Uniform Civil Code cannot be forced upon people, it has to be optional: Surjewala

Last Updated 21 February 2020, 11:33 IST

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala on Friday said a Uniform Civil Code cannot be forced upon people and it has to be optional.

Addressing the 10th edition of the "Chhatra Sansad" (students' parliament) here, he said a Uniform Civil Code has to be voluntary and that will be a great step.

"The very fact of the Uniform Civil Code is that it cannot be forced upon you, it has to be optional and not compulsory. It has to be voluntary and that will be a great step...," Surjewala said.

While releasing the ruling BJP's Lok Sabha polls manifesto last year, its senior leader Rajnath Singh had said the saffron party was committed to implementing a Uniform Civil Code in the country.

Talking about caste-based violence in the country, Surjewala said one should not shy away from reality.

"When I discriminate and violate your rights because you are from the scheduled tribes or backward classes, why should you shy away from stating the naked truth in public? That is the only way to societal reforms and the realisation that caste-based violence is an ugly menace that prevails in our society.

"We cannot wish it away. We can only cure it by the curation of the mindset, by reforms and by punishing those who are the perpetrators of such crimes...," he said.

The Congress leader said recent incidents of attacks on Dalits showed how poverty and caste continued to govern actions in society.

The caste and class divide is one of the most important social issues of today and students will have to deliberate on it, he added.

(Published 21 February 2020, 10:37 IST)

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