The coordination committee of minority cultural groups organized a seminar on ‘Uniform Civil Code and the Left’ in Kannur on December 20. Addressing the seminar CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat said the BJP is using the issue of Uniform Civil Code as a weapon to obliterate the identity of Muslims in the country and that the fundamentalist position insisting that instant and arbitrary triple ‘talaq’ is ordained by Islam will help communalists create a communal divide in the country. Karat said the BJP government was trying to conflate and combine the issue of the misuse of the instant and arbitrary use of triple talaq with the enforcement of the Uniform Civil Code.
The CPI(M) supports the plea of three Muslim women to the Supreme Court that the instant and arbitrary declaration of triple talaq should be made illegal.
Noting that there are certain inequalities and defects in the personal laws, Prakash Karat said they were not particular to any religion. The real issue was whether the country could have equality within and between religious communities.
“The way forward is to see that personal laws of all religious communities have reforms which will help to provide for gender justice,” he said.
He said that the Sangh Parivar had a planned agenda to demonise the Muslim community, and portray them as alien to the Indian mainstream.
Referring to the Law Commission’s ‘unfortunate’ issue of a questionnaire eliciting views of different sections of the people on the Uniform Civil Code, Karat said its purpose was stated to be to harmonise the cultures of India.
Describing India as a multi-cultural, multi-linguistic, multi-ethnic country, he said the CPIM) had sent an effective rebuttal to the questionnaire.
“The BJP-led government and the Law Commission should read the constitution,” he said adding that Article 371 A allows no Act of Parliament in respect of religious or social practices of the Nagas and Naga customary law and procedure because of the distinct social and culture structure of the Nagas.
AN Shamseer, MLA, presided. CPI(M) district secretary P Jayarajan, Party leaders M Prakashan and MV Jayarajan, writer Khadeeja Mumtaz and academic Hussain Randathani were among those present at the seminar.