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Issue Debate #21 Uniform Civil Code : Essential for Secularism?

edited November 2015 in Issue Debates
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Is a uniform civil code essential for secularism? In the light of the given statement discuss the need for a uniform civil code and the arguments against it.



Reading List :-
1. http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/uniform-civil-code-will-it-work-in-india/article6625409.ece
2. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/secularism-begins-with-uniform-civil-code-romila-thapar/article7806714.ece




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Comments

  • different personal laws for differnet religions was a part of british law as they didnot want to interfere with the religion.after independence the newly formed govt followed the same yet kept the need for uniform civil code under dpsp .
    secularism in india refers to non interefence of state with religious affairs and equal respect to all religions but it has led to following consequences.
    1.violation of art 14: the lack of equal treatment for all individuals before law when it comes to personal issues like property,marriage ,etc.
    2.divise feeling:as different religions are having different laws ,the feeling of diviseness is increasing among different religious groups.
    3.patriarchial nature:many personal laws are patriarchial in nature.it promotes gender inequality.eg:in some religions polygamy is allowed which is inturn leading to exploitation of women.
    4.politicisation of religion:this differences is utilised by many politicians to attract the vote bank
    5.interreligious marriage:no personal laws allows interreligious marriage .thus we could find increasing incidents of violences with respect to these marriages as there is no legal protection for them.
    6.promotion of communalism:the feeling that each religion is different and the intersts of one religion cant be the same for another is getting promoted with these personal laws inturn leading to communalism.
    all these problems pose a huge challenge to the secular nature of our country.thus ucc which integrates all personal laws into one can help in facing these challenges.

    but the even ucc has some problems
    1.mere law change cannot bring differences in the society.eg:Hindu inheritance act.it has brought no significant change in the property held by women
    2.homogenisation of laws may lead to imposing majority view on minorities.
    3.may inturn lead to hurting the religious feelings of many individuals thus inciting violences and hatred towards the govt.



  • different personal laws for differnet religions was a part of british law as they didnot want to interfere with the religion.after independence the newly formed govt followed the same yet kept the need for uniform civil code under dpsp .
    secularism in india refers to non interefence of state with religious affairs and equal respect to all religions but it has led to following consequences.
    1.violation of art 14: the lack of equal treatment for all individuals before law when it comes to personal issues like property,marriage ,etc.
    2.divise feeling:as different religions are having different laws ,the feeling of diviseness is increasing among different religious groups.
    3.patriarchial nature:many personal laws are patriarchial in nature.it promotes gender inequality.eg:in some religions polygamy is allowed which is inturn leading to exploitation of women.
    4.politicisation of religion:this differences is utilised by many politicians to attract the vote bank
    5.interreligious marriage:no personal laws allows interreligious marriage .thus we could find increasing incidents of violences with respect to these marriages as there is no legal protection for them.
    6.promotion of communalism:the feeling that each religion is different and the intersts of one religion cant be the same for another is getting promoted with these personal laws inturn leading to communalism.
    all these problems pose a huge challenge to the secular nature of our country.thus ucc which integrates all personal laws into one can help in facing these challenges.

    but the even ucc has some problems
    1.mere law change cannot bring differences in the society.eg:Hindu inheritance act.it has brought no significant change in the property held by women
    2.homogenisation of laws may lead to imposing majority view on minorities.
    3.may inturn lead to hurting the religious feelings of many individuals thus inciting violences and hatred towards the govt.



    This would be a good answer - just stating what it is.

    @rashmi123 One thing you could do is add a one line conclusion to it, so that it doesn't end abruptly.
    *No good deed goes unpunished* | I am no knight, do not call me Sir | I write articles for Civil Services Aspirants, you can find them at http://blog.forumias.com/author/neyawn |
  • Article 44 of the constitution directs government to strive towards implementation of uniform civil code. Various judgements of the supreme court have also directed the centre for enforcing uniform civil code across the country to eliminate the disparity due to various personal laws and stop its misuage.Prominent judgements being Shah Bano and Sarla Mudgal's cases.Even recently hearing on a petition for delay in granting divorces for Christian couples due to personal laws the apex court has asked the centre on its stand in bringing UCC.

    There are opposing voices on whether UCC is necessary for improving the secular fabric of a country or not.

    Those who support UCC often argue that the current system unduly favours few communities and its not true secularism but is rather pseudo secularism or minority appeasement.Many say that women are being discriminated against in the personal laws especially in issues related to divorce, marriage and inheritance.Examples being muslim personal law allows a muslim to marry 4 women, where as others dont.Divorce under Shariat law and compensation awarded to such women are discriminatory and site other fundamental rights under Article 14, 19,21 etc.

    But those who oppose UCC , contest that it is unnecessary infringement on their religious and cultural rights and violate their fundmental rights .Many site that there are laws like special marriage act and Hindu succession act etc which are there for those who want uniform code and separate UCC is not needed.They also contest that the Mohammaden (Shariat ) law isnt imposed on every one and only those who voluntarily opt for it.They also contest that there are various forms of marriages and norms across the country and its wrong to impose one particular view on them. Also they are worried about the very definition of UCC and its still not clear what UCC would actually cover.

    Whether UCC is applied or not, there should be an informed debate on the same before any decision is taken on the same.Currently only Goa is having a UCC , which is being continued from portugese.Also Islamic countries like Tunisia has restricted polygamy, so such acts in those countries need to be studied first to find out what is religious and what is not.Both religious
  • Article 44 of the constitution directs government to strive towards implementation of uniform civil code. Various judgements of the supreme court have also directed the centre for enforcing uniform civil code across the country to eliminate the disparity due to various personal laws and stop its misusage.Prominent judgements being Shah Bano and Sarla Mudgal's cases.Even recently hearing on a petition for delay in granting divorces for Christian couples due to personal laws the apex court has asked the centre on its stand in bringing UCC.

    There are both supporting and opposing voices on whether UCC is necessary for improving the secular fabric of a country or not.

    Those who support UCC often argue that the current system unduly favours few communities and its not true secularism but is rather pseudo secularism or minority appeasement.Many say that women are being discriminated against in the personal laws especially in issues related to divorce, marriage and inheritance.Examples being muslim personal law allows a muslim to marry 4 women, where as others dont.Divorce under Shariat law and compensation awarded to such women are discriminatory and site other fundamental rights under Article 14, 19,21 etc being violated.

    But those who oppose UCC , contest that it is unnecessary infringement on their religious and cultural rights and violate their fundmental rights .Many site that there are laws like special marriage act and Hindu succession act etc which are there for those who want uniform code and separate UCC is not needed.They also contest that the Mohammaden (Shariat ) law isnt imposed on every one and only those who voluntarily opt for it.They also contest that there are various forms of marriages and norms across the country and its wrong to impose one particular view on them. Also they are worried about the very definition of UCC and its still not clear what UCC would actually cover.

    Whether UCC is applied or not, there should be an informed debate on the same before any decision is taken on the same.Currently only Goa is having a UCC , which is being continued from portugese.Also Islamic countries like Tunisia has restricted polygamy, so such acts in those countries need to be studied first to find out what is religious and what is not.Both religious and cultural rights as well as fundamental rights are important but there should be balance between the both after consensus and informed discussion or else there is a possibility of alienating the minority communities in the country and they may say it as majoritariansim.
  • Secularism which is one of the facets of our 'preamble' is inextricably linked with guideline of uniform civil code enshrined in the ' Directive principal of state policy' of our constitution. If one is the value, another is the way to achieve it.

    UCC implies the uniformity of laws and customs that are very personal to the civilians. Religions in India are isolated and segregated having distinct set of rigid practices, rules and conduct. UCC attempts to stremline it. It will also strengthen the concept of secularism in India.

    Why we need UCC?
    India is a cosmopolitan polity. There are great varieties of religion , faiths and customs. To smoothen the administration there is need to streamline these variations. The roots of intolerance and caste rigidness owe their origin from these social diffractions. Sometimes these social repulsions convert into social malaise like communalism.
    The remedy lies with streamlining these social irregularities and inhibiting social cohesion by evolving certain personal codified laws and conduct concerning the basic behavior of an individual as an entity of society not of religion.

    How it brings secularism?

    Secularism stands for non religion identity of an individual. UCC attempts to achieve this by enfeebling the religion and caste rigidness, rationalizing and galvanizing civilians personal conduct and rules like marriages, ceremonies and divorce, thinning religious penetration and fundamentalism and bring uniformity in the social identity.

    Present scenario

    Surging intolerance, religious fundamentalism and erroneous social practices bring UCC at the focus. Subsequent judicial pronouncements and tilting of incumbent government towards UCC catalysise its efficacy and implementation.

    Before implementing UCC there should be holistic and pragmatic groundwork to make it suitable and adaptive in our country. It should encompass and accommodate all the concerns of social entities basically the religious and linguistic minorities. It should not be imposed but make acceptable to the wide horizons of the country. Deliberation, discussion and consensus with involvement of civil society can bring this parity. Cross cultural and national studies can also be done to enrich the concept of UCC.
  • @all plz review


    Is uniform civil code essential for secularism.

    - No, uniform civil code is not essential for secularism

    The reasons are as follows:
    - Secularism means treating all communities alike, it also means State does not have any religion and further, State will try to stay away from religious sphere as much as possible and only interfere when public interest is at stake.

    Now against these qualities of a secular state, uniform civil code can do the following:
    - appear to involve itself in religious sphere of communities
    - appear to put one religions views on others

    Further, with respect to treating all communities alike, it can be said that reforms in specific laws which are consistent with our constitutional values of gender justice and basic human rights can be carried out. In this way equal treatment and protection of all communities can be ensured as well as their diversities can be respected. Further, once all communities have attained the basic minimal commonalities, then uniform ivil code can evolve on its own.

    Thus, a uniform civil code forced from top will seem to violate secularism more than promote it. Let it naturally evolve after reforming the personal laws of communities.
  • @all plz review


    Is uniform civil code essential for secularism.

    - No, uniform civil code is not essential for secularism

    The reasons are as follows:
    - Secularism means treating all communities alike, it also means State does not have any religion and further, State will try to stay away from religious sphere as much as possible and only interfere when public interest is at stake.

    Now against these qualities of a secular state, uniform civil code can do the following:
    - appear to involve itself in religious sphere of communities
    - appear to put one religions views on others

    Further, with respect to treating all communities alike, it can be said that reforms in specific laws which are consistent with our constitutional values of gender justice and basic human rights can be carried out. In this way equal treatment and protection of all communities can be ensured as well as their diversities can be respected. Further, once all communities have attained the basic minimal commonalities, then uniform ivil code can evolve on its own.

    Thus, a uniform civil code forced from top will seem to violate secularism more than promote it. Let it naturally evolve after reforming the personal laws of communities.
    I think it is a balanced conclusion. let the UCC evolve by the society which it wants than the forceful implementation/ forced compilation/merger of the diversity. However@trying_tobawesm - secularism application in Indian context adds another angle of intervening in religion in case of social welfare and reform and hence stating that point before mentioning of specific laws making solutions adds more relevancy to Indian scenario.
  • @naari888 thanks for review

    However@trying_tobawesm - secularism application in Indian context adds another angle of intervening in religion in case of social welfare and reform and hence stating that point before mentioning of specific laws making solutions adds more relevancy to Indian scenario.


    please elaborate on this part,,,and if u cud also provide an example,, to make things more intelligible,,,thanks
  • In recent times, the mulling over the issue of implementation of UCC has risen , from it being called as the only messiah that can make the country more integrated to it being called as extremelly , particularly, for bringing secularism.
    Though , there are large no advantages , if it could be implemented such as , firstly, It would lead to the integration of the country , thus lessening the differences among different religion and communitoes
    Secondly, it can play a phenomenonal role in taking women out of their plightful situation and thus integrating them with par to the man .
    Thirdly, it would help in generating the feeling of nationalism as all people would be treated equally irrespective of their dfferent laws in matters of marriage, divorce.
    fourthly it would help in reducing the animosity , which sometimes develop, when people are treated in a bias manner.
    Thus, definitely , UCC is extremely necessary for sustaing secularism which , from centuries, has remain an inherent feature of indian society .Moreover it would also help State to work more efficiently for the welfare of people because of the lucid laws
  • In recent times, the mulling over the issue of implementation of UCC has risen , from it being called as the only messiah that can make the country more integrated to it being called as extremelly , particularly, for bringing secularism.
    Though , there are large no advantages , if it could be implemented such as , firstly, It would lead to the integration of the country , thus lessening the differences among different religion and communitoes
    Secondly, it can play a phenomenonal role in taking women out of their plightful situation and thus integrating them with par to the man .
    Thirdly, it would help in generating the feeling of nationalism as all people would be treated equally irrespective of their dfferent laws in matters of marriage, divorce.
    fourthly it would help in reducing the animosity , which sometimes develop, when people are treated in a bias manner.
    Thus, definitely , UCC is extremely necessary for sustaing secularism which , from centuries, has remain an inherent feature of indian society .Moreover it would also help State to work more efficiently for the welfare of people because of the lucid laws
    It is naive putting so much onus on the UCC (secularism, integration,communalism,women emancipation). Further, it is stretching the limits of credulity by believing that an authoritarian and majoritarian exercise like a UCC would lead to integration and equality. We all know which party clamours for UCC all the time.

    The concept of a UCC is a product of the west, which evolved in relatively homogenous, smaller societies. There is no need for India to copy western democracy in all aspects. As someone pointed out above, the better way would be to help various communities reform their laws themselves. India will become more integrated not by how people marry, separate or inherit, but how various communities are provided equal opportunities to progress and to participate in the national life.
  • @all plz review


    Is uniform civil code essential for secularism.

    - No, uniform civil code is not essential for secularism

    The reasons are as follows:
    - Secularism means treating all communities alike, it also means State does not have any religion and further, State will try to stay away from religious sphere as much as possible and only interfere when public interest is at stake.

    Now against these qualities of a secular state, uniform civil code can do the following:
    - appear to involve itself in religious sphere of communities
    - appear to put one religions views on others

    Further, with respect to treating all communities alike, it can be said that reforms in specific laws which are consistent with our constitutional values of gender justice and basic human rights can be carried out. In this way equal treatment and protection of all communities can be ensured as well as their diversities can be respected. Further, once all communities have attained the basic minimal commonalities, then uniform ivil code can evolve on its own.

    Thus, a uniform civil code forced from top will seem to violate secularism more than promote it. Let it naturally evolve after reforming the personal laws of communities.
    You're right on target, though this line of thinking will not please many with an authoritarian bent of mind.
  • UCC can be essential for India but it needs time to set a platform and prepare people for this..... India is a very diverse country. Lets not speak about different religions but in a single religion we have lots of differences for example people of deccan and people of northern side may have same religion but their rituals and culture is very different..

    To bring UCC we need to study about and bring all goods of all religions rather imposing only one kind of law, because this will satisfy all communities and will also favour the depressed gender...

    Before all this we have to create an environment of acceptance and respect and here comes the role of media and civil society.....

    It is a long journey, we can achieve it but need patience and hard work....

    Thank You...
  • agree, @Hope_for_DAWN society should not be forced to accept any law; but law implementer should also device democratic route to get it implemented. Promote quality education and scientific temperament among citizen - after few decades we may feel acceptance of UCC. Right now time is ripe for debate & discussion - not to get it implemented.
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