The law of the land is very clear that all citizens are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection. However, the same argument doesn’t stand when it comes to issues like divorce, adoption and inheritance across religions. For instance, the minimum cooling period for couples seeking a mutual divorce is one year. This rule is widely applied to Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, but not the Christians.
When a Christian couple files for divorce, under Section 10 A (1) of the Divorce Act, the dissolution of the marriage is only valid after a separation period of two years. Therefore, the need of the hour is to form and implement a uniform civil code.
The Supreme Court bench has time and again raised the question to the state. But will the state respond with a solution? In a country like India, which is defined by the diversity of religious beliefs and practices, bringing about any change to a religious clause is like walking on a bed of hot coal.
There were attempts made in 2010 to bring about an amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, but it was strongly opposed across the country. The government had no option but to stall it.
In the current scenario, when the nation is in a volatile stage, any attempt made by the BJP government will be viewed as an infringement on religious beliefs by minorities. Regional fringe political outfits and religious bodies will oppose any amendment and take violent protests to the streets.
A uniform civil code may work for an ideal society, but for India where religious jingoism can bring down governments, it seems like a distant dream.
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