NEW DELHI: In what could be the first step by the BJP-led Government towards adopting a Uniform Civil Code, the NDA is in the process of amending the Christian Divorce Law to bring uniformity to divorce laws across religions, except in Islam.
Though the Church does not in principle approve of divorce as belief dictates that a couple which has been united by the God cannot be separated by court, it is learnt to have given its approval to the amendment which will bring the Christian community at par with others on divorce laws. “The ground reality being vastly different, Indian ecclesiastical bodies, including the conservative Roman Catholic church, have given their approval,” said a Christian member of the BJP, who was the main interlocutor between the government and various church heads.
According to the BJP member, the fact that the Church is keen to show its nationalist side of late made the matter easier.
Sources say that this could be a “first step” towards getting a Uniform Civil Code for the entire country - a key element in the BJP election manifesto, which stated that equality for women cannot be achieved until a common civil code is adopted to protect their rights.
Once the Christian Marriage Act is amended, the government may set the ball rolling for discussions on having a Uniform Civil Code for all faiths in line with a Constitutional provision. “The government may tag it as a women’s rights issue and the National Commission for Women is expected to play a crucial role,” said the source. The government is likely to hold an all-party meet for consultations and it will also take steps to allay the misconception that Uniform Civil Code means implementing Hindu laws.