All management students and managerial workmen are continuously bombarded by countless under-qualified training instructors that ‘Change is the only constant thing’. They conveniently forget the converse: “The more things change, the more they remain same’. Ever wondered why? Perhaps that is the way the nature works. No ocean in the world is stand still. Wobbling with waves, it is in a state of perpetual disturbance.
Whenever any change is proposed, whether it is for good or bad, the immediate reaction is ‘to oppose’. Even in the house of poor, kids refuse to eat! It may be called ‘Opposing for the sake of Opposing’ and our own Opposition party that is not officially recognised as ‘the Opposition’ follows this principle like something written in the holy book. Now, they have a competition! Of course, not from unexpected quarters.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board felt that the Muslim Personal Law is out of Supreme Court’s jurisdiction! I wonder how Baba Ramdev or someone else belonging to the majority religion, how much outcry would have been made by now.
Mulayam Singh and Azam Khan would have ensured that the Baba or Sadhu booked under ‘Contempt of Court. Shashi Tharoor would have tweeted how this goes against the spirit of constitution, only to be seconded by Manish Tewari. Mani Shankar Aiyar would have asked ISIS for help to establish a Congress government in the centre, so that these type of wrongs could be corrected – in the Shariat way. Arundhati Roy and Amartya Sen would write articles how the majoritarianism is killing the idea of ‘Bharat’. And finally Rahul Gandhi would have gone to Las Vegas to do ‘Atma Chintan’ in some cool casino – only because he doesn’t know better to do.
However, it was the opinion of the mighty Muslim Personal Law Board that none in the secular India could question. It was in response to the suo-motu decision by Supreme Court to evaluate the ‘legal validity’ of the notorious ‘triple talaq’ practice. And the explanation by the All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board was that the Muslim Personal Law was based on Quran and not the one enacted by the Parliament. Arguing further, Ejaaz Maqbool, representing the All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board claimed that there is no guarantee that uniform civil code cannot guarantee national integrity and solidarity citing world wars between Christian nations. He referred to the Hindu Code Bill that was passed in 1956 to make uniform laws amongst various sects of Hindus, and how it failed to achieve the purported uniformity. He enquired to know whether caste-based discrimination ceased in Hinduism.
In fact, the way Ejaz Maqbool articulated the point of All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board very well, he should have been hired by the Gandhis to countrer Subramanian Swamy. He raised all the valid points that will force the court to study the history of world in detail from Indus valley civilisation to today to counter his arguments. But, like every strong fort had a weak link, his arguments have a weak link. And that is ‘truth’. He was arguing for the sake of arguing. It was proven in the history that if ‘change doesn’t come from within, it would be forced by external factors’.
As claimed by him, Muslim Personal Law was something that was based on Quran. But, it is legitimised by the constitution of India so that Indian Courts are using it as one more section of the constitution. The Indian Constitution, till the country remain as it is now, is the supreme document, subjected to only those changes that are done from time to time, by the Parliament. The procedure of constitutional amendments shall be according to the constitution. And the job of interpreting the constitution and scrutinising existing laws is the job of the Supreme Court. And this mechanism is above all personal laws, including the Hindu Law.
It is not that Hindu Law doesn’t have any loopholes that are exploited by various people. It is not that by enacting laws would convert entire population of the nation into a law abiding one. If so, Ejaz saab, how and why there exists crime in all the nations where Shariat is practised? If Shariat could bridge the gap between citizens, why there is opposition to the rulers in Islamic countries, which resulted in ‘uprisings’? So, Shariat, being the common law among Islamic nations could not bridge the differences between various sects of Islam? And so the Hindu code bill failed to iron out all caste-based discrimination. If enacting laws could change the system, I would support Kanhaiya Kumar, who wanted one ‘Rohith Law’ to eliminate caste discrimination. Does it mean I support the discrimination? NO. A Big No.
What is needed to live in peace and let others also live in peace is to ingrain a common sense in one’s brain. And this is supposed to be the job of elders of each and every community, in which they often fail causing disastrous consequences. Uniform Civil Code will not root out treason. Neither traitors are eliminated. In every homogeneous society, there always would be some amount of variance that opposes the main body. Uniform Civil Code in a secular country is only to ensure that all citizens are treated equally, irrespective of their positions with respect to gender, religion, region, language and caste and so many other factors.
In a secular country, which India is, as you all argue and try hard to keep it so, religion is supposed to be a private affair restricted to be a relation between an individual and his or her god. And, God’s job is to take care of his subject, post death. Till death, constitution takes care. Hope, your legal brain notices this small fact. If you still fail to understand, you may consult the new constitution expert Owaisi, who rejected to say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, only because it was not in the constitution!
Finally Maqbool saab, your argument is something like ‘let me also commit a crime, only because everyone else is doing (enjoying)’. It reached such low touched by politics – remember how all parties claim they have given less tickets to criminals? But, all religions are in fact the first political establishments and thus your argument is valid!
Note: This article doesn’t mean that any wrong practices, still practised in Hinduism are correct. Hinduism, the native religion named so by foreigners, is supposed to evolve and change with times and not to rot in some time capsule.