1. Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

Diverse civil code The proposed Uniform Civil Code may look like an attractive proposition. But it is not quite desirable in the Indian context. This is because it will “paint all people in one colour” and tamper with India’s diversity and pluralism which are its subtle strengths and not its brittle weaknesses. The Constitution provides […]

Published: October 15, 2016 6:25 AM

Diverse civil code

The proposed Uniform Civil Code may look like an attractive proposition. But it is not quite desirable in the Indian context. This is because it will “paint all people in one colour” and tamper with India’s diversity and pluralism which are its subtle strengths and not its brittle weaknesses. The Constitution provides for space for religious communities to live their lives in accordance with the personal laws made on the basis of their religious texts and tenets. The All India Muslim Personal Law board (AIMPLB) and Muslim clerics and theologians are fully justified in deciding to boycott the Law Commission as the proposals now mooted by it, if enacted and implemented, will infringe on their religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. “One nation, one law” sounds fine, but it is just a small step away from the thesis of “One nation, one religion” and “one nation, one culture”. The advocacy of Uniform Civil Code by the BJP is a ruse employed by it to dilute the distinctiveness of Islam in India. It must be hard for BJP to claim that it wants Uniform Civil Code transcending Hindu beliefs and practices. The Hindu laws cannot be the template for Uniform Civil Code in a country with an amazing mix of races and religions. A regressive and reactionary party cannot toy with the idea of bringing about progressive and revolutionary changes in personal laws of all citizens without giving primacy to the nationally predominant religion. Hindu organisations and seers must first agree to amend the Hindu personal laws prejudiced against women and pass religion-neutral laws. The Indian muslims practise a gentler strand of Islam and it is wrong to force them to follow personal laws framed to homogenise the multi-layered and heterogeneous Indian society. It is for the muslim community itself to bring about reforms in the flawed personal laws pertaining to marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance, property rights and succession and accept gender equality and strive to do away with regressive practices like triple talaq in tune with the times. The attempts to push the saffron agenda, of which Uniform Civil Code is a part, need to be thwarted for India’s continued existence as a secular and pluralist democracy.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

De facto CM

Now that all the portfolios held by chief minister Jayalalithaa have been reallocated to minister O Panneerselvam, he should assert himself and see that the administration is run without any let up. Unlike in the previous occasions when he held the CM’s post twice, the present situation is different and realising the great responsibility that has fallen on his shoulders in the wake of the fact that CM Jayalalithaa may have to be in the hospital for a longer period, he should start acting as the de facto chief minister though he has not been designated so, till the incumbent chief minister J Jayalalithaa recovers fully and is back in the CM’s seat.

Tharcius S Fernando

Chennai

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