Updated: December 2, 2021 7:22:37 am
IN WHAT could be the next contentious issue to rock the political discourse, senior BJP MP Nishikant Dubey urged the central government to expedite the process to bring in a law to implement Uniform Civil Code while Opposition MPs demanded compensation for farmers who lost their lives during the protests against the farm laws as Lok Sabha took up Zero Hour on Wednesday.
Raising the issue, Dubey said Allahabad High Court had last month asked the Centre to consider setting up a panel to implement the mandate of Article 44 of the Constitution, which speaks about a Uniform Civil Code for people across the country.
“Even after 75 years of Independence, we have not been able to bring in a Uniform Civil Code. I urge the government to soon bring a law to implement a Uniform Civil Code,” the BJP MP said, adding that the move is necessary for a united India and that is the reason why the court suggested it.
The Uniform Civil Code, which would replace personal laws that govern matters such as marriage, divorce, maintenance, adoption and inheritance has always been a controversial issue as most communities have their own set of laws in these matters. It also figured as one of the promises made in the BJP manifesto ahead of the 2019 parliamentary elections.
“Article 44 of the Constitution of India lists Uniform Civil Code as one of the Directive Principles of State Policy. The BJP believes that there cannot be gender equality till such time India adopts a Uniform Civil Code, which protects the rights of all women, and the BJP reiterates its stand to draw a Uniform Civil Code, drawing upon the best traditions and harmonizing them with the modern times,” the manifesto said.
Zero Hour, Finally
REPEATED DISRUPTIONS and adjournments prevented Lok Sabha from taking up Zero Hour for the first two days of Winter Session. With the Monsoon Session also almost being a washout, many MPs could not raise matters of public importance in the House. Wednesday's Zero Hour, which came after a long gap, may have given hope of normal functioning of the House this session.
With the BJP stressing on popularising Hindi language, BJP MP Satyadev Pachauri from poll-bound Uttar Pradesh wanted the government to see to it that judgments given in Supreme Court are in Hindi, and not English. “The farmers and other common people who take their issues to the court don’t understand English, they do not understand what the lawyers say and what the judgments say. So it is imperative that the judgments are given out in Hindi and other local languages,” Pachauri said.
Opposition MPs, meanwhile, appeared to be focused on issues related to farmers and the pandemic.
Congress MP Manish Tewari raised the issue of compensation for 700 farmers who died during the protests against the farm laws, which were finally repealed by Parliament on Monday. Apart from giving Rs 5 crore compensation for families of each of those dead, the government should agree to the farmers’ demand for legal backing for the MSP, he said.
Tewari’s party colleague Manickam Tagore urged the government not to let the poor suffer due to Covid deaths in their families. “There has been a severe financial distress. The government should provide proper compensation for the families who lost their earning members. Every such family should be provided Rs 4 lakh each,” Tagore said.
BSP MP Danish Ali said most educational institutions, which were closed due to Covid restrictions, have re-opened. “Schools have opened, offices have resumed functioning but many universities where the country’s future is decided are still closed, especially major institutions like Jamia Milia, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Aligarh Muslim University etc whose students had shown light to this nation. Some students are still in jail after they had been charged with UAPA clauses,” he said.
TMC’s Pratima Mondal demanded that dentistry be made an optional subject in civil services exams as she highlighted the difficulties faced by UPSC aspirants from the field.
Congress MPs Shashi Tharoor and T N Prathapan raised the issue of non-subsidised kerosene given to Kerala through the PDS.
Their colleague from Kerala Benny Behanan sought permission for regional media for Parliament coverage. He said “a lottery system was put in place under which only 21 electronic and print media reporters were allowed to enter Parliament but it is noted that English and Hindi media journalists are getting most of the opportunity to enter Parliament”, and that regional media were not getting a chance to cover the proceedings.
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