The Gujarat BJP government is considering a plan to apply the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) before the state’s assembly elections. According to reports, the state administration would set up a high-level commission to look into the situation under the supervision of a retired judge from the high court or supreme court.
After a cabinet meeting in Gandhinagar, the nation’s capital, the minister of state for housing, Harsh Sanghavi, made the news. Sanghavi stated, ‘CM Bhupendra Patel has taken a historic decision in the cabinet meeting today—of forming a committee for adopting the Uniform Civil Code in the state. This decision was made under the guidance of PM Narendra Modi and union home minister Amit Shah’.
A high level committee will be constituted to implement the ‘Uniform Civil Code’ in Gujarat, Sanghavi later announced on Twitter. The BJP has long made the ideological and political promise of UCC, as WION has thoroughly highlighted. The BJP pledged in its manifesto for the 2019 general election to introduce UCC nationally. But despite being in power for more than eight years, the Narendra Modi administration has yet to make a particularly bold move on the matter.
It’s not the first time the BJP has done so!
Those with knowledge of the situation realise that the BJP has a talent for sweeping the votes before important assembly elections by using UCC as a campaign platform. Pushkar Singh Dhami, the chief minister of Uttarakhand, made a similar declaration earlier this year, telling about the formation of a committee to examine into the implementation of UCC.
‘This group will create Uttarakhand’s standard civil code. This UCC would support equal laws for members of different religions regarding things like marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance’. The Directive Principles of State Policy section of the Indian Constitution contains a reference to UCC and its implementation (DPSP). Article 44 of the constitution stipulates, ‘The State should endeavour to obtain for the Citizens a uniform civil code across the territory of India’.
Notably, UCC is a complete system of common laws for all religions that regulates private issues like marriage, divorce, adoption, succession, and others. It seeks to ensure religious equality for everybody. However, a significant portion of the population, mostly Muslims are against UCC as it might interfere with the Muslim Personal Law, more colloquially known as Shariat.