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'Now or never’: Former Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi bats for Uniform Civil Code

Naqvi alleged that the mood of the nation is to make a Uniform Civil Code free from the "clutches of communal conspirators" who held this hostage for the last seven decades for their narrow-minded self-interests.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal New Delhi Published on: July 01, 2023 17:08 IST
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi bats for Uniform Civil Code
Image Source : PTI Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi bats for Uniform Civil Code

UCC in India: Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Saturday gave its “in-principle” support to the Uniform Civil Code stating that this is the right time to implement this inclusive reform. He further said that it's now or never for this law.  UCC refers to a common set of laws that are applicable to all the citizens of India and is not based on religion in dealing with marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption, among other personal matters.

‘Now or never for this law’

"This is the right time to implement this inclusive reform. It's now or never for this law," he told reporters. Naqvi asserted that a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) will ensure "equality and justice for all".  Naqvi alleged that the mood of the nation is to make a Uniform Civil Code free from the "clutches of communal conspirators" who held this hostage for the last seven decades for their narrow-minded self-interests.

Naqvi slams Opposition parties

The BJP leader targeted the Congress and other opposition parties over the UCC issue and asked them to "listen to their conscience" and refrain from communal politics. "Listening to conscience is the only befitting reply to communal politics over a progressive law like the Uniform Civil Code which will ensure equality and justice for all.” "The Opposition parties should listen to their conscience to control the Congress' communal confusion and contradiction on UCC," he added.

‘Mistake of the moment became punishment for decades’

He further alleged that Congress' "mistake of the moment" in 1985 became "punishment for decades" for the country when the party "misused" its numerical strength in Parliament for "communal assault on inclusive reform" in the Shah Bano case. "Unfortunately, instead of rectifying, the Congress is repeating its mistakes," he charged. "Even Congress workers, people's representatives and members of other Opposition parties disagree and are agitated over the party's policy of confusion, commotion, and cozenage on UCC," Naqvi claimed.

The debate over a Uniform Civil Code was reignited after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong push for it, asking how can the country function with dual laws that govern personal matters, and accused the Opposition of using the UCC issue to "mislead and provoke" the Muslim community.

Implementation of UCC

UCC has been one of the three key poll planks of the BJP for a long time, with the other being the abrogation of Article 370 which had given special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Implementation of the UCC has now become BJP's top priority - with eyes on the 2024 polls. Going on the right track BJP-run states like Goa have already implemented it, while in Uttarakhand a promise was made in this regard ahead of its 2022 Assembly polls — it was also in his poll manifesto. The Pushkar Singh Dhami-led Uttarakhand government has formed a five-member committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to prepare a draft on UCC for the state. 

For UCC, the Centre has been banking upon Supreme Court, which has time and again given a green signal in a few cases in order to provide equal justice to citizens. This was reflected when the SC made a decision on abolishing Tripple Talaq.

Parliamentary panel on UCC

 

 

A parliamentary standing committee called representatives of the Law Commission and the law ministry on July 3 on a recent notice issued by the law panel seeking views of stakeholders on the issue of a uniform civil code. According to the schedule of the standing committee on law and personnel, it will hear the views of representatives of the law panel and legal affairs, and legislative departments of the law ministry, "on public notice issued by the Law Commission of India on 14th June 2023, inviting views from the various stakeholders on the Uniform Civil Code, under the subject 'Review of Personal Laws'".

(With PTI inputs)

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