Uniform Civil Code
The constitution of India declares India as Sovereign, Socialist, Democratic, Republic and secure to all its citizen social, economic and political justice and equality of status. It provides us equality irrespective of caste, color and creed, gender, religion or place of birth. For achievement of these goals many duties has been imposed on the legislature by the framers of the constitution and among them Directive Principle of State is enshrined in Part IV. Article 44 which is there in Directive Principle Of State endorses that “The state shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India. The Constitution came into force on 26 January 1950 and since then no attempts by the government have been made to draft a Uniform Civil Code because the government fear that by doing so they would agitate the religious sentiments of some communities and which would in return be detrimental to their vote banks.
Why do we need UNIFORM CIVIL CODE?
- At present there is desegregation among various committees of India. Uniform Civil Code would integrate India. It was bring people of all gender, caste, creed, belief, religion and faith under the same umbrella.
- Uniform Civil Code will help us in reducing the vote bank politics which is detrimental for the nations’s development. We all are aware of what happened in Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum . In this case the Congress government endorsed Supreme Court decision because they didn’t wanted to lose their muslim male voter and just to satisfy them and secure vote they didn’t put forth the grievances the muslim women would face.
- The various personal laws are basically a loop hole, those who have power exploit it. Our panchayats continue to offer judgments that are against our constitution and we don’t do anything about it. Human rights are violated through honor killings and female foeticide throughout our country. By permitting personal laws we have constituted an alternate judicial system that still operates on thousands of years old values. A uniform civil code would change that.
- A uniform civil code will help in uplifting the condition of women in India. Our society is extremely patriarchal and misogynistic and by permitting old religious rules to continue to govern the family life we are condemning all Indian women to subjugation and mistreatment. A uniform civil code can help in changing these age old traditions that have no place in today’s society where we do understand that women should be treated fairly and given equal rights. The most common victim of personal law are women and most often personal law in religions (muslims particularly) gives more rights and privilege to men and ultimately rights of women are in danger. The most comman problem faced by muslim women is TRIPLE TALAQ. A women who gives her life to her family, and mere three words is sufficient for deserting her. In a recent judgment given by Allahabad High Court in the matter of Smt. Hina v State of U.P . Allahabad High court gave the judgment favor of the deceased. The question which disturbs the Court is should muslim wives suffer this tyranny for all times? Should their personal law remain so cruel towards these unfortunate wives? Whether the personal law can be amended suitably to alleviate their sufferings? The judicial conscience is disturbed at this monstrosity. The first wife has to live life for no fault of her but for the reason that her husband got attracted to a lady half of her age which is the reason for being divorced. The view that the Muslim husband enjoys an arbitrary, unilateral power to inflict instant divorce does not accord with Islamic injunctions. It is a popular fallacy that a Muslim male enjoys, under the Quaranic Law, unbridled authority to liquidate the marriage. Women faces atrocities and only a Uniform Civil Code can uplift her position.
- In S.R.Bommai vs Union of India case Supreme Court held secularism as a basic feature of the constitution. Though India is a secular country but we don’t practice secularism in real sense. If Uniform Civil Code becomes compulsory then we would be able to promote secularism. Uniform Civil Code in no way would infringe our right to practice, profess and promote any religion. UCC is completely different from article 25.
ALL INDIANS SHOULD BE TREATED SAME
Right now we have got personal laws based on specific religions, which implies that while Muslims will marry multiple times in India, a Hindu or a Christian are prosecuted for doing the same. This doesn’t seem like equality to me. All the laws related to marriage, inheritance, family, land etc. should be equal for all Indians. This is the only way to ensure that all Indians are treated same. The following practices shows how different laws for various religion is-
- It’s lawful for a Muslim man to keep more than one wife but not for a Hindu man. Of course no woman Hindu or Muslim can have more than 1 husband in our patriarchal society.
- Hindus can form an undivided family (HUF) to manage their assets better and in the process reduce their taxes but not Muslims or Christians.
- Christians can’t file for divorce before completion of 2 years of marriage while other communities can do so after 1 year of marriage.
- Christian women get no share in the property of deceased children while different rules apply to other communities.
For the establishment of welfare state Uniform Civil Code is very important. This would definitely integrate India, it would promote secularism, and it help to the woman to overcome the problems they face.
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