Catholic bishops call for debate on uniform civil code

July 11, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Thiruvananthapuram, July 11, 2016: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has urged the Indian government to hold time-bound discussion with all religious groups in the country on the uniform civil code issue.

Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, president of the conference, says such discussions should be held within the freedom of religious guaranteed by India’s constitution.

The cardinal, who is also the head of the Syro-Malankara Church and based at the Kerala state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, wants Uniform Civil Code to safeguard freedom of religion guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

“The unity of India should be impeccably safeguarded. All discussions on the uniform civil code must be done taking into account the diversity and freedom ensured by the constitution and without hurting the sentiments of the various religious groups,” the 57-year-old cardinal asserted in a press statement on July 9. He said the Catholic bishops are willing to join all discussions related to the issue “with an open mind.”

Cardinal Cleemis also said he would respond to the issue further after receiving the draft copy of the government proposals on the code. He reiterated that the bishops’ conference will take the initiative to hold adequate discussions with the heads of the other Christian Churches.

The National Democratic Alliance headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late June asked the Law Commission to “examine” the issue of implementing the uniform civil code in the country.

The decision was seen by many as a move to trigger a heated political debate that would have far reaching impact in the country.

This was the first time a government has asked the commission, which has a crucial advisory role on legal reform, to look into the politically controversial issue.

A uniform civil code will mean a set of common personal laws for all citizens. Currently, for example, there are different personal laws for Hindus and Muslims. Personal law covers property, marriage and divorce, inheritance and succession.

The political debate on a uniform civil code has been highly charged, and it is often entwined with a debate on secularism.

The code’s opponents and supporters offer differing interpretations of its social and religious impact.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian people’s party) that heads the federal coalition government favors such a code whereas the main opposition Congress has opposed it.

– matters india

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One Response to “Catholic bishops call for debate on uniform civil code”
  1. john says:

    US and West should also introduce Uniform Civil code and see to that any of their citizen or resident does not pay/ finance any of the terrorist or hatred mongering sanghs like ISIS, Taliban JUD, Bajrang and RSS. Then, if anyone is found guilty of funding such evil organisations, they must take over all the assets of such evil financiers and hatred mongers and send them back to their original countries. Note that more than 5% Indians mostly RSS fanatics are working or are permanently settled abroad

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