Why government not starting discussion on civil code, asks Muslim body

Maulana Jalaluddin Umari

New Delhi : If the union government is serious about a uniform civil code (UCC), why doesn’t it initiate a discussion on it, prominent Muslim body Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) said on Thursday.

“If the government is actually serious about bringing uniform civil code, why doesn’t it come out with a draft of such a legislation and put it in the public domain for open discussion and suggestions,” JIH President Maulana Jalaluddin Umari said in response to a media query on whether triple talaq bill was a step towards a common civil code.

“They keep using it to frighten the minorities, but in reality can they bring a uniform code for such a diverse population with numerous ethnicites, tribes, religions and belief systems and cultures and traditions,” Umari said.

The JIH also slammed the triple talaq legislation as meaningless, because such a legislation, apart from not being capable of safeguarding women’s rights, would also encroach upon men’s rights.

The Jamaat President also expressed concern over the process of enrollment in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, saying a large number of genuine citizens, who are impoverished and could not maintain proper papers, were being targeted.

The number of those declared as “foreigners” had in fact increased after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came to power in Assam.

“If a person is accused of being a foreigner, then the onus of proof lies on the accused. But genuine citizens who are impoverished and could not maintain proper records are now facing the threat of being branded as foreigners. Many such people have been declared foreigners due to minor inaccuracies in their documents,” he said.

“The number of those declared as foreigners has increased dramatically after the BJP government came to power in Assam. Jamaat expects that the government agencies entrusted with the task of preparing the list of legal citizens shall discharge their duty without bias,” he added.

According to the Assam Accord signed in 1985, anyone who entered the state after March 24, 1971 is considered an illegal resident.

In its first list issued on December 31 last year, the NRC has held only 1.9 crore persons of the 3.3 crore applicants to be bona fide citizens of India. The second list is expected by July this year.

The JIH has formed a three-member committee to look into the entire NRC issue and help the economically and educationally backward people to comply with the necessary documentary requirements for citizenship, Umari said.



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