Introduction to the Uniform Civil Code
“Uniform Civil Code” (UCC) is a proposition, meant to supplant different ‘personal laws’ that are being practised in our nation, in light of the sacred texts, customs, and traditions of each real religious community, with an arrangement of common laws that would administer each resident.
Uniform civil code is the ongoing point of debate inside Indian mandate to supplant personal laws dependent on the sacred writings, customs, and traditions of each real religious network in India with a common arrangement of rules administering each citizen.
The Indian Constitution Mentions Uniform Civil Code in Article 44. It goes under the Directive Principles of State Policy.
Article 44 states that “The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.” The fundamental reason for this Code is to address the oppression against vulnerable groups and orchestrate diverse cultural and social practices.
Personal laws are recognized from public law and cover marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance. Goa has a typical and common family law, in this way being the only Indian state to have a uniform civil code. The Special Marriage Act, 1954 allows any citizen to have a civil marriage outside the domain of a particular religious personal law. Personal laws were first confined amid the British Raj, for the most part for Hindu and Muslim nationals. The British dreaded opposition from community leaders and ceased from further meddling inside this local circle.
The interest for a uniform civil code was first advanced by women activists at the start of the twentieth century, with the goal of women’s rights, equality, and secularism. Till Independence in 1947, a couple of law reforms were passed to enhance the state of ladies, particularly Hindu dowagers. In 1956, the Indian Parliament passed the Hindu Code Bill in the midst of huge opposition. In spite of the fact that interest for a uniform civil code was made by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, his supporters and women’s activists, they needed to at last acknowledge the tradeoff of it being added to the Directive Principles on account of substantial resistance.
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Benefits under Uniform Civil Code
Equal status to all citizens
In the advanced time, a secular democratic republic ought to have a common civil and individual laws for its nationals independent of their religion, class, position, sex and so on.
To advance gender parity
It is generally seen that personal laws of all religions are prejudicial towards ladies. Men are normally conceded upper special status in issues of succession and inheritance. Uniform civil code will bring both men and women at par.
To oblige the desires and aspirations of the young populace
A contemporary India is an absolutely new society with 55% of its populace is underneath 25 years old. Their social states of mind and yearnings are formed by all-inclusive and worldwide standards of equality, humanity, and modernity. Their perspective of shedding identity-based on any religion must be given a genuine thought in order to use their maximum capacity towards the country building.
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To help national integration
Every Indian national is as of now equal before the law as the criminal laws and other civil laws (with the exception of personal laws) are the same for all. With the usage of Uniform Civil Code, all resident will have a similar arrangement of personal laws. There will be no extent of politicization of issues of the segregation or concessions or special benefits appreciated by a specific community based on their specific religious personal laws.
To sidestep the petulant issue of reform of existing personal laws
Existing personal laws are chiefly founded on the privileged patriarchal ideas of the general public in all religions. The interest of UCC is typically made by wronged women as a substitute for existing personal laws as patriarchal and orthodox individuals still consider the reforms in personal laws will crush their holiness and sanctity and oppose it abundantly.
Hassles under Uniform Civil Code
Practical challenges because of diversity in India
It is for all intents and purposes difficult to concoct a common and uniform arrangement of rules for personal issues like marriage because of the huge cultural diversity of India over the religions, groups, castes, states and so forth.
View of UCC as an infringement on religious freedom
Numerous people groups, especially minority networks see Uniform Civil Code as an infringement on their rights to religious freedom. They expect that a common code will disregard their customs and force rules which will be primarily managed, dictated, and impacted by the majority of religious communities.
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Obstruction of state in personal issues
The constitution accommodates one’s right to freedom of religion. With the codification of uniform principles and rules and its compulsion, the extent of the freedom of religion will be decreased.
A sensitive and difficult task
Such a code, in its true soul, must be realized by acquiring unreservedly from various personal laws, rolling out steady improvements in every, issuing legal declarations guaranteeing gender equality, and embracing sweeping understandings on marriage, maintenance, adoption, and succession by recognizing the advantages that one community anchors from the others. This undertaking will be very demanding, time and human resource-wise. The government ought to be sensitive and unprejudiced at each progression while managing the majority and minority issues. Else, it may end up being more catastrophic taking the form of communal violence.
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Time isn’t yet reasonable for this change
Considering a noteworthy resistance from Muslim groups in India over this issue covering with contentions over beef, saffronization of school and school educational programs, love jihad, and the silence exuding from the top leadership on these contentions, there is a need for adequate time for imparting trust in the community. Else, these endeavors towards common will be counterproductive leaving minority class especially Muslims shakier and helpless to get pulled in towards fundamentalist and fanatic belief systems.
By the day’s end, a UCC can only rise through a transformative procedure, which safeguards India’s rich legal heritage, of which all the personal laws are equivalent constituents. The codification and usage of UCC may not really introduce the normal uniformity among genders and religions. Significant sensitization endeavours are expected to change current personal law reforms which should initially be started by the communities themselves.
Current foundations should be modernized, democratized and reinforced for this change. Earnest endeavours towards women empowerment must be taken for women of all religions
The plural democratic system is an identity of the cutting edge India. In this manner, endeavours ought to be centred around harmony in plurality than cover uniformity for prospering Indian democracy.
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