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Uniform Civil Code: A Weapon Of Secularism

The civil code refers to a set of laws that govern personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption. These laws are the same for every citizen of the country, irrespective of their religion, caste, or creed. In India, personal laws for different religions are recognised and enforced, which often creates discrepancies and conflict.

The demand for UCC has been a topic of discussion for a long time, and its implementation is seen as a step towards secularism and gender equality. India is a diverse country with multiple religions and cultures, and the existence of different personal laws can sometimes lead to discrimination and inequality. The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) aims to provide a common set of laws that are applicable to all citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs.

By implementing a UCC , India can ensure equal rights and opportunities for all individuals, irrespective of their religious background, promoting a more inclusive and fair society. Ultimately, embracing a UCC would help strengthen the principles of secularism and gender equality in the country.

Understanding Secularism

The term secular was added by the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 to the Indian Constitution. The Supreme Court also made comments about having a secular word in the Indian Constitution. Now, when we talk about the word secular, we need to understand the meaning of the term. The literary meaning of the word secular is that which is different from religious or spiritual matters. If something is secular, it is not attached to religious or spiritual matters, for example, the secular laws, or we can say the uniform civil codes.

When we see the meaning of the term secular from the perspective of the Indian Constitution, citizens have complete freedom to follow and practise any religion that they want as per their beliefs. The state of India does not have an official religion.

Now the question is how the UCC has a parallel and rational behaviour with secularism. To understand that behaviour, we need to understand the meaning of both terms. From the above paragraph, we can conclude that the meaning of secular is not to follow the religion but to follow the secular law, and that is the point that ucc is also making.

The UCC is nothing but a secular law that does not appreciate any religion or break the provisions of any religion. What the secularists are saying is that they want to cover the people with equal beliefs and equal laws. The UCC is a set of laws to govern all family matters under a single provision of law, which directly supports secularism. A state has a single set of rules for the people of all religions, not just one religion.

This shows The Uniform Civil Code promotes secularism by treating all religions equally. In the constituent assembly, the constitution makers also expressed their views on the relationship between UCC and secularism. K.M. Munshi expressed his views, stating that even in the absence of Article 35, it would be lawful for Parliament to enact a uniform civil code since the article guaranteeing religious freedom gave the state power to regulate secular activities associated with religion.

In some Muslim countries, for example, Turkey and Egypt, the personal laws of religious minorities are not protected. Moreover, certain communities among Muslims, for example, the Khojas and Memons, did not want to follow the Shariat, but they were made to do so under the Shariat Act, 1937. European countries had uniform laws that applied even to minorities.

Religion should be divorced from personal law. The Hindu Code Bill did not conform in its provisions to the precepts of Manu and Yajnavalkya. In essence, personal laws discriminated between people on the basis of sex, which was not permitted by the Constitution.

Linking Uniform Civil Code And Secularism

The basic concept of secularism is to ensure equal treatment for all citizens, regardless of their religions. We can say that the concept is that one group cannot be more privileged than another. When we move to the constitution, it provides strength for the people to follow and practise their religion and to be treated equally before the law.

Secularism does not challenge the main idea of any relationship or religious matter in any particular religion. So we can say that secularism is a tool to provide equality to citizens. The idea of UCC is parallel to the principles of secularism and the values provided in the Indian Constitution.

It promotes the idea of equal treatment under the law, regardless of religious background. The implementation of UCC will help keep everyone in the state on the same level or on the same page. Article 14 of the Indian Constitution promotes the right to equality, whereas on the other side, UCC promotes equality in personal laws.

So when we talk about equality losses, equality must be in all subjects. Article 15 of the Indian Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, and you say to promote equality among all the religions . This shows the parallelism between the UC and secularism. When we talk about the right to freedom of religion with the concept of UCC, we come to know that it has a big effect on promoting the right to freedom of religion.

Article 25 of the Indian Constitution lays down freedom of conscience and the free profession, practise, and propagation of religion. In simple ways, everyone is free to deal with the matter of religion and what the UCC It lays down that the laws to deal with personal matters will be one for all, but all are free to enjoy the ceremonies as per their religious beliefs, and they are not bound to give any religious ceremonies.

While Article 26 of the Indian Constitution exactly lays down the same thing as freedom to manage religious affairs" . Article 25(2) of the Indian Constitution also lays down that "nothing in this article cell affects the operation of any existing law or prevents the state from making any law". It directly lays out the promotion of secularism, which is favourable and beneficial for the people of India.

Potential Benefits Of A Uniform Civil Code

The Uniform Civil Code is the most burning issue nowadays. The idea behind UCC is to make the nation secular and consistent in every religion's rights and laws, which we also refer to as "Ik Desh Ik Kannon ." The UCC is always a weapon for secularism, which can stop the disparcenaries and conflict between different religions on terms of superiority. If there is only one prevailing personal law in a country, then it would promote equality and eliminate discrimination based on religion.

It would also simplify legal processes and ensure a fair and uniform application of laws for all citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs. Additionally, a uniform civil code can help promote gender equality by addressing discriminatory practises prevalent in personal laws.

The main advantages of the UCC are equality and secularism, which is one of the core principles of the Indian Constitution. It comes under the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. Till now, we only have it in the constitution; we don't have secularism in the real sense or on the ground level. UCC is the only way to strengthen secularism and democracy.

The implementation of the UCC will ensure that the state does not discriminate among different religions and enforces a uniform set of laws for all citizens. No person or religious community may feel superior to another when one personal law is the dominant one in the nation. Similarly, if there is uniformity in the country's commercial, criminal, and civil laws, why not in its personal laws? The personal law of the nation needs to be unified. There should be one law in the entire country, i.e., Bharat. The UCC also seeks to promote women's or gender justice.

Personal laws of different religions often discriminate against women, depriving them of their rights and freedom. As we see in Muslim religion, there is a custom that one male person can marry four females and can also be married to a prohibited relationship, which is defined in Hindu law, which can deprive women of their human rights.

For example, a Muslim woman is not allowed to divorce her husband without his consent. While men have the right to divorce their wives by simply pronouncing the word talaq three times.

The implementation of the UCC gives them equal rights and opportunities under the law. Another advantage of UCC is that it helps reduce the conflict and disputes that arise due to different personal laws. With a uniform set of laws, people of different religions will not have any reason to fight for their rights and will not feel discriminated against. This will create a sense of unity and solidarity among different communities.

Critiques And Challenges Of The Uniform Civil Code

The implementation of UCC is not easy and is likely to face severe challenges. The first challenge is the opposition of so-called religious leaders and commoners who are not willing to give up their personal lives. The personal laws of different religions have been in existence for centuries and are an integral part of their cultural and religious beliefs.

The implementation of the UCC may be seen as an attack on this religion and culture, which can lead to protests and resistance against the gout and the Act. Additionally, the diversity of India's population poses a significant challenge to the implementation of UCC.

There are numerous religious and ethnic communities in India, and each one has its own unique traditions and customs. Those who worry about losing their distinct identity and heritage may be resistant to unifying these disparate practises under a single code. To address these issues and ensure a smooth transition to a uniform civil code, careful thought and open discussion will be required.

The other challenge is to change the mindset of people. People of all religions have their own customs, ceremonies, and laws to perform marriage, inheritance, divorce, etc. By just uniformizing the personal laws of all religions, we harm their sentimental value. All these customs, ceremonies, and laws are not new; they have been used by people of different religions for a long time. Changing the mindset of people of different religions is not an easy task.

It requires a comprehensive and inclusive approach that respects the diversity of beliefs and values. Programmes that promote understanding and acceptance between people of different religions can be extremely effective. Additionally, dialogue between communities and religious leaders can help close gaps and encourage a more peaceful coexistence. The other challenge is the lack of political will.

The implementation of UCC requires political will and determination, which may not be present among politicians. The issue of UCC is often seen as a sensitive political issue. and political parties may not want to take a stance that may alienate the Perticulas community. It is crucial to understand that the implementation of UCC is about ensuring justice and equality for all citizens, not just appeasing one particular community.

Politicians can show true leadership by prioritising the rights and well-being of every person, regardless of their religious background, and by fostering a society that upholds secular values while respecting various religious beliefs. Open discussions, stakeholder consultations, and a dedication to inclusive decision-making processes can help achieve this.

Case Studies Of Uniform Civil Code Implementation

In the case of Sarla Mudgal versus the Union of India, a Hindu man converts his religion to Islam for a second marriage. Now the question arises as to whether the second marriage is valid or not without the dissolution of the first marriage. This case highlights the need for a uniform civil code to address such conflicts between personal laws of different religions. Implementing a uniform civil code can provide clarity and consistency in matters of personal law, ensuring equal rights and justice for all citizens regardless of their religious background.

In the case of Shayara Bano versus the Union of India, the court decided to unconstitutionalize the tripal talak and directed the legislature to take measures against it in order to stop the abuse of women. The court's decision in the Shayara Bano case highlights the urgent need for a uniform civil code.

By declaring triple talaq unconstitutional and urging legislative action, the court recognised the importance of protecting women's rights and ending discriminatory practises based on religious laws. Implementing a uniform civil code would be a significant step towards ensuring gender equality and upholding fundamental rights for all citizens. The court concluded with the statement that the constitution requires states to implement UCC in India.

In the case of Mohd. Ahmed Khan versus Shah Bano Begum, Mohd. Ahmed Khan threw his wife, 62-year-old Shah Bano Begum, out. On this, Shah Bano filed a petition against Mohd. Ahmed Khan under Section 125 CrPC, asking for monthly maintenance of Rs. 500 from her husband. But in this other aspect coming out, under Islamic law, Mohd. Ahmefd Khan is only entitled to pay a lump sum of Rs. 5400.

The court examined the conflict between the provisions of Section 125 CrPC and Islamic law. They acknowledged that while Islamic law allows for a lump sum payment, the constitution mandates the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India. Therefore, the court ruled in favour of Shah Bano, stating that she is entitled to monthly maintenance as per Section 125 CrPC.

Future Perspectives On Uniform Civil Code

The future perspective of UCC is that it will be used or work as a weapon to provide a quality fraternity. Liberty and Unity for a nation it will provide the equality to the women of the nation after implementing this there will be no any anti women laws which made women as a deprived section of society it will create the sense of equality among the man and woman among the cast Creed religion.

And on many grounds this situation situation of a quality lead to the fraternity and all the section of society no one will feel as deprived or different from the society all will be treated equal on the basis of law only which is the main concept of or the notion of secularism in India this law the Uniform Civil Code will provide a liberty to the women of our society to get their property right and other family right there will be liberal to fight for they are rights the man and woman all will be get married after attaining certain age after this law they will not get married forcefully in there lower ages this this will provide away for the development women will be free to work for there personal development.

The Uniform Civil Code will create a sense of unity in society as it will provide a situation where no religion will be an obstacle to equality and a sense of brotherhood. This notion will create a sense of nationalism in society. The implementation of the Uniform Civil Code will also ensure that all citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs, are treated equally under the law.

This will promote a more inclusive and harmonious society, fostering mutual respect and understanding among different religious communities. Additionally, it will eliminate any discriminatory practises that may exist within personal laws based on religion, further strengthening the principles of justice and fairness in our legal system.

The implementation of Uniform Civil Code is a very essential task for the rational development of Indian subcontinent speaking and understand it is the integral part to promote secularism and gender equality even.

The Unity in the nation we saw it is an integral part of Indian Constitution which has been defined in article 44 of Indian Constitution it's implementation will promote uniformity in the personal law which bring several changes and provide a better way to deal with the differences and divisions in the society how about the implementation of UCC is not an easy task we saw the several reasons that comes in the way of ucc and its implementation.

We are facing the several challenges like the wrong implementation of UGC by the religious leaders and their opposition also then we saw lack of political way for the implementation of ucc is also a big challenge the topic is not to challenge the personal law but is to bring the integrity of nation for which the implementation of Uniform Civil Code is an integral step for a nation. We also get the different aspects of UCC from the constituent assembly debate the idea of KM Munshi and Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar how they interpreted Uniform Civil Code is better for a Nation.

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