Article 44 and Uniform Civil Code Issue
To put it simply, Uniform Civil Code means laws that govern personal issues like Marriage, Divorce, Maintenance (of Divorced wife), Adoption, Succession, Inheritance, Guardianship (Of minors), etc. be common for all citizens of the country irrespective of their religion.
The Uniform Civil Code calls for the formulation of one law for India that would apply to the above-stated parameters.
Article 44 of the Constitution lays down that “The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.” It is one of the Directive Principles of the State Policy.
It becomes extremely important to study this topic during the UPSC exam preparation as questions from this topic can be asked in the Prelims and Mains General Studies Paper-I (Indian Society), General Studies Paper-II (Polity & Governance), and even in Essay papers.
Also read: How to Prepare for Polity
Arguments in Favour of Uniform Civil Code
- The Uniform Civil Code will help in integrating India. India is a diverse country with several religions, castes, cultures, customs, and practices. Once implemented, the code will bring people from different religions, cultures, under one Uniform National Civil Code.
- The code will help simplify laws that are presently segregated on various religious beliefs like Shariat Law, Hindu Code Bill, etc.
- It will further simplify the existing complex laws around marriage, inheritance, ceremonies, adoptions, successions by making them one law.
- It will overtake the personal laws. Personal laws have constituted an alternate judicial system that still operates and runs on decades of old values. A uniform civil code will change that system.
- The Uniform Civil Code will promote real Secularism. If the code is applied, it will not limit the freedom of people to follow their religion in any way. Instead, it will treat every person the same regardless of his religion, caste, and culture.
- The code will, to some extent, also put a stop to the Vote Bank Politics that most political parties take leverage of during elections.
- Articles 25 and 26 of the Indian constitution guarantee the freedom of religion and the Uniform Civil Code in no way opposes secularism. Also, read Must Know Articles of the Indian Constitution
Watch a detailed video on the Article 44 and Uniform Civil code issue by M.Puri Sir, the faculty for Polity, International Relations & Governance:
Challenges in the Implementation of Uniform Civil Code
- The task of introducing a new set of rules that govern all communities will be tedious as the customary practices among communities vary a lot.
- Some minorities believe that the code will encroach on their right to religious freedom and they will be bound to follow the religious practices of the majority.
- Lack of political will due to the sensitivity of the issue.
- Unawareness of people about the objective of the Uniform Civil Code.
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