Why say "No" to the demand for a Uniform Civil Code in India

 What is Uniform Civil Code?

Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a set of laws that apply equally to all residents regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, or affiliation with a particular religion. It means that all sections of society, irrespective of their religion, shall be treated equally according to a national civil code, which shall be applicable to all uniformly. The code covers areas like marriage, divorce, maintenance, inheritance, adoption, and succession of property

Which democracies have the UCC ?

A simple Google Search will reveal that the US does not have UCC, in that, each state is allowed to have it's own laws for governing the personal laws of the citizens.

The Google Search will reveal that France, Australia and and the United Kingdom have something of the "Uniform" Civil Code. But a deeper search of what is "uniform" in these countries wil reveal that it only means a set of laws applying homogenously across all the sub-divisions of the country (!!!)

What it means is that the term "Uniformity" refers to the GEOGRAPHIC application of the laws, AND NOT the application across all the religions, communities, groups, et al.

That means the citizens have the RIGHTS to practise their religion, faith, "to profess their faith" as the way they want while the Government has no powers to intervene in their affairs. That is how the Democracy is guaranteed in those nations.

Then, what is the trouble in Uniform Civil Code as the way it is being "interpretted" and thought of being applied, in India ?

In India, the interpretation being applied by the law-makers of the term "Uniform" is that the State shall be empowered to intervene in the Personal Laws of various religious groups, and make each such group, to obey and follow the so-called "National" set of laws which will be nothing but the Personal Laws of the majoritarian religious groups,

In this way, the so-called "Uniform Civil Code" will truely end up making conflict with the Article 21 of the Constitution of India, and also be in conflict with the Principle of Democracy

Is there any myth being propagated too, to push the demand for UCC among the masses, by any bent religious-political group, in India?

Yes, the myth is being propagated that UCC is needed so that the other religious groups may be stopped from enjoying undue advantage in regard to Laws of Evidencing, control over the properties, marriages, inheritence, succession of property, et al. A subvert message is being sent out among the masses by some religio-political groups that what the minority religion populations have in the control over their property is undue, invalid and a favour bestowed by their rivaling political group for appeasement. In reality, this is too far from the truth. Every religious group is free to exercise its control over it religious properties. Just that, some have larger amount of the religious properties within their control, while some have smaller quantity.

Breaking the myth

Historical factfile of the "Uniform" civil code in other countries vis-a-vis how it has been DELIVERED ALREADY by the Constitution of India

Before the arrival of the system of Democracy, in olden times, in France, UK and other countries, each feudal province, county fiefdom, used to have its own sets of laws in regard to evidencing, rights over the property, powers of the state over the citizens in light of the relgious they professed, et al.

For example, the Christian had more rights to possess properties than the jews and other religious groups living in that province. Similarly, in case of Laws of Evidence, the testimony given by the Christian would have greater weightage than the testimony given by person belonging to any other relgious group. A woman had lesser wightage for her testimony before a law court, than a man.

This was changed with the rise of system of Democracy, and a common Napoleonic Code was adopted and applied across the entire nation, wherein equal laws were sought to be applied irrespective of person's religion, gender. This Napoleonic Code also came to be known as the "Uniform" civil code.

In India too, during the Mughal Period, the Sharia Law would give greater weightage to the testimony by a Muslim than by a Hindu or any other religion. Similarly, a woman would have lesser rights over inhertience of property from her father, than the sons, BOTH AS PER THE HINDU LAWS AND THE MUSLIM LAWS. In Muslims, the right of the daughter were limited in view of the "Meher" being given away at the time of her marriage. The Hindus made amends, perhaps, by starting the system of Dowry, but which was applied very cruelly and without any oversight by the governors of their religions. The Hindus continually failed to bring about commonly agreed "the governors of the faith" (such as the Brahmins) because of mutual distrust and mutual conflict among different caste groups, whereas the Muslims and other religious groups (such as the Sikhs and the Jains) succeeded in having the "governors" of their each faith. This way, these groups succeeded in acquiring lage amount of properties through religious donations by their members, which were "governed" by their religious head bodies, such as the Waqf Board in the Muslims.

After the Independence of 1947, the newly introduced the Constitution of India successfully eliminated the problem of unequal rights and the weightage being given to different classes of citizens with respect to his religion and gender. All the citizens now have equal rights(of Inheritance of Properties, and equality before the law w.r.t weightage for testimony under the Evidence Act.) They all have also been given right to profess their faith and govern their religious properties

It appears that the Hindu groups, having failed in the intra-group solidarity, now conspired to weaken the rivaling faith by misinterpreting the term "Uniform" and then raising demand for its application in the entire country.


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