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Plan to implement 'one nation, one culture': Kerala CM Vijayan over BJP’s UCC pitch

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan accused the BJP of attempting to implement its agenda of 'one nation, one culture' by wiping off the diverse culture of India through the Uniform Civil Code.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick Thiruvananthapuram Published on: June 30, 2023 19:53 IST
Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan
Image Source : PTI Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan slams Centre over UCC pitch

Vijayan slams UCC: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday (June 30) alleged that the BJP is raking up Uniform Civil Code (UCC) issue as part of its ‘electoral’ plan and accused the Centre of attempting to implement the agenda of ‘one nation, one culture’ by diminishing the country’s cultural diversity.

Vijayan urged the Centre to withdraw from making the move to impose the UCC.

In a statement, the Chief Minister, who is also a senior leader of the CPI(M), said the Centre's move can only be seen as a plan to implement the "majority communal agenda of 'one nation, one culture' by wiping out the cultural diversity of the country".

"The Central Government and the Law Commission should withdraw from the move to impose the Uniform Civil Code," he said.

The Kerala CM said that efforts should be made to reform and amend discriminatory practices within personal laws, rather than imposing a UCC.

“Triggering debates around Uniform Civil Code is an electoral ploy by Sangh Parivar to press their majoritarian agenda for deepening communal divide. Let's oppose any attempts to undermine India’s pluralism and support reforms through democratic discussions within communities,” he tweeted.

'Need to reform personal laws'

The Chief Minister, in his statement, said that the moves have arisen in any religion regarding the reforms from within them and it cannot be resolved by an executive decision.

Citing the previous Law Commission in 2018, Vijayan said that it had opined that a UCC was ‘neither necessary nor desirable’ at this stage, and added that the proponents of the new move should first explain how the situation to deviate from that position suddenly arose.

He said that the uniqueness of the country is that it embraces diversity and differences and does not efface plurality to bring in uniformity.

“What is needed is to reform personal laws in tune with the times, and not unify them based on a specific agenda,” he added.

The Chief Minister’s remarks came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a pitch for the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code in the country and said that Muslims are being instigated over the issue.

Addressing a gathering of party workers in Bhopal on June 27, the Prime Minister said even the Supreme Court has advocated for a Uniform Civil Code, but those practising vote bank politics are opposing it.

He also asked how the country can have two systems, touching upon an issue closely identified with the BJP with less than a year left for the Lok Sabha polls.

Political debate over UCC

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said that the Central government should “rethink” its decision on the implementation of UCC in India or it else the move may raise a “storm”. 

Speaking to reporters, Abdullah said, "They (Central govt) should think that the country is diverse, people of all religions live here, and Muslims have their own Shariat law. They should think about it repeatedly. They should think about any possible storm that would come if they do that (implement UCC)." 

Earlier, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said the prime minister was “looking to escalate religious conflicts and confuse people to win (elections).” “I am sure, people will teach a lesson to the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections,” Stalin was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Implementation of UCC

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.

(With agencies input)

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