The measure is against fundamental rights given in the Constitution. It is unacceptable and detrimental to the unity and integrity of the country.
NEW DELHI — Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH) has strongly opposed Uniform Civil Code, claiming it to be totally against religious freedom and fundamental rights given to the citizens in Articles 25, and 26 of the Constitution.
The measure is unacceptable to Muslims, and it is detrimental to the unity and integrity of the country, the general body meeting of the mass-based Muslim organisation said in a resolution here on Monday.
In a statement, the Jamiat said our constitution is secular wherein every citizen has been given full religious freedom. “It has also given every soul the right to choose the religion of his choice, because there is no official religion for the Indian state, and it gives complete freedom to all its citizens,” it said.
“In a pluralistic society like India, where followers of different religions have been living in peace and unity following the teachings of their respective religions for centuries, the idea of imposing a uniform civil code is surprising,” it said.
The JUH said it seems that “Article 44 of the Constitution is used under the guise of keeping a particular section in mind to mislead the majority, and it is being said that this is written in the Constitution.”
It recalled that the second chief of the RSS, Guru Golwalkar, himself held that the “Uniform Civil Code is unnatural to India and against its diversity”.
Moreover, it added, the fact is that Uniform Civil Code has been mentioned (suggested) in the Directive Principles of the State Policy.
“The Constitution was developed after independence, while history says that for centuries, people in this country have been following their own religious principles. The religious beliefs and customs of the people have been different, but there has never been any conflict or tension between them,” the JUH general body resolution noted.
It said: “Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind considers religious freedom as the spirit of the Constitution, whereas Article 44 is an optional matter under Directive Principles of State Policy, so the issue of religious freedom and rights is secondary and supplementary to the Directive Principles.”
The JUH said nobody, whether Parliament or the Supreme Court, has the authority to change the basic provisions listed under Chapter 3 of the Constitution.
“In fact, people of a certain mindset are trying to mislead the majority by saying that Uniform Civil Code is part of the Constitution while this is not the case at all. There are provisions of the Indian Penal Code to maintain law and order situation in the country. According to them, punishments are given for various crimes, and all the citizens of the country come under these provisions. But the minorities, tribes and some other communities of the country have been given freedom under the religious and social laws because the identity of different religious communities and groups is related to religious and social rituals and customs, and this is also the basis of unity, integrity and unity of the country,” it noted
Expressing his views on the resolution, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind President Maulana Arshad Madani said the issue does not involve only Muslims; it is for all Indians. “Jamiat Ulama Hind cannot compromise on its religious affairs and worship in any way. We will not protest on the streets but will take all possible steps within the ambit of law,” he said.
Photo: A man holds a banner during a rally organised by All India Muslim Personal Law Board against Uniform Civil Code in Kolkata. — Reuters