by Muslim Mirror Staff
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has submitted a comprehensive representation to the Law Commission, vehemently opposing the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). Led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, the DMK argued that the UCC would be divisive, disrupt peace, and harm the harmonious coexistence of religious communities in Tamil Nadu.
Highlighting the rich diversity of India as its beauty, the DMK expressed concerns that enforcing a uniform law like the UCC for political gains would lead to disturbances and conflicts among different ethnic and religious groups. The party cited the ongoing situation in Manipur, where the central and state governments have struggled to control violence, as an example of the potential consequences.
The DMK emphasized that each religion has developed its own unique customs and traditions over centuries, and imposing uniformity through coercive measures would amount to tyranny and oppression. The party argued that the UCC would have far-reaching implications on the rights of citizens from all religious denominations, jeopardizing the secular fabric, law and order, peace, tranquility, and the legislative powers of the states.
One of the key points raised by the DMK was the potential impact on personal laws concerning religion, adoption, and succession.
“Such a Uniform Civil Code is an anti-thesis to the right of freedom of practising and propagating one’s religion under Article 25 of the Constitution of India and the rights given to minorities under Article 29,” the party said.
Referring to the Constituent Assembly (CA) debates and the views of Dr. B R Ambedkar, the DMK emphasized that caution should be exercised when dealing with the UCC. Ambedkar had advocated for the voluntary adoption of the UCC rather than imposing it on unwilling minorities. The DMK accused the Union government of attempting to force the UCC on minorities against their will, thus eroding their special identities.
The party also drew attention to the protection of minority cultures under Article 29(1) of the Constitution and stated that the UCC would alienate not only minority religions but also the unique sub-sects within the majority religions. For instance, the DMK highlighted the distinctive traditions and customs related to marriage, divorce, and succession practiced by Scheduled Tribes who profess Hinduism. They argued that such tribes cannot be mandated by law to abandon centuries-old traditions in favor of a UCC, which would be unfamiliar to them.
“There is no distinct, clear or apparent purpose to imposing a UCC in personal laws, other than to eliminate the uniqueness of the minorities – not only the minority religions but also the minority sub-sects within the majority religions. For example, the members of the Scheduled Tribes who profess Hinduism have distinct traditions and customs pertaining to marriage, divorce and succession. These tribes cannot suddenly be mandated by law to forego centuries of tradition and custom to abide by a UCC, which would be alien to them,” the party said.
The DMK suggested that instead of a UCC for all religions, a uniform caste code should be established to eliminate caste discrimination and atrocities. They pointed to the recent decision by the Tamil Nadu government, led by Chief Minister MK Stalin, to appoint trained priests from all castes in temples, as an effective measure to challenge caste-based hegemony.