Is the Uniform Civil Code next for the Modi govt?

Hints from within govt about bringing in UCC soon

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

After delivering on the decades-old promise of scrapping Article 370 and clearing the way for building a Ram Temple in Ayodhya within six months into its second term in office, all eyes are now on the Modi government on whether it would make efforts to turn Uniform Civil Code into a reality.

Elated by a favourable judgement on the Ayodhya issue, RSS and VHP — who led the Ram Temple movement — dropped broad hints of going slow on their demand for “liberating” Kashi and Mathura shrines that stand abutting ancient mosques.

“Ayodhya toh jhanki hai, Kashi, Mathura baaki hai (Ayodhya is just a trailer, Kashi, Mathura still to come)” was a popular slogan during the Ram Temple movement, signalling a clear agenda of the Sangh Parivar.

Both the RSS and the VHP announced on Saturday that their primary focus now was to build a grand Ram Temple at Ayodhya and steered clear of their oft-declared agenda.

There were hints from within the government of moving to the next election agenda of the BJP, namely the Uniform Civil Code.

However, a senior leader pointed out that the Delhi High Court is expected to take up a bunch of petitions on the Uniform Civil Code next week and the government may choose to wait for the legal course to be played out.

The petitions are seeking a uniform civil code as provided under Article 44 of the Constitution, to promote national integration as well as gender justice, equality and dignity of women.

In 2018, a Law Commission of India consultation paper had said that the Uniform Civil Code was “neither necessary nor desirable at this stage” in the country.

The paper had said that secularism cannot contradict the plurality prevalent in the country.

The BJP had to put its pet issues such as abrogation of Article 370, building the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and Uniform Civil Code on the back burner as it rode piggy-back on allies to come to power in 1998.

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