The Logo

The best of Bhavan's Journal

English fortnightly, devoted to life, literature and culture.

Vol: 18  No: 01


08 August 1971

Common Civil Code – A Must

Justice P. B. Gajendragadkar

The former Chief Justice of Supreme Court advocates a common civil code for the country, the view endorsed by a recent Supreme Court pronouncement.
On the road to secularism, Indian democracy took an important step by enacting different Bills relating to the personal law of the Hindus and thereby constituting a new Hindu Code.
The adoption of the Hindu Code by the Indian Parliament constitutes an important step taken by Indian democracy in secularizing the outlook of the Hindu community and assisting the creation of a new social order within the community itself.
I shall proceed to deal with the question of the common Civil Code. Article 44 of the Indian Constitution enshrines the directive principle that the state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India.
Unfortunately, the Indian Parliament has so far not been able to take any step to implement this directive principle and, in my view, it is high time that some decisive action is taken on that behalf without delay.
Before proceeding to emphasise my point that the enactment of a common Civil Code, which is the objective of the directive principles of the Indian Constitution and which can, in one sense, be described as the cornerstone of the fabric of modern secular society contemplated by the directive principles, I would like to recall the fact that when Bills in regard to Hindu Code were introduced in Parliament, they were assailed by two classes of critics.
One class of critics belonged avowedly to the traditional group of Hindus and this class was opposed to the modernisation or secularization of personal law.

They disguised the true character of their opposition and plausibly urged that if Hindu law had to be secularized and modernized, why make a distinction between the Hindus and the Muslims? Why not introduce a common Civil Code? It was not difficult to infer that this plea for a common Civil Code was meant not so much to persuade the government to introduce a common Civil Code, as to induce the government to postpone the introduction of the Hindu Code.
Another category of critics of the Hindu Code genuinely felt that the Indian Parliament should not make an effort to secularize personal law by stages and piecemeal. They felt that if a revolutionary step had to be taken in that behalf, it would be better to take the step covering the Hindu, Muslim and all other communities together. They apprehended that if the personal law of the Hindus alone was secularized and a similar effort was not made to secularize the Muslim personal law, the task of secularizing the Muslim personal law may be indefinitely postponed and thereby the object of Article 44 may be defeated.
Yet another point of view was clearly and vigorously expressed, among others, by Acharya Kripalani. He said:
“If they (members of the legislature) single out the Hindu community for their reforming zeal, they cannot escape the charge of being communalists in the sense that they favour the Hindu community and are indifferent to the good of the Muslim community or the catholic community in the matter of divorce.

Bhavan's Journal

08 August 1971

Next Page »


Bhavan's Journal

Subscribe To Bhavan's Journal

Read it, Collect it & Preserve it for future generations.

Subscription Form →

Language: English
Periodicity: Fortnightly.
Publishing on: 15th and 30th of each month.
Editor-in-charge: P.V.Sankarankutty
Assistant Editor: Smt. Vatsala Pisharody

Editorial & Administrative Office
Bhavan's Journal
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Kulapati Dr. K. M. Munshi Marg,
Chowpatty, Mumbai 400 007.
Phone: 022-23631261

Advertise With Us

We have various options for advertising in Bhavan's Journal.

Rate Card →


Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Munshi Sadan, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Chowk,
Kulapati K. M. Munshi Marg,
Mumbai 400 007.

Locate Us

Contact Us

Tel. Nos.:(022) 23631261
(022) 23630265
(022) 23634462 / 63/ 64

Copyright © All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Terms and Conditions | Sitemap |