Hyderabad: If anything, the debate on Uniform Civil Code (UCC) seems to have succeeded in bringing the minorities in the country together. For the first time perhaps, the controversial issue saw Muslims, Christians and Sikhs sharing a common platform to denounce attempts to impose UCC.
In one voice, representatives of these communities rejected the move and said UCC was impractical in India which is home to people professing different faiths, castes and traditions.
The 125 crore population of the country has 1,700 languages, 6,000 castes and six major ethnicities of the world. Even the RSS ideologue, Guru Gowalkar, was of the view that UCC was not practical in India. “No draft of the UCC has been presented till date. It just remains a political slogan,” said Hamed Mohammed Khan (Jammat-e-Islami Hind), Sardar Nanak Singh Nasthar and Father Rev Alex Raju.
Speaking to press-persons here on Thursday, they declared the pluralistic nature of the country to be a ‘valuable asset’ and vowed to preserve it at all cost. Mohammed Khan, the JIH president, ridiculed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sympathy for Muslim women when he failed to render justice to his own wife.
He reeled out figures to show how polygamy was higher among non-Muslims. Even the rate of divorce among Muslims was just 0.1 per cent for a population of 17 crore, while it was 18 per cent in non-Muslims who number 100 crore. “The BJP government wants to interfere with the Muslim Personal Law on the pretext of triple talaq,” Khan said.
He asked the government to bring in uniformity in payscales of men and women when they were doing the same work. There should also be equality in matter of education and health. He wanted the government to impose prohibition as it would bring down the divorce rate by 80 per cent.
Talha Jabeen, who represents the women’s wing of JIH, said women’s rights were well protected in Islam. She said UCC wouldn’t work in a country like India with diverse faiths and cultures. She felt that the present controversy was a political gimmick to divert attention from the pressing issues and failures of the government. Article 44, which speaks of common civil code, was one of the Directive Principles and couldn’t be enforced, she said.
Father Alex Raju said that the BJP government was trying to impose ‘saffron culture’ in the country through UCC. While talking of uniformity, the government was doing everything to drive a wedge between different communities. He wondered why Dalit-Christians and Dalit-Muslims were not given Scheduled Caste status. He also expressed concern over the National Education Policy.
The Sikh community leader, Nanak Singh Nashtar, blamed the government for treating Sikhs as Hindus when they had a distinct faith and culture of their own.