Opinion: D. C. Nath (President, Patriot’s Forum) – Common Civil Code, Forget Debate-Implement

DC Nath SmallPresident of Patriots Forum, D.C. Nath was superannuated in January, 1995, as the Special Director, Intelligence Bureau, D.C. Nath (IPS-1960) was associated with the International Institute of Security and Safety Management (IISSM), headquartered in New Delhi, for over 14 years, first as the Executive President & CEO and then as the President & Director General, between February, 1997 and March, 2011. The author of a highly acclaimed book, Intelligence Imperatives for India, Mr. Nath earned high plaudits from all around for two of his very significant presentations on: “Revisiting the Future of India” (2005, London) and “Lessons from India for the War On Terrorism” (2007, USA). He is the only one in the field, combining the experiences of a police officer with specialization in intelligence and strategic analysis and an industrial security expert par excellence. More Bio on D. C. Nath…

News Research & Analysis Files


December 17, 2014

Dear Friends,


Subject: Common Civil Code, Forget Debate-Implement


We have just the other day heard the Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu making a categorical statement on the floor of the House during its ongoing session that the best way to counter the ‘ghar wapasi’ programe of the RSS would be to bring about a much-debated but much-wanted “Anti-Conversion Law” in the country. The Muslim leaders-so would be the case of Christian padris-strongly protested this.

Some reference to the other “controversial” issue, namely, “Uniform Civil Code”, stiffly resisted by the Muslim leader, would be relevant in this background. It is touted that these are coming up because of alleged right-wing government being in power at the Centre. When this does not seem to hold any water, a pretty balanced write-up on this has come as the second editorial (attached) in “The Pioneer” of December 16, 2014.


The salient points in it are:


· This is amusing because the Uniform Civil Code is supposed to ‘equalise’ all communities under a common law and not discriminate one from the other.

· A Congress leader has wondered whether a Uniform Civil Code would not militate against the religious beliefs of a particular community. While this aspect has been debated threadbare in the past, its resurgence every now and then points to the sense of insecurity which exists among the clerics who fear that a uniform code would weaken much of their leverage with the community.

· The Supreme Court’s verdict in the Shah Bano case had been a good opportunity for the Union Government to bring in a Uniform Civil Code, but the then Congress Government of Rajiv Gandhi had capitulated pathetically to the fundamentalist voices and amended the Constitution to make the court ruling infructuous.

· While it is for legal experts to mull over whether a Uniform Civil Code would be in violation of Article 25 of the Constitution, which provides for freedom to profess and practise a religion of one’s choice, on the face of it, that does not seem to be the case. A common code would not prevent an Indian citizen from practising his or her faith; it would merely provide for uniform civil laws that would govern communities, irrespective of their faiths. If every religious community of the country — and there are so many — were to insist on their personal laws, it would lead to chaos.


Friends who would like to know more on this with reference to the basic debate discussed in the historic Constituent Assembly Debates in November 1948, may like to look up an excellent and learned write-up by a scholar friend Ramashray Upadhyay in his dissertation (Paper No. 5742, South Asia Analysis Group) on: “Uniform Civil Code—It Is Time To revisit The Issue”.


Upadhyay sums up:


“The question arises that despite being aware of the attitude of the minority community when our leaders in Constituent Assembly pushed through Article 44, why our successive ruling establishments didn’t enforce it? The answer lies in the above quoted statement of the Congress leader A. K. Antony. “Some sections of society have an impression that the party (Congress) is inclined to certain communities and organisations. Congress’ policy is equal justice to every one. But people have doubts whether that policy is being implemented or not”.


He was candid on what “defending the Hindu Code Bill, Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the country said, “Well, I should like a Civil Code which applies to every body but wisdom hinders. If the member or anybody else brings forward a Civil Code Bill, it will have my extreme sympathy. But I confess I do not think that at the present moment time is “ripe” in India for me to try to push it through. I want to prepare the ground for it”. (Uniform Civil Code and Gender justice by Dinanath Raina, page 1-2).” This statement of Nehru was perhaps the first blunder which made the Uniform Civil Code the victim of perverse secularism and emboldened the perverted Communalists to ensure that this constitutional commitment is not enforced. Surely he was aware that it was the strong political will of the leaders like K.M.Munshi and B.R.Ambedkar that Article 44 was pushed through.”


Friends, we agree when Upadhayay says, “It is (indeed) time to revisit the issue” with a clear mind. We strongly feel this is one issue that, if duly implemented, will in one stroke resolve many Issues.

(Note: ‘May like to see Shri Ramashray Upadhyay’s paper in the link: http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/1564



Your sevak,
D.C. Nath

(Former Spl. Director, IB)

(President, Patriots’ Forum)

Source: Patriot Forum

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