Dr. Swamy’s speech on Uniform Civil Code at Chintan Yagna, Indore

A sound, impassioned argument for the implementation of Uniform Civil Code

Uniform Civil Code – This was the topic on which Dr. Subramanian Swamy spoke about at Indore on the 5th March. Days before the speech was delivered the venue NSUI (National Students Union of India, aligned with the Congress) defaced the venue and shouted slogans outside the complex. Here are the excerpts from the speech, translated into English:

  • Chintan Yagna – Very pleased to see Dr. B R Ambedkar’s picture along with Dr. Hegdewar. Dr. Ambedkar was the head of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution and he carefully deliberated each and every line of it, working diligently and taking the rest of the committee along with him. Till this day, it is praised in the world. But instead of honring him, Nehru for reasons unknown, never allowed him to enter Lok Sabha by ensuring his defeat in elections, not once but three times.

  • Bharat Ratna for Dr. Ambedkar – Dr. Ambedkar, who perhaps was one of the most deserving of Bharat Ratna, did not get it till 1990, when I was a Law and Commerce Minister in the Chandrashekar government. As I glanced through the list of people who had still not been granted Bharat Ratna, I was surprised to note that Sardar Patel had still not been granted one! When the award was instituted in 1955, the first recipient of this award for Nehru himself – in other words, he was giving himself the greatest award ever accorded to an Indian!

  • Dr. Ambedkar’s accomplishments – Dr. Ambedkar despite being a Dalit, went to the US in 1916, got his Ph. D in Economics from Columbia University in the United States and then went to get a law degree from London, England. He worked closely with Sardar Patel to draft the constitution and despite his impressive academic credentials, Congressmen used to call him Bhim Rao, whereas they never forgot to mention Pandit while referring to Nehru, even though he did not even pass his undergraduate degree from Cambridge University, England! Wrong prefix for the wrong person.

  • Partition – The British Common Constituent assembly decided to create a new country called Pakistan, afraid that the significant minority of Muslims in the Indian sub-continent might not be treated fairly. In addition, a third of India was ruled by rulers, who declared their allegiance to the British Crown and were told to choose whichever country they wanted to align with or even stay independent. This mischief on part of the British, also called as India Independence Act, took a man of with nerves of steel, Sardar Patel to unite and create a single India. India decided to take an inclusive route, allowing Muslims to decide if they wanted to stay in India or migrate to Pakistan. Thus the Uniform Civil Code was drafted.

  • Indian Constitution – Even a cursory reading of the Indian Constitution shows how much of a Hindu flavor there is, such as Article 44 (Uniform Civil Code), Hindi shall be the official language based on Sanskrit (meaning Sanskritised Hindi) was drafted into Article 341. The word secular was introduced in to the Constitution in 1976 at the time of Emergency. Ban on Cow slaughter also finds mention in the Constitution. Therefore, all the rhetoric about Hindutva is already in the guiding principles of the nation! The Supreme Court has averred several times that Cow slaughter should be banned and also that Beef eating is not mentioned as an essential part of Islam.

  • Uniform Civil Code – That begs the question, why Uniform Civil Code has not been implemented? The Supreme Court has reminded ruling governments four times that they need to implement it. When the Hindu Code Bill was introduced by Prime Minister Nehru, he mentioned that Uniform Civil Code (UCC) will also be introduced but at the right time. After sixty years, it looks like the time has still not come. This can be easily passed in the Parliament or people will know that the current government is not keeping up its promises. The code allows all citizens of the country to be treated equally. What is not to like about it?

  • Objections – Those who object UCC, are doing it on specious grounds. Supreme Court has declared many times that Islamic terms such as Shariat, Fatwa have no bearing in this country. Vested interests keep whipping up passions to stop acceptance of the Uniform Civil Code. This is the main reason for its stalling. Muslims the world over accept Uniform Civil Code in the countries they live in. Why then the resistance in India? For instance, an Imam in Australia asked for Muslims living there to be allowed to follow Shariat, to which the Prime Minister replied forcefully that those who wish to have Shariat can go back to their country of origin. The law is the same for all in Australia. When the Criminal Code applies equally to all those living in India, then why should not the Civil code be the same?

  • Who is affected? – The worst affected in this are the women, especially Muslim. While the mullahs privately acknowledge the validity of the Uniform Civil Code, they are afraid that Muslims will have to keep conceding till they are completely converted to Hinduism. This will never happen as India has been a tolerant nation for centuries. The assimilation of Jews, Zoroastrians and Christians is proof of that.

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