Political parties join debate over Uniform Civil Code

RSTV Bureau
FILE: File photo of Congress party top leadership at a press conference in AICC headquarters, New Delhi.  Photo - PTI

FILE: File photo of Congress party top leadership at a press conference in AICC headquarters, New Delhi.
Photo – PTI

Several political parties came up with reactions in the face of Muslim bodies opposing Uniform Civil Code. While the Congress party said its implementation would be impossible, the ruling BJP asserted that the move is aimed at moving towards a progressive society. Other opposition parties too reacted accusing the BJP-led central government of trying to “polarise” the people ahead of Assembly polls in several states.

Earlier in the day, the All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board and other outfits opposed the Law Commission’s questionnaire on Uniform Civil Code, including abolition of Triple Talaq, announcing the boycott of the move.

Reacting to the issue, former Law Minister and Congress leader Veerappa Moily said it will be difficult to implement Uniform Civil Code in a country like India where various communities and groups are governed by personal laws.

“In a country of this nature, implementation of Uniform Civil Code is next to impossible,” Moily said adding no one should take it as a communal agenda or a Hindu versus Muslim issue. He said 200-300 personal laws exist in India covering various communities.

BJP-top-leadership-genBut the ruling party said the Law Commission is taking opinion of all the stakeholders on the issue following which it will form a “considered opinion” and give it to the Supreme Court.

“Now it is for the Muslim Personal Law Board to consider whether they want to be part of the stakeholders or they want to be an individual identity… if Personal Law Board people are misinformed, I cannot do much about it,” BJP leader Sidharth Nath Singh commented.

Saying the move was aimed at building a progressive society, Singh referred to some international declarations and countries like Turkey, Iran and Indonesia citing they changed law to ensure gender equality.

With debate over the subjecting widening, All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi said that bringing the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) will “kill” the diversity and plurality of India.

File Photo of AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi. AIMIS is one of the over 190 parties deregistered by the Maharashtra Election Commission on July 13, 2016.

File Photo of AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi.

“If you enforce something in the name of Uniform Civil Code, then it will kill the diversity and plurality of the country. It’s not right to look at it from a Muslim perspective because Indian diversity also comprises of Dalits and Tribals. There are different traditions in Hinduism as well,” he said.

Owaisi further added that the government’s “real agenda” was to focus on Muslims and polarise the society.

JD(U) MP Ali Anwar asked the government why it was only focusing on Muslims and said it is not the time to start such a debate. “They want to polarise the society,” he too said accusing the Centre.

On the other hand, BJP-ally Shiv Sena stressed that issue should be viewed as a “national issue rather than religious one”.

“…for how long the Muslims will stay away from the national mainstream. The Muslim Law Board should support the UCC as it will help the community, especially the women to come out of misery,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said.

(With inputs from the PTI)