Wednesday, Dec 06, 2023

UCC Goes Against India's Diversity: BJP Ally Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma

UCC Goes Against India's Diversity: BJP Ally Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma

After Prime Minister addressed the audience in Bhopal and advocated for Uniform Civil Code, political leaders from different parties expressed varied opinions. While some Bharatiya Janata Party allies are against it, some opposition leaders welcome the new laws.

Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma
Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma PTI

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma called the Uniform Civil Code to be against the idea of India's diversity. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a speech in Bhopal earlier this week advocating UCC and it has stirred up controversies among political leaders who are on each side of the line.

In a press conference on Friday, the National People's Party chief who is also an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party, mentioned that his party is against the idea of UCC as it goes against the strength in diversity of the country.

The Uniform Civil Code reportedly refers to a new set of laws that would be used to govern the personal matters of citizens like marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption, among others irrespective of their religion and culture.

Sangma expressed that his party and the majority of the people from the Northeast want to preserve the uniqueness of their cultural and social customs The NPP chief mentioned that unlike many other states Meghalaya has a matrilineal society and one law cannot uproot these customs, he said, "These cannot be changed.”

Sangma reportedly said, "NPP feels that UCC will go against the idea of India being a diverse nation, with diversity being our strength and identity."

NPP chief also said that he couldn't go into the details of the newly proposed set of laws without reading the actual content. 

Sushil Modi, the head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, reportedly assured that a panel will be looking at the issues raised by the stakeholders on the matter of USS on July 3, he also mentioned that meeting of the committee would be non-political as the members of the panel are from all political parties. 

An opposition party leader called Prime Minister's advocacy for the UCC in Bhopal, part of his polarization politics as the speech also had mentions of triple talaq and the development of the Pasmanda Muslim community. 

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar mentioned that his party is yet to make a stand on the matter and he would listen to the stand of the Sikh, Jain and Christian communities to access the laws. He reportedly said, "They are not in the mood to support the taking a decision on UCC without the cognizance of the Sikh community (its views) would not be appropriate." 

According to the reports, Aam Aadmi Party had extended 'in-principle' support to UCC, Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab asked their AAP-led government to clarify their stance and claimed that they are trying to mislead Punjabis on this matter. Harpal Singh Cheema, the Minister of Finance in Punjab called it, "sheer hypocrisy and political expediency sans any morality", he reportedly also said, "It is clear that the AAP high command has taken a decision to support the implementation of a UCC in the country without taking its Punjab unit, chief minister or even the Sikh community into confidence."

Reports said that the Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole has set up a committee under former Mumbai University vice chancellor Balchandra Mungekar to study the impact of the proposed UCC. There are nine members in the committee and reportedly they are - journalist and Rajya Sabha member Kumar Ketkar, senior leaders Vasant Purke, Hussain Dalwai, Anees Ahmed, Kishori Gajbhiye, Amarjit Manhas, Janet D'Souza and Ravi Jadhav.

Congress leader and Himachal Pradesh PWD Minister Vikramaditya Singh recently expressed his support for UCC and reportedly urged people to not politicise it. 

According to the reports, Singh wrote on his social media, “I fully support the Uniform Civil Code which is necessary for India’s unity and integrity, but it should not be politicised.”

On the other hand, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan claimed that UCC is one of the 'electoral agenda' of BJP.

Vijayan tweeted, "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."

And BJP Kerala president K Surendran reacted to the said tweet by saying that CPI(M) has become a Muslim party for opposing UCC.

He reportedly said, "CPI(M) has become a Muslim party. The latest example of this is Pinarayi Vijayan's stand against the uniform civil code."