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Today Date : Thursday, May 23, 2024

People will not accept the Common Civil Code

People will not accept the Common Civil Code

Criminal laws and penal laws in India are common to all. But only the codes known as civil laws vary according to caste, religion, ethnicity and culture. Different communities in India follow different laws in matters of marriage, affair, inheritance and adoption based on their religious beliefs.
Civil laws vary according to one's religion, not only for Muslims but also Sikhs and Jains. For example, Sikhs may, by religious law, wield a short knife  at all times for self-defense. Even if they work in the police and army, Sikhs can grow beards and wear a turban instead of a departmental cap, according to the Personal Law.
 

Hinduism also has some form of separate civil law. There are tax benefits if Hindus live in a joint family. Hindus have separate laws for child adoption and alimony. 
That is, personal laws governing property rights, marriage, divorce, inheritance, etc. vary according to caste, religion and ethnicity in culturally diverse India.
The ruling BJP government at the center says that this difference should not exist. The party argues that laws like the criminal and penal laws, should be the same for all. In 2018, the 21st Law Commission headed by former Supreme Court judge P.S Chauhan submitted a report. 
 

The report recommends that there should be no general civil law in the country. It was also stated that it was not desirable in the current environment. If it does, it will be a threat to the integrity of the nation. However, some laws related to marriage and divorce should be accepted by various religions as common, the commission has opined in its report.
 

Against this background, Prime Minister Modi has emphasized on common civil law saying, "How can two different types of laws apply to the same family? Similarly, a nation cannot function with two types of laws."
According to him, `` Common Civil law should be accepted by the people on their own".  Stating that it is not right to impose it, the Congress has reacted by saying that Prime Minister Modi has taken up this issue to distract the people from unemployment, inflation and deprivation of state rights.
 

Can common civil law be implemented in Hinduism first? DMK has raised the question. Cultural pluralism in India poses a major hurdle in the implementation of common civil law. Drafting a common civil law is problematic as it varies from state to state, community to community and religion to religion.
The Constitution gives freedom to every Indian citizen to practice the religion of his choice. But there are fears that the common civil law will take away those rights. People of many strata of societies are unwilling to accept secular general laws rather than personal laws. 
 

It is not right to impose traditions and customs of one group on other groups. The Union BJP Government's attempt to implement the Common Civil Code, which is disrupting the diversity of the country, deserves strong condemnation.
The time is not yet ripe for the implementation of common civil code. Union government should abandon this initiative for now!