Uniform Civil Code - An Overview
What we need is not a Uniform Civil Code but the uniformity of rights across different religions.
STATUS OF UNIFORM CIVIL CODE IN INDIA
The question of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India has attracted the educated class in India ever since the Constitution of India was brought into operation. Article 44 in part IV of the Indian Constitution states: ‘the state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the country the territory of India’. Part IV of the Indian Constitution, though very important in nature, constitutes the non-justiciable part of the Indian Constitution.
This had to be done in view of the opposition in the assembly debates on the idea of UCC, mainly by the member of the Muslim community who subscribed to the view that the Islamic law was immutable because, the authoritarian, divine and absolute concept of law in Islamic does not allow change in legal concept and institution.
Religion in India has constantly played a main impetus towards building the laws of the community. Truth be told, in the early ages, religion, and laws, at any rate in India were thought to be one and a similar thing. This was mainly because people have an inborn dread of the uncertainty inside them and it was this dread just that rules and regulations were authorized by rulers and leaders who thusly should be God-send.
If we look back in time, we can see that throughout the years, running from Hindu rulers like Chandragupta Maurya to Buddhist rulers or the Muslim rulers of the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughals, whoever had attacked any land in the country, had endeavoured to influence rules and regulations to drive their personal religious convictions to forward. In this way, various religious sects emerged in India followed by steady wars for religious strength and defense of one’s religion.
HISTORY OF UNIFORM CIVIL CODE
Generally, the primary action made towards binding all the religious sects together under one law was made by the British rulers when they attempted to frame a UCC pertinent to everyone, which was again gone while making the Constitution. In any case, when the time came for India in general to enact its personal laws relating to marriage, inheritance, etc. the leaders were puzzled by the sheer number of diversities and thus arrived at a conclusion to make isolated laws for most sects in regard to personal laws, to mollify them.
The purpose of the creators, however, was to expel these distinctions over the consequent years which can be understood from Article 44 of the Indian Constitution where the State is coordinated to go for framing a UCC when they think fit and to annul such different types of personal laws.
Throughout the years, the country has advanced and so have the mindsets of the people. Laws have turned out to be not the same as religion. Laws, for example, criminal laws, property laws, and IPRs have picked up uniformity and are appropriate to the entire of India. Nonetheless, personal laws don’t discover such uniformity. The Preamble of the Indian Constitution contains “secular” in it yet the whole reason for such a word is lost wherein the personal laws of the country are isolating the people on the premise of religion.
However, is the whole of India ready to employ the concept of UCC like the state of Goa? The present government had made a huge hue and cry with the way that they needed to abolish certain patterns in the Islamic personal laws in the country, such as Triple Talaq. At the same time, we should simply take an interruption there and consider it. Why concentrate on a specific sect of the country? Certainly, these are negatives that ought to be expelled from society, but does it really imply that the Islamic community should confront a change because of it?
UNIFORM CIVIL CODE OR UNIFORMITY OF RIGHTS
It is an erroneous perception that our country has different personal laws because of religious diversity. As a matter of fact, the law differs from state to state. It appears that the framers of the Constitution did not intend total uniformity in the sense of one law for the whole country because the power to legislate in respect of personal laws has been given to both Parliament as well as state assemblies. Thus, personal laws can differ within the states and the Union. What we need is not a Uniform Civil Code but the uniformity of rights across different religions.
For this, we need to follow the premise, of “Reform from Within” in the same way Hindu law was reformed, Christian Law was reformed, and Muslim law has been reformed without invoking any major political controversy. The present controversy is entirely unwarranted and best avoided.
It isn’t the right time to introduce the UCC in the country’s political situation, on the grounds that the code which will be drafted will be heavily influenced by the Hindu personal Laws which can be derived from seeing the patterns of the approaches presented by the present government and subsequently, the entire rationale of building up a UCC will be lost until the end of time.