The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) has posted a long statement against the Uttarakhand government’s decision to introduce Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the state. Taking to Twitter, the IAMC “unequivocally condemned the BJP-ruled Uttarakhand state’s decision to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC)”. The IAMC went as far as to claim that ensuring that all citizens of a nation adhere to the same laws in ‘secular’ matters will somehow lead to the erasure of Muslims and Christians by a “Hindu supremacist” government.
IAMC said that the introduction of UCC is “an alarming deviation from the current system, which has different laws for different faiths, including the Hindu Marriage Act, Indian Christian Marriages Act, and the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act. Muslim personal laws are based on religious texts and are not codified”.
This is an alarming deviation from the current system, which has different laws for different faiths, including the Hindu Marriage Act, Indian Christian Marriages Act, and the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act. Muslim personal laws are based on religious texts and are not codified.— Indian American Muslim Council (@IAMCouncil) March 25, 2022
IAMC further said that implementation of UCC would be an affront against Muslims and Christians who are “already marginalised” in India and that far from being progressive, UCC is another tool for “Hindu supremacists” to “prosecute Christians and Muslims for practising their faith in their private lives”.
Far from being a step towards progressiveness, the UCC is another avenue for Hindu supremacists to attack and prosecute Muslims and Christians for practicing their faith in their private lives.— Indian American Muslim Council (@IAMCouncil) March 25, 2022
Mysteriously, after admitting that UCC is about all citizens adhering to the same law as far as “secular” activities are concerned, IAMC goes on to fearmonger further saying that UCC would not unite but force minorities to adhere to a Hindu centric idea of uniformity.
Dragging the Hijab verdict into their statement, IAMC said that it was evident that a Hindu centric idea of uniformity would be enforced because of the Hijab verdict where it was the Court that ruled that every school has the right to determine their school uniform and that Hijab was non-essential to Islam.
Rasheed Ahmad, Executive Director of IAMC said, “UCC is one more step in the direction of turning India into a Hindu majoritarian state where minorities are relegated to second class citizenship. The Hindu nationalist BJP has long been a proponent of the UCC precisely because it is an effective erasure of Muslim and other minority religious practices. UCC is a tool that forces a minority to conform to the standards of uniformity set by an extremist majority”.
It is interesting to note the sleight of hand used by IAMC in its statement. At the very outset, IAMC admitted that UCC was a law that would ensure that all citizens, Hindus, Muslims, Christians and those belonging to other faiths adhere to the same code as far as secular activity was concerned. For the purpose of UCC, secular activities would mean that related to marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption. While admitting that all citizens would have to adhere to the same code, IAMC facetiously goes on to claim that it would primarily affect only Muslims and Christians.
IAMC further said that the UCC would be used to prosecute Muslims for practising their faith in private. However, the UCC does not extend to the practice of faith, to begin with. It does not bar Muslims, Christians or people of any faith to practise their faith in private. If a Muslim man chooses to read namaz, the UCC would ideally have no provision to stop them from doing so. They will still be able to practise their faith just like the Hindu majority will. UCC extends only to marriage, divorce etc which are considered “secular activities” under the constitution.
It is also not clear how UCC would lead to the erasure of Muslims. Sharia, as IAMC seems to demand it, is what was responsible for the “erasure” of not just minorities but also of Muslims as several women were murdered, men displaced. We saw the visuals of individuals hanging from USA planes and trying to escape the clutches of the Taliban in Afghanistan. One is unaware of how a civilised law would lead to the erasure of Muslims especially when it does not extend to the practice of religion itself.
The truth is that UCC has been postponed for decades because it was the Muslim community that was “not ready” for the change. It is essentially not any other faith that has had a problem with living under democratic laws that give women and children the same rights. The UCC, for the Muslim community, would mean equal rights for Muslim women and children as far as marriage, divorce and inheritance are concerned. Also, it is worthy to be mentioned that the Hindu personal laws have already been codified and streamlined.
One has to wonder why it is mostly the Muslim community that sees living under democratic and fair laws as an affront to their very existence. Why is it that for Islamists like IAMC, the mere idea of living under the same laws as other citizens, and others getting the same rights and benefits as them, seems to be a move that will ensure their “erasure”?
Uttarakhand CM says the state will implement Uniform Civil Code (UCC)
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, on Thursday, announced that the government has decided to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the state. “The state cabinet unanimously approved that a committee (of experts) will be constituted at the earliest and UCC will be implemented in the state. This will be the first state to do so,” Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami said.
Goa is another state that has UCC implemented.
“Goa has what Constitutional framers envisaged for India — a Uniform Civil Code… And I have had the great privilege of administering justice under that Code. It applies in marriage and succession, governing all Goans irrespective of religious affiliation. I have heard a lot of academic talk about the Uniform Civil Code. I would request all those intellectuals to simply come here and learn the administration of justice to know what it turns out to be,” then Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had said last year.