Sunday, March 3, 2024

Uttarakhand: BJP government holds special assembly session to pass Uniform Civil Code Bill

A special session has been summoned by the Uttarakhand state assembly to bring a legislation on the Uniform Civil Code.

The session was convened soon after the cabinet on Sunday approved the draft report of the UCC prepared by the BJP-led state government, PTI reported.

The campaign for UCC in the state was spearheaded by the Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, a Hindutva hardliner who is known for inciting hate and violence against Muslims.

If the bill is passed by the assembly, Uttarakhand will become the first state to do so in post-independence India.

Though the session began yesterday, it was adjourned after the members paid tributes to the deceased former members of the assembly.

Uniform Civil Code Bill is likely to be tabled in the House on Tuesday, followed by a debate on it. 

UCC is a common set of laws concerning marriage, divorce, succession and adoption for all citizens. 

Owing to the vast diversity of identities in India, such affairs are governed by community based personal laws among different religious and tribal groups, derived from their respective sources. 

BJP has been weaponising the UCC project since a long time to consolidate Hindu majoritarian sentiment against personal laws of minorities, especially the Muslim personal law. 

Like the Haldwani demolition drive last year, through its campaign for UCC, the BJP government mainly intends to target Muslim community.

Similarly, several BJP ruled states have been attempting to carry out the agenda.

This hateful motive is garbed in stereotypical arguments such as prevention of discrimination against women, Muslim men’s practice of polygamy, arbitrary divorce, denial of inheritance and so on.

Mufti Raees, a Muslim leader in the state reproved the government’s decision to bring about the legislation on UCC, and termed it a violation of Article 25 in the Indian Constitution, which guarantees all citizens the freedom to profess, practice and propagate their religion.

Mohammad Ahmed Qasmi, the chief Muslim cleric in Uttarakhand’s capital Dehradun, slammed the government for hastening the implementation of Uniform Civil Code ignoring the grievances of Muslims in the state. 

“The government has ignored the objections and suggestions given by the community,” he said in a press statement on Sunday.

The UCC bill comes at a time when the state of Uttarakhand sees an unprecedented increase in hate crimes against Muslims under BJP rule.

Senior lawyers, bureaucrats and opposition leaders have criticised the inaction of the state’s law and order system while open calls for the ethnic cleansing and mass killing of Muslims are being made on a daily basis.

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