Rejecting the proposed Uniform Civil Code, leaders of religious minorities and social groups from all over the country on Wednesday said that the government had no business to interfere in religious matters. They said that the very idea of UCC was grossly mistaken and needed to be discarded.
NEW DELHI—Leaders of religious minorities and social groups from all over the ccountry on Wednesday outrightly rejected the proposed Uniform Civil Code (UCC) stating that “the government had no business to interfere in the customary laws and religious practices of social groups, tribals, dalits and religious minorities.”
The announcement was made at a press conference addressed by leaders of the minority groups, tribal and dalit communities.
The minority organisations and social groups took the collective decision about rejecting the controversial proposals of the government at a joint meeting held at the YMCA Delhi.
The religious and community leaders categorically stated that “one nation, one law view of the Uniform Civil Code is a pernicious attempt to intervene in the social and religious affairs of various communities and groups.”
UCC is a threat to fundamental rights
The minority communities and leaders of other groups unanimously declared that UCC is a “threat to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution under Articles 25, 26 and 29, religious and cultural diversities and to the concept of unity in diversity.”
UCC poses threat to religious identities/diversities
Though the Law Commission of India has not yet come out with a draft, minority community leaders said that the proposed law posed a serious threat to “distinct identities of religious and cultural groups.”
They also expressed apprehension that UCC would threaten reservation given to SC, ST and OBC communities. They apprehended that the government might scrap the reservation under the garb of equality once the UCC came into force.
UCC – a step towards establishing ‘Hindu Rashtra’ based on Manusmriti
All the minority community and social group leaders unanimously said that UCC posed a threat to “the idea of India, enshrined in the Constitution, with an aim to establish their dream project of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ based on Manusmriti, with their pet slogan ‘Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan.”
They also condemned the “polarization of Meities and Kukis in Manipur and urged the government to take effective steps to ensure peace in the region without compromising the rights of the tribals.”
Minorities can’t trust Modi government
Responding to media questions, Prof. Joginder Singh of the Sikh Personal Law Board said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to UCC at a political rally at Bhopal after his return from the US visit was intended to polarize the communities for political advantage of the BJP in the forthcoming assembly elections in several states as well the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
He said that going by the track record of the BJP government at the Centre for the last nine years, the minorities could not trust the Modi government. He said that the minority leaders and representatives of social groups would visit different parts of the country to create awareness about UCC which was unnecessary but was being used as a weapon to polarize communities.
Vice-president of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Syed Sadatullah Husaini, replying to a question, said that the very idea of UCC was erroneous. He said when diversity was being celebrated and recognized all over the world, a common civil law was not needed at all in India with so much of religious and cultural diversities.
BAMCEF leader Waman Meshram said that the Modi government wanted to use the bogey of UCC for sheer political polarization.
AIMPLB spokesperson Dr. SQR Ilyas said that when the 21st Law Commission had clearly stated that UCC was neither needed nor desirable, then why the government had again raked up the issue again.
Federation of Catholic Associations of Archdiocese of Delhi president A C Michael opined that the UCC was not needed. It was politically motivated and must be stopped. He questioned if the government could merge all the Hindu castes into one Hindu Brahmin caste to attain uniformity and equality among Hindus? Michael said government was not sincere in its intentions.
Rahul Dambale, a Buddhist, representing National Conference of Minorities, said government wanted to use UCC as a political weapon. The government, he said, wanted to end diversity by bring UCC.
The organisations that took part in today’s meeting included All India Backwards and Minority Community Employees Federation (BAMCEF), Shiromani Akali Dal, Confederation of Dalit and Tribal Organisations, All India Ravidasia Dharam Sangathan, National Conference for Minorities, Sikh Personal Law Board, Federation of Cathloci Associations of Archdiocese of Delhi, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Sikh Talmail Group and Committee for Protection of Religious and Cultural Diversities.
Among the leaders who participated in the meeting included Naba Saraniya, a tribal leader and Lok Sabha MP from Assam, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind vice-president Mohammad Salim Engineer, AIMPLB executive member Kamal Faruqui and DR. SQR Ilyas, Convener, Committee for Protection of Religious and Cultural Diversities.