Uniform civil code, a common law for all citizens concerning marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance and maintenance, has been a matter of debate right from the time of making of the constitution. Its inclusion in the directive principles of state policy as article 44 was a compromise between the supporters and opponents. The matter has come back to discussions again with the Union government asking the Law commission to examine all matter related to it.
As a secular republic, India needs a common civil code, which is clear of contradictions. Religious laws as of now don’t ensure gender justice, and are at odds with fundamental rights like art 14 and art 19. The practices like triple talaq, polygamy and the divorce norms among Christians create wide disparity in society, creating the need for a common law.
The topic of uniform civil code is always raised in the context of communal politics, and hamper the secular fabric of the country since an ardent religious follower considers religious injunction to be superior to legal ones.
There will always be opposition when some of change is proposed, and the government shouldn’t compromise with them. Still, this being a social change, this has to come from people, and shouldn’t be forced by government. Instead of bringing it as a single law, it can be brought in steps. It is high time a decisive step was taken towards implementation of Uniform Civil Code.