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UCC/Minority Commission




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Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
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The demand for a uniform civil code stems from the desire to define
Indianhood, a certain "lowest common denominator" for all citizens,
irrespective of their social background.

The issue, however, has less to do with religious differences and more
to do
with politics and vote-banks. Vote-mongering politicians and some
irresponsible religious leaders from the minorities have managed to hold

their entire communities to ransom by insulating them in a siege
mentality,
and in the process, isolating them from the mainstream. Our "secular"
political parties have simply chosen the politically convienient path by

staying out of the issue and avoiding controversy. They have shamelessly

pandered to the whims of a section of minority religious leaders whose
mindset is so atrophied that it can only be described as regressive and
medieval.

"Secular" political leaders claim they do not want to "interfere" in the

affairs of "minorities". They are also quick to attend to the perceived
"complaints" and "needs" of the "minorities". Sounds as if minorities
are
not Indian citizens but special guests of honour from outside who need
to be
given special care, and not offended in any way!

Such minoritysm at completely at odds with the spirit of the nation:

- Being Indian has nothing to do with religion, caste colour etc.
- Culture is what defines the nation.
- As in any republic, all citizens are equal irrespective of their
social
background.
- Since we are a democracy, each and every citizen has the right to
express
his views and practise any faith he wishes.
- Religion and politics must not be allowed to mix.

Agreed, the preceding heavily clichéd lines amount to nothing more than
the
statement of the obvious!!

But our politicians still believe that the affairs of "minorities" are
best
left to a bunch of narrow-minded and fundamentalist religious leaders.
They
believe that they should not "interfere", or else they will cease to be
secular. When one "communal" party steps forward and finally calls a
spade a
spade, it is vilified as being doubly or triply communal, instead of
being
lauded for its political frankness and honesty.

Our secularists need to be reminded that these "minorites" they claim to
be
so concerned about happen to be Indian citizens like the rest! They must

have the right to everything a citizen of the republic of India has. No
more, and more importantly, NO LESS!

There are elements in "minority" laws that are clearly against what
would be
deemed fair and acceptable in any civil society at the end of the
twentieth
century. However, under the garb of "minority rights", these laws are
allowed to exist in a supposedly civil and democratic India. It is not
members of the "minorities" they discriminate against, it is INDIAN
CITIZENS
who are suffer due to these outdated, medieval laws. Talk of not wanting
to
"interfere in the issues of the minorities" is as ridiculous and
nonsensical
as saying: "We do not want to interfere in our internal affairs..."

Another contentious issue is the functioning of the much touted symbol
of
Indian secularism - the so-called Minorities Commission. The existence
of
such an organisation is itself against the concept of Indian unity. The
Minorities Commission is supposed to attend to the grievances of
minorities... When our education minister recently attempted to extend
to
all citizens a law guarenteeing the right to education to minorites, he
had
to back off after he met with fierce resistance. Again, minorities are
seen
as special guests of honour who need special rights which no one else
should
have. And yet again, they are not considered to be part of the
mainstream.
The so-called "minorities" are part of the nation and not its guests!
That
they believe in a particular faith must in no way have any bearing on
their
rights or on their role as Indian citizens.

So why must there be a minority commission? The constitution clearly
guarentees freedom of thought, freedom of faith and secularism. Should
any
citizen have these fundamental rights trampled upon, there are courts of
law
which have no choice but to comply with the constitution! Moreover, why
single out one fundamental right to be given "special commission"
status?
Why isn't there a Gender Commission and a Caste Commission (if it
doesn't
already exist!) ? The whole point then would be, what are the courts
meant
for??!

Now the "pro-Commission" lobby will point to the inefficiencies and
slowness
of the judicial system. True, justice has to be speeded up, but
minorities
are hardly the only ones suffering due to judicial delay. The system
simply
has to improve for ALL its citizens.

The anti-UCC lobby is quick to dramatize the into some devious
majoritarian
conspiracy to impose "Hindu" law on the entire country. Again, if talk
is
made of disbanding the minorities commission, it will invariably be
another
"communal conspiracy" we are simply tired of hearing about!

The head of the minorities commission is just pursuing an petty agenda
against the current "communal" regime in power. He has been making a lot
of
declarations: Muslims have declared minorities in states A,B and C,
Christians declared majority in states X, Y and Z. In order to annoy the

government, he has recommended that Hindus be declared minorities in
five
states. How farcical can this get? What kind of Indian nationalism is
this?
Minority vs. Majority, upper caste vs. lower caste, north-indian vs.
south
indian??

I would simply suggest that Indians be declared the majority in India
and
the minorities commission scrapped and dumped where it belongs - in the
bin.



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