Union Minister advocates for UCC, claims no harm to Muslims, tribals


Union Minister Ramdas Athawale asserted on Wednesday that the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) would not infringe upon the rights of Muslims or tribal communities.
The Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, at a press conference, argued that Dr B R Ambedkar, the architect of India’s Constitution, supported the UCC, viewing it as essential to promoting religious harmony.
In response to concerns raised by the opposition, Athawale denounced the spread of misinformation regarding the ruling BJP and its plans for the Constitution. He emphasised that the UCC is not an instrument to undermine unity and harmony between Hindus and Muslims, but a tool to foster it.
Assuaging fears among the Muslim community, Athawale clarified that the UCC is not aimed against them and urged all political parties to lend their support. He dismissed the notion that all tribal communities are against the UCC and emphasised that the law does not discriminate against tribals, Dalits, Hindus, or Muslims.
The Law Commission opened the debate on this contentious issue last month, inviting views and suggestions from religious organisations and the general public regarding the UCC.
Additionally, Athawale, who is also a Dalit leader from Maharashtra, refuted claims of Prime Minister Narendra Modi being “anti-Muslim” or “anti-Dalit”.
During his visit to Ahmedabad, Athawale met with Gujarat government officials to discuss the implementation status of various initiatives aimed at upliftment of Dalits and other marginalised communities.
In the press conference, the minister projected confidence about the National Democratic Alliance’s victory in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, anticipating Modi’s third consecutive term as Prime Minister.
Athawale critiqued Rahul Gandhi for politicising issues and downplayed the Opposition’s efforts to unite, questioning their potential prime ministerial candidate.
Addressing the ongoing atrocities on Dalits in Gujarat, Athawale acknowledged their occurrence but pointed towards improvements over time. He highlighted the need for collective efforts to eradicate the caste system and applauded those from the general category castes who are aiding Dalits. He noted an increase in inter-caste marriages in Gujarat over the past two years.