Interview by: Simrann Vashist
S. Ramana Babu
Ph. No. 0891-2589965
Off: near Timpany school, VUDA colony,
Vinayakanagar, Visakhapatnam- 530044
1. How would you explain the Uniform Civil Code to a layman with no knowledge about
the law, it's guidelines and its effects?
Answer: The purpose of Uniform Civil Code is with respect to all personal laws, all over the nation. For a common man, unaware of the laws can continue with their life in any part of the country without being interrupted or interrupting anybody else’s religious beliefs and customs. Having a common law to provide justice to people and ensure equality before law is the idea of the Uniform Civil Code. Personal laws our every individual's right to life but unfortunately so it’s more abused towards caste and gender. For this every citizen should be explained on the rights and better chance at justice that they will receive with the welcoming of Uniform Civil Code.
2. It's clear that the UCC is in conflict with Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, so can it be avoided or be overcome, helping us follow faith and equality of law for all?
Answer: The Indian Constitution, Article 25 needs to be amended before the introduction of Uniform Civil Code. The aspect of Article 25 to propagate one’s religion was added to empower one to save guard their religion. But today it stands against our ideology of secularism and propagates communal disputes more than safeguarding one's religious rights. This needs to be changed and only then can the Uniform Civil Code be applied with ease and efficiency.
3. A major debate on application of Uniform Civil Code is based on the point that it's
going to be more scrutinizing for the Muslims of India who happen to follow Sharia law. Because of this it has also become a women’s rights matter. What would you have to say about that with reference to the Shah Bano Case?
Answer: The major downside of Sharia law is the ways it’s demeaning towards the women. Today majority of Muslims have come out seeking ban on tribal talaq and also amendment of the Muslim laws. But there are certain people in the same community who stand against this change. Hence, Uniform Civil Code is to bring all religions under one umbrella to provide equality of law not just on religious basics but also caste, creed and gender.
Because personal laws are something where the judiciary needs to think twice before interfering, it causes a delay in providing justice with the most obvious of cases. The Uniform Civil Code will provide the judiciary, the right to intervene when an injustice takes place and not let the propagator hide behind religion and abuse its elements.
4. If UCC is to be implemented, what would the guidelines be like for the LGBTQ personal laws?
Answer: The Uniform Civil Code will deal with the same aspects as that of personal laws, say marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, etc. With the recent decriminalization of section 377, there has been a demand from the people of India for a fresh set of personal laws for the LGBTQ community. We can only hope the Uniform Civil Code Fulfills the need of the hour. It’s is high time that we support the LGBTQ community and acknowledge their existence in our society.
5. Can India call itself a secular nation without applying the Uniform Civil Code with the minority commission, and the cast quota system continue to exist? Or is it going to be changed with the application of the Uniform Civil Code?
Answer: The intention of applying Uniform Civil Code is to eradicate all the possibilities of injustice in our society. The reservation system was introduced at first for only a temporary period of time to economically uplift the backwards communities. Unfortunately, till today it exists because it has been misused by politicians for their agendas and vote banks. No original development actually takes place to help the economically backwards families and still remains to support to backwards casts even when they happen to come from well to do families. Hence, a definite change in the minority commission and the reservation system is long due. Hopefully, the UCC can provide the same to the people.
6. Like every coin has two sides, what would be the major disadvantages of the UCC apart from Article 25?
Answer: It is a fact that there will be some kind of outrage among the people of India against the UCC. Sections of the society have continued to take advantage of the benefits given to the minority. This makes the minority groups at times the superior authority of issues that affect all citizens of India. This is an open injustice that happens to not just one or two people but the entire nation. How long will we fear the minority groups to be a major decision-making body for everybody?
7. What would be your opinion about the application of UCC over all personal laws?
Answer: It is necessary to bring every citizen of a nation under one law. Only then can we preach - 'One Nation, One Law'. After all that is what secularism and democracy stands for. Only when we stop differentiating the people based of caste, creed, religion and gender can we be able to provide a proper judiciary system and justice. The Uniform Civil Code doesn’t want to interview in people’s beliefs and faith. But one’s faith should not become someone else’s misery. That should be the goes and agenda of us all to achieve peace and harmony.