This research offers to the reader whether a secular state should levy UCC or
not. The concept of a secular state is one in which the government is or claims
to be publicly agnostic in questions of religion, not endorsing either religion
or atheism. Similarly, India is a diverse country where people with different
religion, caste, culture, custom, etc. reside together. Our country is a secular
state which means that people residing in India are free to follow any religion.
UCC refers to common set of standardized civil laws which will govern and apply
to all citizens irrespective of their religion in matters relating to marriage,
divorce, inheritance, maintenance, etc. The Indian Constitution does not
explicitly mention the UCC. However, Article 44 of the directive principle of
state policy (Part-IV of Constitution) states that the state shall "endeavor to
secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India."
However, other scholars argue that Article 44 is not legally binding and that
the government does not have the power to enforce a uniform civil code. In this
paper we mainly talk about Uniform civil code, discusses its origin and what
will be the consequences if it is been implemented in a diverse country like
- Does a secular state have the power to levy UCC?
- To analyze if the implementation of UCC will disrupt the secular nature of
any state like India?
- To find if implementation of UCC will be possible in a secular state through
opinions of the people?
- The primary source of our findings is a Google form where
various responses from individuals whether a secular state should
levy UCC has been
added. The secondary source of research are articles where we different reasons,
needs and consequences have been stated.
In the Google form created we have got the following responses:
Hence, in the end by the responses submitted we infer that a majority of the
responses indicate that UCC will help modernize and secular state like India and
they support it. Although a few of them do not support UCC and think it would
infringe rights of people.
Majority of individuals are of the opinion that UCC is one nation, one law. Although a lot of them are not aware that India as secular state already has UCC implemented in a few fields like the criminal law. UCC is not implemented specifically in areas of marriage and property. Moreover, 23.5 % of individuals think of UCC as a uniform society.
Secondly, 35.3 % of our responses show that the individuals are a supporter of UCC whereas 7.1% show that they are a supporter of UCC but they think that it is not possible to implement UCC in a secular country like India. And 29.4 % do not support UCC.
47% of the responses indicate that the consequences of UCC would be promotion of equality. Whereas 23.5% indicate that religious beliefs and customs which are being followed by generations will be destroyed. And a few think that UCC would help judiciary in making decisions easily.
The fourth question asks whether UCC should be optional or not and majority of the Responses indicate that UCC should be optional.
In the form, the question asked was whether UCC would infringe the various rights of freedom guaranteed by the constitution of India and 47% answer that UCC will infringe their rights of freedom. Whereas a few are unsure and 29.4 % think that it would not infringe their rights.
In our 6th question we asked people about their opinions on article 44 of our constitution and majority of the responses stated that although Article 44 is optional as stated in Directive Principles of state policy it is on the citizens of the country whether UCC included in article 44 should be implemented or not.
The 7th question was whether UCC would support LGBTQ was also included in our questionnaire and majority of the responses said yes although a few stated maybe not as they feel the rights of LGBTQ will be restrained and UCC won't allow them to follow their own practices.
In the end, 82.4 % of the individuals think that UCC will modernize a secular state like India.
Lastly, a question as to whether UCC would amend previous judgments was asked and 35.3 % stated no and 29.4 % stated yes.
- Women between Community and State: Some Implications of the Uniform Civil
Code Debates in India" : The essay examines the complex relationship
between women's position within the state and religious communities,
particularly focusing on the conflict that arises between women's
citizenship rights and the claims made by the religious groups they are a
part of. This issue is particularly relevant in the context of the debates
surrounding the UCC
in India. The UCC debates revolve around the discussion of whether to replace
the existing personal laws with a unified set of laws and what the content and
implementation of such laws would entail. The existing legal framework in India,
known as personal law, is a result of the colonial era and entails separate laws
for different religious groups. Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Parsi communities
each have their own set of personal laws, which cover matters like marriage,
inheritance, divorce, maintenance, and adoption. These laws operate within the
framework of religious identity and respect for religious differences. However,
they have been criticized for their discriminatory nature towards women. The
essay also notes that any attempts to reform or replace personal laws are often
met with resistance due to concerns about threatening community identity and
traditional patriarchal structures.
The debate around the UCC involves various positions. Some argue for
constitutional secularism, where uniform laws are seen as a way to overcome
religious divisions and promote national unity. Others, however, uphold
religious patriarchy and oppose reforms to personal laws. The essay highlights
the historical context, including the proposal of the Hindu Code bill, which
faced strong opposition during the early years of India's independence.
- "Resolving the Constitutional Dilemma of the Uniform Civil Code in India
through the Women's Convention" :
This paper advocates for a shift in the focus of the UCC debate, aligning it
with the feminist perspective in India that emphasizes addressing gender-based
violence. To achieve this, the paper proposes a restructuring of the UCC
discourse centered around the concept of Due Diligence Obligation (DDO) as
outlined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women. The paper contends that the absence of a UCC leads to a normative
void that is currently filled by a societal atmosphere of patriarchy,
influencing the mindset of the average Indian. To rectify this, the paper argues
for replacing this prevailing societal mindset with the normative framework
provided by the DDO) as stipulated in CEDAW. By adopting this approach, the
paper seeks to establish a connection between international norms, specifically
those of CEDAW, and their implementation within domestic contexts.
- Need and Importance of Implementation of UCC in India ": In this paper,
the author discusses the need and significance of implementing a UCC in India by
addressing the challenges associated with its implementation. The essay begins
by comparing the legal systems in countries like the UK and USA, where a single
law governs all matters, including family matters due to the dominance of one or
two religions. In contrast, India's diverse population adheres to various
customary norms based on religion, resulting in distinct laws concerning
marriage, divorce, inheritance, and other family matters. Article 44 of the
Indian Constitution introduces the concept of UCC, aiming to establish uniform
laws for all citizens regardless of their religious affiliations. However, the
prevailing customs within different religious communities often hinder the
implementation of UCC. The author notes that individuals from various religious
backgrounds prefer to retain their personal laws, considering them superior to
others. One of the primary challenges is the fear of losing political support,
as politicians hesitate to address personal laws that might affect their vote
bank. The author references the Shayara Bano case where the Indian Supreme Court
acknowledged the necessity of UCC while ruling against Triple Talaq. Despite
this, implementation remains elusive due to the sensitivity of personal matters
and political considerations.
The essay asserts that UCC is essential to uphold concepts such as unity in
diversity, secularism, and equality enshrined in the Indian Constitution. It
cites past judgments, like the Sarla Mudgal Case, in which the Supreme Court
supported the idea of equality through UCC implementation. The author argues
that UCC is pivotal for ending practices like polygamy and unilateral divorce,
as well as eliminating the diversity of laws based on religion. Uniformity in
laws is seen as crucial for ensuring true equality across the country.
- The articles listed below do state various reasons as to if UCC implemented
would bring about challenges at the same time also also bring about a positive
change in the a secular state:
- Separation of Church and State: Should a Secular State Levy a Uniform
After reading the article, we can highlight the importance of the separation of
church and state, which is a fundamental principle in many democratic societies.
This separation ensures that the government does not favor or promote any
particular religion, allowing individuals to practice their faith freely.
However, it can be argued that the enforcement of a uniform civil code in a
secular state can be a controversial topic. UCC refers to a set of laws that
apply to all citizens irrespective of their religious beliefs. It is intended to
promote equality and prevent discrimination, particularly in matters of personal
laws such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption. Nanda acknowledges
that UCC could be seen as an infringement on religious freedom since it imposes
a set of rules that might contradict certain religious practices or beliefs.
This could lead to opposition from religious communities who feel that their
traditions and customs are being marginalized.
On the other hand it can be argued that a secular state should prioritize
individual rights and ensure that all citizens are treated equally under the
law, rather than favoring different religious practices. Ultimately, the
decision to implement UCC should be carefully considered, taking into account
the specific social and cultural context of each religion.
- "Secularism and the Uniform Civil Code: Reflections on the Indian
This article focuses on the Indian context and provides an analysis of the
debate surrounding the implementation of a uniform civil code in a secular
state. It explores the constitutional provisions related to secularism and the
challenges in levying a uniform civil code.
Secularism and the UCC are intertwined concepts that often intersect in
discussions about governance and personal laws. Secularism advocates for the
separation of religion and state, ensuring that the government treats all
religions equally and does not favor any particular faith. The UCC, on the other
hand, proposes a single set of laws applicable to all citizens regardless of
their religious beliefs, particularly in matters of personal law.
The UCC aims to replace the diverse set of personal laws that currently exist in
India, which are based on different religious practices. These laws pertain to
issues like marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption. Proponents of the UCC
argue that it would promote gender equality, social justice, and a unified legal
framework, aligning with the principles of secularism by treating all citizens
equally under the law.
However, the UCC is a contentious issue in a diverse country like India, as it
touches upon deeply ingrained religious and cultural practices. Critics argue
that imposing a uniform code could infringe upon religious freedoms and cultural
identities. The challenge lies in finding a balance between upholding secular
principles and respecting the diversity of beliefs and practices.
- "Religion, Secularism, and the Uniform Civil Code: A Comparative
This research paper compares the approaches of different countries towards
secularism and the implementation of a uniform civil code. It examines the role
of religion and its impact on the establishment of a uniform civil code in a
A comparative study of religion, secularism, and UCC would likely analyze how
different societies and legal systems approach the regulation of personal
matters based on religious beliefs. The controversy surrounding UCC in a secular
state like India revolves around the idea of creating a common set of civil laws
that would apply to all citizens, regardless of their religious affiliations.
Proponents argue that it promotes equality and social justice, while opponents
argue that it may infringe upon religious rights and cultural diversity. A
critical analysis of this issue would likely explore these conflicting
viewpoints and examine the implications of implementing a UCC in the context of
a secular nation.
Religion: This aspect would involve examining how various religions influence
personal laws, such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption. Different
religions often have distinct norms and practices related to these areas.
Secularism: The study would explore the extent to which a country's legal system
separates religion from governance. Secularism aims to ensure that laws are not
based solely on religious principles but are inclusive and impartial to all
citizens. Uniform Civil Code (UCC): The UCC is a proposal to replace personal
laws based on religious traditions with a common set of laws applicable to all
citizens, regardless of their religion.
A comparative analysis would consider
countries with a UCC, those with multiple personal laws, and the challenges and
benefits associated with both approaches. By comparing these three elements
across different societies, the study would likely aim to understand the tension
between religious freedom and a unified legal framework, along with the societal
implications of each approach. It could also shed light on how different legal
systems navigate cultural and religious diversity while ensuring equal rights
for all citizens.
- The Controversy of the Uniform Civil Code in a Secular State: A Critical
This article provides a critical analysis of the controversy surrounding the
implementation of a uniform civil code in a secular state. It discusses the
various arguments and examines the constitutional framework and principles
guiding the debate. The controversy surrounding UCC in a secular state like
India revolves around the idea of creating a common set of civil laws that would
apply to all citizens, regardless of their religious affiliations. Proponents
argue that it promotes equality and social justice, while opponents argue that
it may infringe upon religious rights and cultural diversity. A critical
analysis of this issue would likely explore these conflicting viewpoints and
examine the implications of implementing a UCC in the context of a secular
UCC has been a hot topic recently, mainly, because the critics continue to
oppose it as a threat to religious freedom. The question of whether it should be
implemented or not is still unanswered. In this era, a secular democratic
republic should have a common civil law as it will ensure equal status to all
citizens irrespective of their religion, caste, or gender. UCC would also
somewhat help crumb the issue of concessions enjoyed by specific communities
based on their personal laws.
But despite all the positive impacts that the UCC
can have, it is practically problematic to come up with a common law due to the
diversity our country holds. Also, currently, this subject is explicitly very
sensitive, considering the controversial issues going on with the religious
minority community, to form reforms. The government will have to be quite
cautious and tactful in dealing with the issues like- protests, and communal
violence, that the reform might create in the society. That being so, collective
efforts should be made toward restoring the harmony of our democracy, instead of
disconcerting it with a reform that is uncalled for.
It is very difficult to levy UCC in the secular state as there are personal laws
of all individual religion residing in the state. To meet the goals of UCC,
government should oversee the following:
- Before implementation, UCC also demands some spade work before its full-fledged foundation is put into practice.
- To the contradiction of laws under article 25, article 26(b), and article 29 with UCC, government should appoint a committee of imminent jurists to maintain uniformity and care must be taken not to hurt the sentiments of any particular community.
- It should be drafted keeping in mind the best interest of all citizens.
- Before implementation, the government should run an awareness program to educate the citizens throughout the state.
- INDIAN CONST. art.44
- Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, Women between Community and State: Some Implications of the Uniform Civil Code Debates in India
- Shritha K. Vasudevan, Resolving the Constitutional Dilemma of the Uniform Civil Code in India through the Women's Convention
- Dr. Bhagyashri A. Deshpande, Need and Importance of Implementation of UCC in India
- INDIAN CONST. art.44
- Vanya Nanda, Separation of Church and State: Should a Secular State Levy a Uniform Civil Code? International Journal of Legal Research and Governance, 2020.
- Neha Saraswat, Secularism and the Uniform Civil Code: Reflections on the Indian Experience, Global Center for Advanced Studies Journal, 2021.
- Kamaldeep Kaur, Religion, Secularism, and the Uniform Civil Code: A Comparative Study, Asian Journal of Multidimensional Research, 2018.
- Aarti Singh, The Controversy of the Uniform Civil Code in a Secular State: A Critical Analysis, International Journal of Legal Sciences and Research, 2017.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Swathika Kadieswaran
Authentication No: DE334864258413-14-1223