DMK today said Centre taking up the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) amounted to “stirring up a hornet’s nest” and claimed it was not easy to implement such a code in a country of diversities.
In order to bring a uniform civil code, “a consensus must have to be created” among political parties and various other stakeholders in the country, DMK President M Karunanidhi said.
In a letter to his partymen, he said that it was not easy to bring about such a code in a country where different faiths and castes followed different practices for generations.
“At a time when the there are thousands of issues waiting to be addressed, when economic and judicial reforms are increasing, taking up UCC, a problem sans any priority, amounts to stirring up a hornet’s nest,” he said.
Karunanidhi said veteran RSS leader Guru Golwalkar had reportedly argued against implementing such a code. “The BJP rulers at the Centre should keep this in mind,” he said.
Although the BJP had not stuck to its assurance on implementing UCC in the past, raking it up again has led to questions among many “if it had been done with an eye on the polls” in Uttar Pradesh next year, he said.
Recalling his party’s ‘consistent’ opposition to UCC, he said most laws covered all sections of society and the Constitution of India had allowed the Muslims “faith-based laws” only in the areas of marriage, and management of Waqf property among others.
While “personal laws” existed in other countries, the key difference between them and India was the concept of “unity in diversity,” he said, adding, Muslims and social activists have been opposing a common civil law for long.
Criminal and penal laws being followed in India have been common for all, but certain provisions covering divorce and adoption had been allowed on the basis of faith, he said.
He said that even different sub-groups of Hinduism followed different practices. “Under such circumstances, a common civil law covering all the faiths and castes can neither take shape nor is it practical,” he said.
Implementation of such a code will lead to apprehensions among people over their rights to religion, culture and language, he added.
Last week the Union Government had asked the Law Commission to examine the issue of the Uniform Civil Code.
The Department of Legal Affairs had asked the Commission, a recommendatory body, to submit a report on the matter.
The move assumes significance as the Supreme Court had recently said it would prefer a wider debate,in public as well as in court, before taking a decision on the constitutional validity of ‘triple talaq’, which many complain is abused by Muslim men to arbitrarily divorce their wives.