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Sushil Modi, Asaduddin Owaisi, Flavia Agnes argue on Uniform Civil Code

Sushil Kumar Modi, a former deputy chief minister of Bihar and current member of the BJP’s Rajya Sabha, stated at a discussion of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) at the India Today Conclave Mumbai 2023 on Wednesday that the time has come for changes to Muslim personal laws. The senior BJP official demanded that laws be gender neutral, citing polygamy and “Triple Talaq.” Defending personal laws, AIMIM head Asaduddin Owaisi asserted that a Muslim man’s second wife is entitled to support and a separate residence. Flavia Agnes, a well-known attorney and advocate for women’s rights, talked on the panel about the necessity of including gender justice into all laws.

At the India Today Conclave in Mumbai in 2023, Sushil Kumar Modi, Asaduddin Owaisi, and Flavia Agnes were there.

What kind of legislation demands that a divorced woman who wishes to remarry her first husband marry first and obtain the ‘Triple Talaq’ from a different guy in order to achieve her wish? Sushil Modi questioned, mentioning the prejudice towards women.

According to Owaisi’s views, there is not even a 0.4-0.5% difference between Hindu and Muslim males who have second marriages, according the National Family Health Survey. However, Muslim second wives received their proper respect. She receives support rights, a separate residence, and the title of wife. The second wife of a Hindu guy is not even referred to as a wife, the AIMIM leader remarked.

He added that Hindu communities were where 80% of child weddings took place.

The UCC has been the subject of heated discussion for many years, and it is making news once more as the BJP-led government makes a compelling case before the general election next year. The UCC is a plan to create and implement the same set of civil rules for all Indian citizens, regardless of caste, religion, or sexual orientation, to govern marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption. It would take the place of the current personal laws based on religion.

The Hindu Code Bill was introduced in 1955, and according to Sushil Modi, who predicted that the first draft of the UCC would be ready sooner rather than later, the Hindu community “vehemently” rejected it. He explained that polygamy was more common among Hindus than Muslims at the time.

The BJP MP went on to say that the Muslims had objected to the Hindu Code Bill, claiming that the timing was not opportune for their community to undergo any such reforms. The senior BJP leader stated that Sharia (Muslim rules), which have no connection to religion and are not divine, has no place in society because it has been 75 years since India gained her independence.

To this, Owaisi said, ‘What Sushil Modi , RSS and the BJP are trying to do is they want to bring in a Hindu Code Bill there will be exemptions because of their culture. So, for them religion means culture, for me, religion means religion.’

The AIMIM leader further said half of women are out of work. ‘You want to talk about gender justice, a househelp who works for 7.2 hours, doesn’t get anything…What about Bilkis Bano? What about the rapes that are happening in Manipur? Now, these are important questions that the government must answer,’ he added.

According to Sushil Modi, the UCC must contain five essential components: a minimum marriage age, a simple marriage law, maintenance after divorce, an end to polygamy, and mandatory marriage registration.

Speaking of polygamy and the predicament of women, Flavia Agnes gave the cases of several clients, claiming that second spouses do not receive maintenance in the event of a divorce and their children are labeled as ‘illegitimate.’ She asserted that the best course of action is internal change, which is currently necessary for all personal legislation.



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