Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Uniform Civil Code

A friend of mine asked me, what is Uniform Civil Code and how does it help? Well yes, if it passed in assembly, but that's very unlikely as of now. 

Let’s see first what is and then will discuss about how it can help 

“Uniform civil Code in India is a proposal to have a generic set of governing laws for every citizen without taking into consideration the religion. “

Currently, there are personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community. They are separate from the public law and are applied on issues like-
- Marriage
- Divorce
- Inheritance
- Adoption and Maintenance

It is during the per-Independence period that Personal laws came into existence, majorly for Hindu and Muslim citizens. But with an objective to gain and promote women's rights, equality and secularism, Uniform Civil Code was demanded in the 20th century by women activists. 
But later it is not only the case for women’s right but mostly with Muslim personal law and Hindu personal Law. Muslim Personal law still reflects the orthodox and old mind set whereas Hindu laws has been corrected and evolved. As of now there is not much significance of Hindu’s Law after passing “Hindu Code Bill” and on another note most of the people doesn’t aware if something exists like this. The reason behind this is very simple. Its keep on evolving and become so easy to implement and adopt. On the contrary “Muslim Personal Law” is still very relevant and Indian Judiciary has very less to say in those matters. See the recent Quote by SC

In October 2015, Supreme Court of India asserted the need of a Uniform Civil Code and said that, "This cannot be accepted; otherwise every religion will say it has a right to decide various issues as a matter of its personal law. We don’t agree with this at all. It has to be done through a decree of a court.

India being a secular country guarantees its minorities the right to follow their own religion, culture and customs under Article 29 and 30. So the parties who is opposing can argue that implementing a Uniform Code will hamper India's secularism.

But this is not the case if you see the larger picture here. It is not only a Hindu-Muslim debate but involves other religious minorities as well. 
The SC had earlier pointed out that discrimination in issues like marriage, divorce and inheritance may not be a good practice. It also said that there is a "total confusion" when comes to personal laws governing religious practices.

After the passing of the Hindu Code bill, the personal laws in India had two major areas of application: the common Indian citizens and the Muslim community, whose laws were kept away from any reforms. The frequent conflict between secular and religious authorities over the issue of uniform civil code eventually decreased, until the 1985 Shah Bano case. Bano was a 73-year-old woman who sought maintenance from her husband, Muhammad Ahmad Khan. You can read the full story in Wikipedia or search in Google.

Why we need UCC.

1)      It Promote Real Secularism
2)      All Indian should be treated same
3)      It will give more rights to the women(Especially Muslim Women’s)
4)      Every Modern nation has it
5)      Personal Laws are having so many loop holes
6)      It will reduce the vote bank policies
7)      It will Integrate India

As of now Goa is the only state where UCC has been implemented. I will explain in details each of the point above in different post. In Nutshell UCC can solve so many age old problems which are still an hindrance for our development and always being an advantage for some political parties.