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What is the 'Uniform Civil Code' that has been promised in the BJP's manifesto?

Monday, 7 April 2014 - 7:08pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) released its election manifesto on April 7, amidst much fuss and furore.

There has since been some discussion over the inclusion of the Uniform Civil Code in the manifesto. The manifesto says, 'BJP believes that there cannot be gender equality till such time India adopts a Uniform Civil Code, which protects the rights of all women, and the BJP reiterates its stand to draft a Uniform Civil Code, drawing upon the best traditions and harmonising them with the modern times'.

For all those who don't know what a Uniform Civil Code is, here's a little insight that might prove to be useful.

What is Uniform Civil Code?
Article 44 of the constitution of India lists Uniform Civil Code as one of the Directive Principles of state policy. Directive Principles of State policy, which comprises the Part IV of the Constitution of India, are guidelines for the State and Central governments to help them in framing laws and policies. However these Directive Principles “shall not be enforceable by any court, but the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws”, according to Article 37 of the Constitution which talks about the application of the Principles contained in Part IV.

In India, there are different set of laws for different communities pertaining to personal matters like marriage, divorce, property, adoption, inheritance and maintenance. The Uniform Civil Code implies covering all these personal laws into one unified set of a secular law, that will be applicable for each and every citizen of India irrespective of his/her religious community.

However, in India, Goa is the only state to have implemented the directive principle on the Uniform Civil Code and converted it into a law called the Goa Civil Code or the Goa Family Law.  It is the set of civil laws that governs all the Goans irrespective of the religion or the ethnicity to which they belong.

Here's how people reacted to its inclusion in the BJP's manifesto: 

Also read:

Lok Sabha polls 2014: Comparing Congress and BJP's election manifestos

Ten things you need to know about the BJP's election manifesto 




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