‘Can’t force, need wider consultation’ – how opposition reacted to Modi’s UCC pitch

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s loud pitch in favor of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) during a rally in Bhopal on Tuesday evoked mixed reactions from opposition parties. While some like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supported the idea of ​​the UCC, others called it an attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to “polarise the electorate” ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, without clearly stating . Status on UCC and its implementation.

A UCC, which aims to replace personal laws that find their basis in religion with uniform laws for all citizens, one of the BJP’s long-standing promises, along with the abrogation of Article 370 and the construction of a Ram temple Used to be. in Ayodhya.

With the Ram temple under construction and Article 370 being abrogated, the BJP is now expected to intensify its campaign for the UCC ahead of the general elections next year.

Pitching for a Uniform Civil Code, Modi said, “You tell me, how can there be one law for one member in a house and another for another member?”

“Will he be able to walk home? Then how will the country be able to run with such a dual system? We have to remember that the Constitution of India also mentions equal rights for all. couple,

Hitting out at the opposition for their “failure to do anything” for the Muslim community, Modi said, “These people (opposition) make allegations against us, but the reality is that they raise slogans.” Muslim, Muslim, If they were really (working) in the interest of Muslims, Muslim families would not have lagged behind in education and jobs,” he remarked.

Modi’s remarks sparked a political stir and drew sharp reactions from opposition leaders.

Former Union Home Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram hit back at Modi’s remarks and said that the UCC was an aspiration that could not be imposed by a “majoritarian government”.

“Even in a family there is diversity. The Constitution of India recognized the diversity and plurality among the people of India. UCC is an aspiration. It cannot be imposed on the people by an agenda-driven majority government,” Chidambaram said in a do,

He said that “the country is divided today” and the UCC would only increase that division. He described the UCC as an attempt to “polarize the electorate”. Adding further, “The Hon’ble Prime Minister’s strong advocacy for UCC is aimed at diverting attention from inflation, unemployment, hate crimes, discrimination and denial of states’ rights. People should be alert.”

On the same day the Prime Minister made this comment, another Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also made this comment. Said A UCC can “generate resistance”.

As far as political experts are concerned, they believe that this is exactly what the BJP would want. Columnist and political analyst Rasheed Kidwai said, “There is a lot of politics going on and this is exactly the BJP’s game plan.”

Others highlighted that, because so much remains unclear about the UCC, the opposition’s demand for a detailed discussion would be the “safest way” to proceed on the matter. Sanjay Kumar, professor and co-director of Lokniti, a research program at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), said parties opposing the UCC proposal would be seen by many as “proxies for appeasement of minorities”. . Muslim”

Read also: UCC is Modi’s nuclear button – which has divided Indian politics between Hindu-lovers, Muslim-appeasers

The debate started again with the notice of Law Commission

UCC debate rekindles June 14 When 22nd law commission sought The views and opinions of “the public at large and recognized religious organizations” on the Code.

“Those who are interested and willing may submit their views within a period of 30 days from the date of notice…”, read notification,

Acknowledging the consultation paper of the previous Law Commission, the notice said that the panel “considered it appropriate to deliberate on the subject afresh” as it had been three years since the said paper, “taking into account the relevance and importance of the subject”. Keeping in view the “various court orders on this subject”

At that point, Congress made this bid to re-examine the UCC. “The Modi government’s desperation to legitimize its ongoing agenda of polarization and divert attention from its glaring failures”.

Distraction for 2024 elections?

But most of the opposition parties have not clearly stated their stand on this. ucc, It was dismissed as merely a political issue. TeaFor example, Janata Dal (United) called This is a “political stunt”.

“If any party wants to protest on any principle, it will be seen among the common people that it is the party which supports the interests of the minorities, ‘So it is a Muslim party.’ The parties are very cautious. They do not want to send a message to the majority community that we are supporting the UCC,” Sanjay Kumar told ThePrint.

Echoing Kumar, Kidwai said That UCC is a very complex issue and most of the political parties do not have sufficient understanding and understanding of it.

“The problem with political parties is that they do not know the full dynamics of this and they do not have qualified people. The UCC is largely misunderstood, therefore, the BJP will use it as a ploy to corner the opposition about being pro-Muslim etc.,” said Kidwai.

Meanwhile, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), known for its atheist stand, has also spoken against the BJP’s advocacy of a Uniform Civil Code.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said in an address on Thursday that the Prime Minister was thinking of winning the 2024 Lok Sabha elections by inciting communal feelings and creating confusion in the country. Stalin said, “I am telling you clearly that the people are ready to teach a befitting lesson to the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections.” couple,

like stalin Jharkhand Chief Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Hemant Soren also dismissed the UCC as a diversion, When Soren was asked about Modi’s comments at the Bhopal rally on Wednesday Said, “Ask them how to provide employment first, how to reduce inflation. Speak on that first.”

Read also: Raising the marriageable age for women, banning polygamy – What’s in the Draft UCC of Uttarakhand

‘Not in the interest of minorities’

While several parties have raised questions about the purpose of implementing the UCC, there are those who have opposed the concept due to its alleged “bad effect” on minorities.

National Conference (NC) leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah, Said Correspondent in Srinagar on Thursday“Thinking. Rethink UCC.

Asserting that India is a diverse country with diverse religions and ideologies, Farooq said, “Muslims have their own Sharia law, they should look into that as well. They should think twice before proceeding further. No storm should come from this.

Sharia is the fundamental theological concept of Islam, derived from the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah and Hadith , Works and sayings of Prophet Muhammad.

Meanwhile, the strongest attack on the UCC came from Asaduddin Owaisi of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. alleged UCC being brought in to target Muslims Bring “Hindu Civil Code”.

“…He (Modi) is not talking about Uniform Civil Code. He is talking about the Hindu Civil Code. (They) will consider all Islamic references to practices illegal and protect Hindu practices under the Prime Minister’s Act,” Owaisi said in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was also of the “firm view” that the implementation of the UCC was not in the interest of the minorities and the Modi government should “abandon” the idea of ​​implementing it. The 21st Law Commission had already stated in its consultation report that UCC is neither desirable nor feasible. the former said SAD minister Daljit S Cheema. “When your Law Commission is saying it is not possible. This will spread unrest in the country. Peace will be affected. Then why are you forcing it?” Cheema added.

Why does AAP support UCC?

The Aam Aadmi Party has taken a clear stand in favor of a Uniform Civil Code based on “principles”.

“In principle, we support it (UCC). Article 44 also says that there should be a UCC in the country. But since this issue pertains to all religious communities, we want wider consultation and there should be dialogue on a larger scale. Said AAP’s national general secretary Sandeep Pathak.

Calling for a consensus, he said, “In such a fundamental issue, an authoritarian approach would not be correct. Consensus should be made by talking to everyone.

However, AAP’s stand has also drawn criticism from some sections of the opposition. Pawan Khera The Congress said AAP’s stand was surprising as the draft resolution has not yet come out. ,AAP leader Sandeep Pathak’s statement on UCC has exposed the real face of Arvind Kejriwal., SAD tweeted Chima.

Not only AAP Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also welcomed the UCC but expressed his concern about its impact on Hindus.

Addressing Shiv Sena (UBT) office-bearers last week, he asked, “We welcome the Uniform Civil Code for all but will it adversely affect Hindus? If they (BJP) could not implement the ban on cow slaughter across the country, how can they implement the UCC?”

Explaining your stand, Professor Kumar said,They know what has happened to most political parties, which are seen as champions of minority interests, and how difficult they are finding it to shed that tag. Be it Samajwadi Party or Congress or any other political party.”

According to him, AAP can take a stand as it has a major stake in Punjab.

“There is no Muslim population in Punjab, they have no problem with it. Delhi has some Muslim population, but they know that even if Muslims don’t vote for them, they have such a huge mandate in Delhi if you look at the state assembly elections,” Kumar explained.

But for Kidwai, the AAP was behaving in a “very reckless manner”.

“After conquering Delhi and expanding their reach in Punjab, they really do not know what to do with themselves. Now, they have an MP in the Lok Sabha. But their aspiration is totally different compared to their strength”, he said.

“Their stand on UCC could be like this because they know Delhi voters will not see the complexities of UCC. Perhaps, they think that this way they will get a chance. But the beneficiary – if the UCC aligns with the majority community – will be the BJP, not the AAP,” Kidwai said.

(Editing by Richa Mishra)

Read also: Will Hindutva be enough for Modi-BJP amidst growing crisis before 2024? It would be better