Thackeray, others must avoid making statements that divide India: Chacko

New Delhi, Oct. 23 (ANI): Congress leader P.C. Chacko on Friday said leaders like Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and others of his ilk should not issue statements that have the potential of dividing India.

“I think it is high time that people in responsible positions should stop others from making such statements that will ultimately help only in dividing this country,” Chacko told ANI.

“They speak about the plurality of society, a multi-religious society, but what they really want to have is a uniform code and a unitary state. That is not what India is. But unfortunately, they are hand pick on this again and again which is not going to materialise in India. The people of India are not going to permit these elements of the Hindutva brigade to have their way. But this is going to destroy the plurality, the character of Indian society,” he added.

Chacko criticised both the RSS and the Shiv Sena for pursuing a secret agenda of dividing India along communal lines.

“What is happening around us is a crude fact that India is dividing on communal lines. This is the secret agenda of the RSS. Whether it is the RSS or the Shiv Sena, they have an idea, they have an agenda which they want to take out,” said Chacko

Thackeray had said yesterday that the country should be declared a Hindu Rashtra and demanded the imposition of a uniform civil code in the country.

The Uniform Civil Code in India is the proposal to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in the country with a common set governing every citizen.

These laws are distinguished from public law and cover marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance. Article 44 of the Directive Principles in India sets its implementation as duty of the state.

Apart from being an important issue regarding secularism in India, it became one of the most controversial topics in contemporary politics during the Shah Bano case in 1985. The debate then focused on the Muslim Personal Law, which is partially based on the Sharia law and remains unreformed since 1937, permitting unilateral divorce and polygamy in the country.

The Shah Bano case made it a politicised public issue focused on identity politics-by means of attacking specific religious minorities versus protecting its cultural identity.

In contemporary politics, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left support it, while the Congress Party and All India Muslim Personal Law Board oppose it.

During his 45-minute speech, he criticised Pakistan, Muslims and secularists. He also criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the issue of Ram Mandir and their ‘soft approach’ towards Pakistan.

Addressing party workers at a Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park in Dadar on Thursday, Thackeray raked up the Ram Mandir issue, saying, “The BJP promises to build a Ram Temple but never gives a date.”

He also spoke on the beef controversy. “Declare this country as Hindu Rashtra and implement common civil code, instead of searching for beef at people’s houses”, he said. (ANI)

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