marriage Act, banning dowry and Sati practice, all these things are done by Indian Parliament,” Naidu said emphasising that broad consensus will be required for bringing Uniform Civil Code.
“We are not discussing about the common civil code or uniform civil code as of now. The Law Commission has issued a questionnaire and asked people to react,” he elaborated further on the issue.
Referring to Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution, he said “The Government of India wants every religion, every personal law to be in accordance with that. And if the society transforms itself, it’s always better.”
Nadiu also defended the government affidavit in the Supreme Court on triple talaq, saying it was Muslim women and organisations which were demanding end of triple talaq who had gone to the Supreme Court.
“This debate was not started by us. Somebody went to court and the Supreme Court while discussing the issue wanted to know the views of the Government. And the government has filed an affidavit saying that our view is that triple talaq is unjust, unfair, uncivilised and saying it must come to an end,” said Naidu as he sought to know “how is it connected with UP elections?”.
(With inputs from the PTI)