Uniform Civil Code: The Need of the Hour
Some recent Supreme Court’s judgments/orders relating to women empowerment, gender inequality and the vision behind our Prime Minister’s one of flagship programmes Beti Bachao Beti Padhao have once again sparked the debate on the need of adoption of Uniform Civil Code (UCC). Some of its strong advocates opine that the Uniform Civil Code, as mandated in Article 44 of the Constitution under Directive Principle of State policy, is the one and only way to unify India and cement the gap created by religion.
History of the making of the Constitution of India tells us that Dr. Ambedkar while speaking passionately in favour of the adoption of Uniform Civil Code in the Constituent Assemly debates had famously said: “I personally do not understand why religion should be given this vast, expansive jurisdiction, so as to cover the whole life and to prevent the legislature from encroaching upon the field. After all, what are we having this liberty for? We are having this liberty in order to reform our social system, which is so full of inequalities, discriminations and other things, which conflict our fundamental rights.”
However the then Government, due to the emergency like situation, in a badly scarred post-partition days, embedded the Uniform Civil Code under the Directive Principle of State Policy. It meant the UCC was to be made mandatory once the time was ripe for it. Alas our waiting is still waiting; we are now in 2019, and the Uniform Civil Code is still waiting for its time for the last seven decades. This painful Waiting suggests only one thing, of course as I take it, that we as a country, as a society have not matured enough to accept the Uniform Civil Code that envelops all religions and all communities uniformly and hence can remove, and certainly would remove all signs of religion from our marriages, succession, inheritance and divorce covering almost all aspects including Right to Equality encoded in Article 44 of the Constitution of India.
The good omen is this that almost after three decades our country has got the luxury of having a strong Government with a full majority in the Lok Sabha. And only this government can take the initiative to make the Uniform Civil Code mandatory that is certain to crush the invasion of religion into an individual’s life. UCC can be adopted, as dreamt by the author of the Constitution, without any political hiccup if only our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, show the political will, he has got plenty of it, and courage! don’t even think to mention it, to register his name as the Messiah of the Right to Equality in the history of India.