UCC is divisive, goes against Dr Ambedkar’s assurance: DMK to Law Commission

MK Stalin. [Photo: Twitter/DMK.]

Chennai: The DMK has said it has submitted its representation against the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to the Law Commission, urging it to recommend to the Government of India to not implement the proposed code.

The UCC is divisive and would disturb peace and harmony, the DMK said in its submission to the law panel.

In its strong argument against the UCC, the DMK relied on Dr B R Ambedkar’s assurance, Constitutional provisions, the Constituent Assembly debates, State’s rights to legislate on the subject, minority rights, distinctive customs of Scheduled Tribes, the concept of Hindu Undivided Family, and the ‘need’ for a uniform caste code to eliminate caste discrimination.

While India’s beauty has always been in its diversity, the introduction of a ‘divisive’ law like the UCC for ‘political gains’ would disturb peace, tranquility, and harmony between the religious groups in Tamil Nadu and therefore is not desirable in the interest of the public, the DMK told the law panel.

Conflicts between ethnic or religious groups can lead to terrible violence like in Manipur, which the GoI and state governments have been ‘unable to control’.

One law for the lion and ox is oppression. Each religion has evolved its unique, distinct custom and tradition over centuries of practice, in keeping with their beliefs and religious texts. To upset them with brute force is nothing short of tyranny and oppression and must not be committed by the state.

The UCC has widespread ramifications on the rights of citizens of all denominations and has a potentially ‘disastrous’ effect on the secular ethos, law and order, peace and tranquility in the State and intrusion into the legislative powers of States.

On marriage and divorce, both the GoI and the states have concurrent power and taking away the power of States to enact laws was unconstitutional and against the principles of cooperative federalism.

The DMK strongly opposed UCC that wiped away the personal laws in personal matters like religion, adoption and succession.

“Such a Uniform Civil Code is an anti-thesis to the right of freedom of practising and propagating one’s religion under Article 25 of the Constitution of India and the rights given to minorities under Article 29.” Extensively quoting from Constituent Assembly (CA) debates on UCC and the Constitution’s Article 44 on the subject, the DMK said on marriage and succession, which are ‘part’ of religious tenets, even the members of the CA voiced concerns.

Based on Dr B R Ambedkar’s assurance, the draft Article 35 (present Article 44) was passed by the CA. Ambedkar had urged caution while dealing with the UCC and wanted the Parliament to first apply it to those who voluntarily seek to be bound by the UCC.

Contrary to the assurance, the GoI was attempting to force the UCC on unwilling minorities, to ‘whitewash’ their special identities.

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