Sikh organisations to hold a joint meeting with leaders of other minority communities to forge a broad-based coalition against the proposed UCC.
NEW DELHI — Any attempt by Narendra Modi government to impose Uniform Civil Code (UCC) on the Sikh community will be fought tooth and nail, representatives of several Sikh organisations vowed on Tuesday.
Addressing the media at the Shiromani Akal Dal (SAD) Delhi state office here, the Sikh leaders said their community would never allow the UCC to be imposed on Sikhs under any circumstances.
Shiromani Akal Dal is a former BJP ally but severed ties with it on the issue of three farm laws that were revoked after massive year-long protests.
The Sikh leaders warned the Modi government of terrible consequences for the “unity and integrity” of the country if it attempted to impose UCC.
They also asked former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, BJP leaders Hardeep Puri and other Sikh leaders to make clear their stand on UCC.
Among those who addressed the media were Delhi SAD chief Paramjit Singh Sarna and former presidents of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) Manjit Singh G.K. and Harvinder Singh Sarna.
“Sikhs will not accept it (the UCC) as it is against the Sikhs qaum (nation),” they unanimously declared.
The Sikh leaders also announced to hold a joint meeting with leaders of other minority communities to forge a broad-based coalition against the proposed UCC.
“UCC is an effort to assimilate minorities into the Hindu majority,” said Paramjit Singh Sarna. He warned the Modi government of serious repercussions on the integrity and unity of the country if it attempted to impose UCC.
Echoing the views of Sarna, Manjit Singh said the UCC was an attempt “to fracture the nation.”
Sarna denounced the decision of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) to lend support to the proposed UCC and called the Arvind Kejriwal-led party the “B-team of the BJP”.
“The AAP move is evidence of its ultra-majoritarian ideology, and raises serious concerns about the future of India’s diversity and pluralism,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a significant departure from the AAP stand, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann has voiced his opposition to the UCC.
The Aam Aadmi Party is a secular party and has no intention to tinker with the social customs of any community, Mann said on Tuesday.
Mann’s statement comes days after senior AAP leader Sandeep Pathak told the media that his party supports the UCC “in principle”.
“In principle, we support a Uniform Civil Code. The Constitution’s Article 44 also supports it. But since this issue concerns all religious communities, there should be wide-ranging consultations and efforts to build consensus,” Pathak, AAP’s national general secretary (organisation) and a Rajya Sabha MP, said last week.
Earlier in a statement, Cheema had said, “SAD is of the firm view that implementation of UCC is not in the interests of the minorities in the country. The 21st Law Commission has already opined in its consultation report that UCC is neither desirable nor feasible. Implementation of UCC will affect the civil rights of minorities, and unrest and tension will start in the country.”
Manjit Singh lamented that even after 75 years of independence, Sikhs were not covered by any personal laws. “In order to create Sikh Personal Law, the Jathedar of Shri Akal Takht Sahib should promptly convene a committee of experts. After that, the government should be under pressure to enact the Sikh Personal Law. The Hindu Personal Law has been applicable to us up until this point since the Constitution considers us to be followers of the Hindu religion. Of course, the Anand Marriage Act governs the registration of a Sikh couple’s marriage, but the Hindu Marriage Act governs divorce. While every one of our rituals is distinct from those of other religions,” he added.