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family_law:uniform-civil-code-religious-pluralism

Uniform Civil Code, Religious, Pluralism and its Implications

Family Law deals with laws relating to Hindu Joint family, devolution of ancestral or coparcenary property, succession to separate property of a Hindu and the Muslim law relating to gifts, wills and inheritance. In India we have a strange spectacle of personal laws. They owe their diversity to their varied origin, distinct principles and the bulk of substantive law itself. The personal laws play a vital role in governing the conflicting interest of the individuals. In India in personal matters there is no national or regional law. Personal law of a person is not determined by his domicile or his nationality but by his membership of the community to which he belongs.

The rules relating to marriage, matrimonial remedies, legitimacy of children, custody, guardianship, adoption is of immense importance as it involves the sensitive relationship between individuals in the society.

Uniform Civil Code is a proposal in India to formulate and implement personal laws of citizens which apply on all citizens equally regardless of their religion. Currently, personal laws of various communities are governed by their religious scriptures. It is an important issue regarding secularism in Indian politics and continues to remain disputed by India's political left wing, Muslim groups and other conservative religious groups and sects in defence of sharia and religious customs. Personal laws are distinguished from public law and cover marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance. Meanwhile article 25-28 of Indian constitution guarantee religious freedom to Indian citizens and allows religious groups to maintain their own affairs, article 44 of the constitution expects the Indian state to apply directive principles and common law for all Indian citizens while formulating national policies.

Uniform Civil Code Religious and pluralism

Uniform civil code means uniformity in personal laws. It will be a neutral law which doesn’t have anything to do with religion, the concept of uniform civil code originated from the concept of civil law code which includes:

  • Modernization: Some communities think that Uniform Civil Code is ban for them as it is against their religion. Nevertheless it is modernization of their religious law which will boost up their equality and will make them rich traditionally and socially.
  • Diverse culture: Country has diverse culture, tradition, religion to make them more progressive then, we need to remove discrimination on basis of religion, caste, sex. Uniform Civil Code is the modern way to treat everyone equal in every aspect.
  • Justice: This code will help in speedy justice to everyone and courts will have less burden so justice will not be delayed.
  • Abolish discrimination: People only need to understand that the Uniform Civil Code is sign to abolish discrimination amongst everyone and this code will not harmed by any religion and no one should get harm by their own religion.
  • Secularism: UCC involves secularism. UCC is both glorified as well as criticised but in today scenario implementation of UCC is must to stop the internal war of the country and to make the nation growing traditionally as well as economically.
  • Equal in laws: According to Article 14 of the Indian constitution, every single citizen is equal in the eyes of law and court. But in India, we have personal laws based on the particular religion. For example, a Muslim can marry multiple times and he will not be prosecuted but if there is any Hindu, Christian or Sikh then he will be prosecuted by the court which is against the saying of Article 14 of Indian constitution. This is not equality in real means. If we want equality then there should be the same laws related to marriage, adoption, divorce, inheritance, family, land etc. Then the exact definition of equality will be defined. In some aspects personal laws are violation of article 14 of the constitution of India.
  • Uniformity: To maintain the uniformity of laws the government must adopt the piecemeal ways.
  • Uniform principles: The word uniformity means all communities must be governed by uniform principles.
  • Awareness Camp: This will modernization and humanize all personal laws. Government should take steps towards increasing the awareness camp among public and tell them benefits of this code so, no other person can manipulate them.
  • No hurt to religious sentiments: This code must keep balance between religions, fundamental rights and not hurt sentiments of any religion.
  • Equal to every community: This code should be without biasness and in uniformity which is equal for every community.

Reason why India need uniform civil code

  1. It promotes secularism. It gives rise to secularism and everyone is treated equally. It eradicate all kind of discriminations.
  2. It gives more rights to women. It give equal rights to women. They can stand equally with men.
  3. All will be treated equally. Everyone is treated equally in the society. This help in uplifting the society and also the nation.
  4. No discrimination would be there. Eradication of all kinds of discrimination in name of religion, caste, sex. Everyone is treated equally.
  5. Personal laws have loop hole. Everyone is govern by law of land and also through laws made by constitution.
  6. Destroy the vote bank on the name of religious. There is complete halt of cheating people in name of religion and treating them as vote bank.
  7. Burden on judiciary would decrease. There is less burden on judiciary and judiciary makes an entry only when the dispute with affect the society and nation at large. Law and order situation is maintain in society as well as in the nation.
  8. It will unite India. It helps in uniting India and eradicate all kinds of hurdles in growth of nation. The nation grows at faster rate and leads to globalization.

Dispute regarding Religious and pluralism

Muslim Community

A Muslim man can keep more than one wife but not a Hindu or Christian. But of course, no woman from Muslim, Hindu or Christian can have more than one husband in our patriarchal society; A Muslim marriage can be dissolved merely on the pronounce of Triple Talaq but not a Hindu or Christian marriage.

Hindu Community

Hindus can form an undivided family (HUF) in order to manage their assets better & in the process they tend to reduce their tax liability but not a Muslim or Christian

Christian Community

A Christian woman cannot get a share in her deceased child’s property while other communities have their own set of bylaws with respect to it .

Merits of Uniform Civil Code

  • Over lapping provision of law will get avoided.
  • All people will get equal status & will be no discrimination.
  • The nation would speak together.
  • The country would emerge with new force and power.
  • Simplify Indian legal system.
  • Burden on judiciary would decrease.
  • Speedy justice.

Implication of Uniform Civil Code

  • Equal Status For All: Uniform Civil Code (UCC) will have a common civil and personal law which is equal for all irrespective of their religion, class, caste, gender etc.
  • Help in Build a new society: Almost 55% of Indian populations are below 25 years. Their social attitudes and aspirations are shaped by universal and global principles of equality, humanity, and modernity. Uniform Civil Code (UCC) will help to utilize their full potential towards nation building.
  • Support and Promote National Integration: After the formation of Uniform Civil Code (UCC), every citizen will be equal which will boost the national integrity. Then the gender, caste, creed, etc. will not be a matter.
  • Social Reform: India is a secular country and has so many personal laws which discriminate Indian citizen on the basis of gender, religion, culture, etc. and every personal law is different from other law. So after the implementation of Uniform Civil Code (UCC), India will undergo another social reform in this century and Indian citizen will also enjoy a codified personal law.
  • Gender Equality: This will be the best advantages especially for women as still after so many years of independence, they are battling and struggling for their rights. Personal laws of almost all religions are discriminatory towards women. Uniform Civil Code (UCC) will enable to abolish gender discrimination and will bring both men and women at par.

Conclusion

Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is not an easy task but not an impossible also. The UCC cannot be viewed with religious emotion and even should not link with any religion. Many of the countries around the world have their Uniform Civil Code but before implementing, healthy debate is required without any political interest. But in India, opposition parties will definitely condemn because they have to. Sometime we need to understand and think of our nation. I think if any government is working towards the right path, we should support them without any political interest. I think ‘One Nation – One Law’ will be beneficial for India.

About the Author

Tukaram Shrirang Lad of MGM Law College Nerul.


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