The Muslims will voice their views on the Uniform Civil Code, but there is little hope of being heard, Maulana Arshad Madani, the head of Jamiat Ulema E Hind, India’s largest Muslim organization, told NewsMadura on Wednesday. “What can anyone do? Now that the Prime Minister has openly said that Muslims’ religious rights will be taken away…” he told NewsMadura in an exclusive interview.
De Maulana is also a member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, which held an emergency meeting late Tuesday evening after Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed strongly for a unified civil code. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi had declared that a country cannot run on two laws, any more than a family can have “different rules for different members”.
During the three-hour meeting, the Law Board decided to submit its views to the Law Commission, which has sought views from all stakeholders.
But de Maulana made it clear he wasn’t expecting much.
“We know whatever the Law Commission decides – it will not be based on what we say, no matter how many thousands of delegations or requests we send. It will take into account the Government’s views… Now that the Prime Minister is supporting it, expect for the Law Commission to take our views into account is too much,” he said.
When asked how the Muslim community might respond, he said: “What can Muslims do in these circumstances… What can anyone do? I have asked Muslims not to go on the road. They can express their views in a dignified manner.” .
When asked what path the Muslims will take once the Uniform Civil Code actually comes into effect, he replied: “What can we actually do? What else can we lose?”
“Our mosque is gone, what can we do? We can only keep the faith alive in our daily lives, God willing,” he added, referring to the Babri Masjid of Ayodhya that was torn down by Kar Sevaks in 1992.
The Uniform Civil Code refers to a set of overarching laws that apply to everyone in the country, superseding religion-based personal laws, laws of inheritance, adoption, and succession.
Article 44 of the constitution calls on the state to strive for a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India. The article claims that there is no connection between religion and matters of a secular nature, such as marriage, divorce or succession.
Today, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi party said it supports the unified civil code “in principle”, but its implementation should be through dialogues and discussions with all stakeholders.