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Monday, February 26, 2024

Misrepresentation alert: Foreign media’s distorted view of Uttarakhand’s UCC

On Tuesday, February 6, amidst much anticipation, the Uttarakhand government brought forward the long-awaited Uniform Civil Code (UCC) for discussion in the state assembly. This bill, hailed as a step towards gender equality and social harmony, encompasses a range of provisions including a ban on polygamy and child marriage, standardized marriageable age for girls, and a streamlined process for divorce. The proposals underscore the government’s commitment to promoting equality and fairness across religious and social divides.

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By: Shashanka Das

On Tuesday, February 6, amidst much anticipation, the Uttarakhand government brought forward the long-awaited Uniform Civil Code (UCC) for discussion in the state assembly. This bill, hailed as a step towards gender equality and social harmony, encompasses a range of provisions including a ban on polygamy and child marriage, standardized marriageable age for girls, and a streamlined process for divorce. The proposals underscore the government’s commitment to promoting equality and fairness across religious and social divides.

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However, the introduction of the UCC has not been met with unanimous applause. Rather, it has been marred by misrepresentation and sensationalism, notably perpetuated by foreign media outlets such as The Times, a British national daily.

In a display of journalistic irresponsibility, The Times ran a headline that not only mischaracterized the nature of the bill but also exacerbated existing tensions by falsely insinuating a crackdown on the Muslim population. The headline, ‘India prepares to pass a law overturning Sharia in ‘Muslim crackdown’’, is not only misleading but also reflects a gross misunderstanding of the legislative process. The bill, proposed by a state government, aims at unifying civil laws across all communities within the state, not targeting a specific religious group.

Moreover, The Times’ depiction of the UCC as an affront to secularism is misguided. Secularism in the Indian context has always been synonymous with pluralism and the coexistence of diverse religious beliefs. The UCC, far from undermining secular principles, seeks to establish a common set of laws that treat all citizens equally, regardless of their religious affiliations.

Furthermore, The Times’ defense of regressive practices such as polygamy and halala is deeply concerning. These practices, which perpetuate inequality and subjugate women, have no place in a modern society striving for gender equality and social justice. By espousing support for such practices, The Times not only overlooks the suffering inflicted upon countless women but also undermines the principles of human rights and dignity.

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The sensationalism and misinformation propagated by The Times not only betray journalistic integrity but also sow seeds of discord and division. Instead of fostering informed debate and dialogue, such tactics only serve to inflame tensions and erode trust in the media.

In conclusion, the introduction of the Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code represents a significant step towards ensuring equality and justice for all citizens. However, it is imperative that discussions surrounding the bill remain grounded in facts and devoid of sensationalism. As responsible members of the global community, we must strive to promote understanding and tolerance, rather than division and misinformation.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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