Uttarakhand state’s decision to implement Uniform Civil Code is another step towards Muslim erasure, says IAMC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC (March 24, 2022) – The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, today unequivocally condemned the BJP-ruled Uttarakhand state’s decision to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). The UCC mandates the formulation of a law, in which all communities would be forced to adhere to a common law in matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, regardless of their religious practice.
This is an alarming deviation from the current system, which has different laws for different faiths, including the Hindu Marriage Act, Indian Christian Marriages Act, and the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act. Muslim personal laws are based on religious texts and are not codified.
Implementing the UCC is a violation of freedom of religion and an invasion in the private lives of citizens, particularly Muslims and Christians, who are already severely marginalized in India. Far from being a step towards progressiveness, the UCC is another avenue for Hindu supremacists to attack and prosecute Muslims and Christians for practicing their faith in their private lives.
Under the BJP’s Hindu supremacist agenda, the UCC will neither liberate nor unite, but rather push a Hindu-centric idea of uniformity. This phenomenon can already be seen in the aftermath of the Karnataka state High Court’s ban on religious dress in schools, which unfairly discriminates against Muslims under the guise of secularism, while Hindu festivals and religious texts are incorporated into curriculum’s.
“UCC is one more step in the direction of turning India into a Hindu majoritarian state where minorities are relegated to second class citizenship,” said Mr. Rasheed Ahmed, Executive Director of IAMC. “The Hindu nationalist BJP has long been a proponent of the UCC precisely because it is an effective erasure of Muslim and other minority religious practices. True secularism is the acknowledgement and celebration of differences. The UCC is a tool that forces a minority to conform to the standards of uniformity set by an extremist majority.”
IAMC remains committed to upholding India’s secular and pluralistic ethos, and urges the international community to be vocal in condemning this latest move by the BJP to intimidate India’s religious minorities.