The price of personal law

Those opposed to Uniform Civil Code should forego their vote in assembly, LS polls.

Written by M.G. Vaidya | Published:November 1, 2016 1:13 am
uniform civil code, muslim personal law board, triple talaq, congress, ucc, congress on ucc, bjp, bjp on ucc, wali rehmani, aimplb, muslim outfit, civil code, common civil code, muslim law board press conference, polygamy, triple talaq debate, women property rights, asaduddin owaisi, owaisi, india news, indian express news The state legislature and Parliament are the creations of our sovereign Constitution — Article 168 gives sanction for state legislature and Article 79 constitutes the Parliament.

I received a questionnare from the chairman of the Law Commission of India recently. The fifth question in it was: “Should the uniform civil code be optional?” In this article, I elaborate the answer I gave the Law Commission.

I said those who are against the uniform civil code (UCC), whether on the basis of religion or on grounds of deep-rooted customs of the so-called Adivasis, should be given a limited option. The limited option can’t be an absolute option, but only a qualified option. The limit, I proposed, should read like this: “Those who are opposed to a UCC may be given an option to not follow it. But in that case they will have to forego their right to vote in the elections to the state assemblies and Parliament.” The reason is simple.

Article 44 of the Constitution says that “the state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a unifom civil code throughout the territory of India”. The word “shall” is important. It connotes that it is mandatory for the state to take steps to have a UCC. Till now no government has taken even a small step in that direction. The present BJP government deserves praise that it has decided to abolish the practice of “triple talaq” prevalent in the Muslim society.

It is true that Article 44 is included in Part IV of the Constitution, which states the “Directive Principles of State Policy”. It is also mentioned that the provisions contained in this part shall not be enforceable by any court of law, but the same article — Article 37 — further states that “the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws”. As stated above, no government in the past cared for this most benevolent principle of governance, that is, to have a common civil law.

The state legislature and Parliament are the creations of our sovereign Constitution — Article 168 gives sanction for state legislature and Article 79 constitutes the Parliament. Therefore, those who do not want to be governed by Article 44 will forfeit their right to vote in the elections to the state legislature and Parliament. No one shall be allowed to have a selective attitude about the Constitution.

However, they will remain citizens of this country and, therefore, will be entitled to civic amenities. For this purpose they can contest and/or vote in the elections to the local bodies, that is, village panchayats, zilla parishads, muncipalities or corporations as the case may be.

I am of the firm opinion that common civil law, like the common criminal law, does not infringe on any religion. I am told that in the state of Goa, common civil law is prevalent and in that state even Muslims live as Muslims. Similarly, Muslims will remain Muslims in Bharat even if there is a common civil law. But if some sections of Muslims want to follow certain obsolete practices, they will have to pay a price for that. I hope, except a few political parties that follow vote-bank politics, no one will mind this limited option.

The government, instead of getting entangled in the intricacies of various modes of inheritance, should immediately introduce a bill to enact a common law of marriage and divorce. This law will solve the problem of “triple talaq” as well as address the discrimination against Christian women seeking divorce.

The writer, an RSS ideologue, is former editor, ‘Tarun Bharat’, Nagpur

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    Onkar Singh
    Nov 1, 2016 at 12:20 pm
    These RSS people want answers in yes or no format,they are to see things only in two colors: black and white; they don't know the magic and grace of the grey colour.Vaidya should look at his grey hairs.His wisdom should have been grey,not black nor white.
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      Abansal Spslt
      Nov 1, 2016 at 11:34 am
      Ban kanyadaan in UCC. Beti is not a father's personal property, she is an independent individual and cannot be given in daan.
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        Abbiya
        Nov 1, 2016 at 6:09 am
        Hindu and democracy is also uncompatiable.but we are taking about personal law. .
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          Abbiya
          Nov 1, 2016 at 4:43 am
          India is democracy country. Feku and company with chaddi gang. .no right to talking after uniform civil code. dia is mahatma hiji s nation. ..not a godse nation. ..Mr.Chaddi gang
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            Adrian
            Nov 1, 2016 at 6:39 pm
            MG Vaidya's understanding of the English language is poor. 'Shall endeavour' means 'shall try' and thus is not mandatory. His knowledge is also suspect as he say ' I am told that in Goa.... Well you were told wrong. Also you have no understanding of divorce among Christians. So easy to see RSS's lopsided views in the article.
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            1. C
              cifran
              Nov 11, 2016 at 11:30 am
              as there is no disclaimer on the opinions expressed by the author, can it be concluded that the indian express endorses the views expressed by this rss fellow?
              Reply
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                Bhaskarsingh Chauhan
                Nov 2, 2016 at 4:17 am
                I haven't read Hindu Bill Code, but I have seen sharia implementation, it even 10 percent of sharia get implemented in India Muslims like you will have to sell their computers and run for your life form the maulvis.
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                  Harshawardhan Joshi
                  Nov 1, 2016 at 2:09 pm
                  Mg vaidya is using trousers now a days. Now he wants all people opting for personal laws to forego voting rights. He is corrected at wrong end. Instead of head the trousers. Personally I support UCC. But asking tolt;br/gt;Forego voting rights is too much.
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                    elahiela.elahiela
                    Nov 1, 2016 at 8:11 am
                    Uniformed Civil Law is better option, in case all the jurisdiction of law governing body lays within the preview of social tolerance. But here by implementing the UCC, still you cannot stop the triple talaq, people who knows how to performed nikah and talaq they don't approach the courts, 2ndly those think the UCC hamper their faith...they don't go for marrying a girl not known to them from their lifes (they prefer only some one withtin the families).
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                      fazalfaizi
                      Nov 1, 2016 at 6:40 am
                      It was better to write about fake encounter and police terrorism in Bhopal
                      Reply
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                        fazalfaizi
                        Nov 1, 2016 at 6:43 am
                        What a hypocrisy and anti India step lt;br/gt;Running away from main topic of development
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                          gyan
                          Nov 1, 2016 at 2:25 pm
                          Can anyone sincerely explain, What is good for the nation if UCC is enacted or implemented?
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                            gyan
                            Nov 1, 2016 at 3:15 pm
                            well... UCC will do quite opposite to that... while equality and secularism means everyone's customs and beliefs and rituals shall be respected and prevailed, the UCC will simply slam a set of rules dictating everyone to follow the same. So its against the Consution. as simple as that
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                              hameed mohamed
                              Nov 1, 2016 at 4:01 am
                              you are well aware of articles and appreciate your concern but does any article in our consution say the govt must sleep and do not take action against people who have billions in Swiss account because strong hands are involve and govt is weaker than the big hands
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                                Kabir
                                Nov 1, 2016 at 4:33 pm
                                Okay mr vaidya, take medication on time and sleep well. You have done enough service to the nation without any output. Time to let the new generation decide what they want. Take rest.
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                                  Kabir
                                  Nov 1, 2016 at 4:35 pm
                                  Pateik first learn how to spell your name and then when you get time in this life read Hindu code bill and discussions on it. okay? :)
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                                    Kaleem
                                    Nov 1, 2016 at 5:58 pm
                                    Nonsense speak nonsense
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                                      Lakshmi Kumar
                                      Nov 1, 2016 at 6:43 am
                                      UCC n Goa ws implemntd by cong.Y r they opposing it now?All of us r indians and shud b govrnd r punished undr 1 law.Relign hs no say n ths.If evry1 follows their personl laws V r nt indians.
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                                        Aditi
                                        Nov 2, 2016 at 4:12 am
                                        What it seems is that Hindu laws will be codified as Personal laws for all religion and Hindu laws are discriminatory in nature. They are bringing reforms saying to provide equality but they are already basing those on discriminatory laws.
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                                          Aditi
                                          Nov 1, 2016 at 4:37 am
                                          We appreciate your concern about Muslims, Christian women, but what about hindu women? They also want changes in Hindu personal Laws. Hindu personal laws are also discriminatory, It was members from BJP Party who said that they can not recognise Marital rape because of so called "Indian Culture". Why is it only father's surname is used as child's surname? Let's really talk about equality among men and women. If you want to bring Uniform Civil Law, start working on single topic, and there underlying should not be Hindu personal law but equality amone men and women.
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                                            Manju
                                            Nov 1, 2016 at 2:54 am
                                            Good.. those oppose UCC can move to stan. If Muslims wants right 4 women AT A TIME and right to replace any in 3 seconds then full muslim criminal laws be implemented on them. All Muslims laws as practiced in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan be implemented. Posts for public flogging and limb chooping be set up in every city and after zuma namaz, full islamic laws be implemented. Muslims have made Islam in india a PLAY BOY CLUB AND CALL THEM MUSLIM PERSONAL LAW.
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