Uniform Civil Code (UCC) will not be brought through the back door and without a consensus, says Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu who rejects the charge that contentious issues have been raked up by BJP to polarise elections, especially in Uttar Pradesh.
Issues like triple talaq, civil code and Ram temple will not be used by BJP for political mileage in the upcoming elections, says the Minister who asserts that they will be fought on development agenda.
Holding that such crucial issues should not be looked through prism of electoral benefit, the Chief Spokesperson of the government also rejects opposition criticism that surgical strikes were being politicised.
“The Government does not consider it (triple talaq) as a religious matter. It is a question of gender sensitivity. It is wrong to say that we are interfering in Muslim issues.
“The same Indian Parliament, the same political system had brought Hindu Code Bill, Divorce Act, banning Hindu Marriage Act, banning dowry and Sati practice, all these things are done by Indian Parliament,” Naidu told PTI in an interview.
Making it clear that broad consensus will be required for bringing Uniform Civil Code, he said the allegations that Triple Talaq is a backdoor entry for the UCC was unjustified.
“We are not discussing about the common civil code or uniform civil code as of now. The Law Commission has issued a questionnaire and asked people to react.
“You cannot have a uniform Civil Code without a broad consensus. You have to work and move in that direction,” he said hoping that the Supreme Court will come out with the right decision on the issue of triple talaq.
Naidu said these sensitive issues should not be linked to polls as the elections are like festivals in India which keep coming now and then.
Defending the government affidavit in the Supreme Court on triple talaq issue, he said nobody then said it (Sati) was a Hindu practice that government was interfering in that.
“Somebody might have said it also. But in collective wisdom, the entire country has moved further. We have reformed ourselves. Similarly, when the practice is going on which is discriminatory, which is doing injustice to women, we think it should end,” Naidu said.
He said it was Muslim women and organisations which were demanding end of triple talaq who had gone to the Supreme Court.
Referring to Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution that speaks against discrimination, the Minister said, “The Government of India wants every religion, every personal law to be in accordance with that. And if the society transforms itself, it’s always better.”
Naidu said divesting a woman by simply, saying talaq three times was totally against the principles of natural justice and the practise must end.
“This debate was not started by us. Somebody went to court and the Supreme Court while discussing the issue wanted to know the views of the Government. And the government has filed an affidavit saying that our view is that triple talaq is unjust, unfair, uncivilised and saying it must come to an end.
“That’s what we have said. How is it connected with UP elections,” he said.