Demand for UCC grows as opposition parties join the bandwagon


Though the idea of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) has been a burning one for the last four years, the recent statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this context in Bhopal has given it more attention, especially ahead of the assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh. Further, PM Modi had said that the country cannot run on two laws and that Uniform Civil Code was part of the Constitution. “Today people are being instigated in the name of UCC. How can the country run on two (laws)? The Constitution also talks of equal rights…Supreme Court has also asked to implement UCC. These (Opposition) people are playing vote bank politics,” he said. PM’s statement triggered a nationwide debate as several Opposition leaders have accused PM Modi of raising the UCC issue for political gains ahead of the upcoming elections. Congress leaders accused PM Modi of using the UCC issue as a diversionary tactics from real problems like inflation, unemployment and the situation in Manipur. Another Congress leader Venugopal asserted that PM Modi rarely addresses incidents like the violence in Manipur and urged him to
address concerns regarding poverty, inflation, and unemployment before focusing on other matters. “He (PM) should first answer about poverty, price rise and unemployment in the country. He never speaks on the Manipur issue where the whole state is burning. Manipur is burning for the last 60 days. He did not speak a word about it nor did he appeal for peace. He is just distracting people from all these issues. We’re not going to
fall for that,” KC Venugopal said. The Opposition called it a “vote bank” politics with All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi asking PM Modi whether the government is considering ‘stripping the country of its pluralism and diversity?’ He further alleged that when the Prime Minister
speaks of UCC, he is referring to ‘Hindu Civil Code’. “When he speaks of UCC,
he is speaking of ‘Hindu Civil Code. Now, they will treat all Islamic practices as illegal and will protect all Hindu practices under the law. I challenge him – can he abolish Hindu Undivided Family? Go and tell the Sikhs in Punjab about UCC, see what will be the reaction there…”, he added. Meanwhile, Congress leader and Executive member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Arif Masood also hit out at PM Modi and said that the PM should remember that he has taken oath on the Constitution drafted by Dr BR Ambedkar adding that all sections of the country have faith in that Constitution and they will not allow to change it. Arif Masood said,” PM should remember that he took on the Constitution drafted by Dr BR Ambedkar. All sections of the country have faith in Constitution and will not allow it to change. They also made a law on Triple Talaq. What difference did it make? They talked about giving relief to women under this law. What relief women got from this law?” Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said, “As far as Uniform Civil Code is concerned, Prime Minister Nehru said “desirable thing to have UCC” but we have to take everyone along. You cannot forget any society in any country.” Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader TKS Elangovan also lashed out at PM Modi on UCC and suggested first implementing it in the Hindu religion. “Uniform Civil Code should be first introduced in the Hindu religion. Every person including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes should be allowed to perform pooja in any temple in the country,” Elangovan said. “We don’t want UCC only because the Constitution has given protection to every religion,” he said. On the other hand, Janata
Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi called for all political parties and stakeholders to be involved in discussion. “All political parties and stakeholders should be engaged on the issue of the Uniform Civil Code. Only BJP does vote bank politics,” JD(U) leader said. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel pointed a very significant aspect to be looked into when there are talks of implementing UCC i.e. what will be the impact of its implementation on tribal
culture and traditions? During a media interaction in Raipur on Tuesday, the Chief Minister questioned why the focus is solely on Hindu-Muslim dynamics
and urged for consideration of the tribal population in Chhattisgarh. The CM said “Why do you (referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi) think only about Hindu-Muslim? We have a tribal population in Chhattisgarh, they have rules as per their tradition. What will happen to the culture and tradition of tribal people if UCC is implemented?” There are many castes and they have different traditions, which got recognition in the Constitution as well, we have to consider all those things, pointed out CM Baghel. Minister of State (MOS) for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan backed PM Modi’s stance on uniform law in the country and asserted that the PM specifically said the Constitution stipulates it. MoS Muraleedharan said, “He (PM Modi) specifically said that the Constitution stipulates it and the courts are in a way asking that it (Uniform Civil Code) should be implemented.”