Jammu & Kashmir

Indian Army seminar on Uniform Civil Code in Kashmir faces controversy and cancellation

An upcoming seminar by the Indian Army on the ‘uniform civil code’ at the University of Kashmir has encountered opposition, leading to its cancellation. The seminar, titled ‘Navigating Legal Frontiers: Understanding Indian Penal Code 2023 & the Quest for Uniform Civil Code’, organized by the Army’s HQ 31 Sub Area, was scheduled for March 26 but has been called off due to the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct.

Background and Reactions

Former chief ministers of J&K and a retired army officer, among others, raised concerns about the Army’s involvement in what they deemed a divisive and politically sensitive issue. The BJP-led Union government’s push for a uniform civil code has sparked debates on secularism and political motives, with critics viewing the seminar as a potential tool for political objectives.

Event Details and Panelists

The seminar aimed to explore how the new code aligns with secularism, social harmony, individual rights, and freedoms in India. Panel discussions were planned to address the challenges and benefits of a uniform civil code for family and inheritance laws, as well as the impact of recent amendments to the Indian Penal Code on crime victims’ rights. Notable figures like Chief Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Major General P.B.S. Lamba were set to participate.

Controversy and Fallout

Critics, including former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah and Lieutenant General Deependra Singh Hooda, emphasized the importance of the military remaining apolitical and steering clear of political and religious matters. The cancellation of the seminar reflects the sensitivity of engaging the armed forces in discussions on contentious issues like the uniform civil code, highlighting the need to uphold the military’s apolitical stance.

Recent Incidents and Government Response

Recent allegations of torture by the Army in Poonch district have drawn attention, with three individuals reportedly succumbing to injuries sustained during the alleged incidents. The Union government’s request for The Caravan magazine to remove a story detailing the Poonch torture has added to the scrutiny surrounding the Army’s actions in the region. The cancellation of the seminar underscores the complexities of involving the military in politically charged discussions and emphasizes the importance of upholding the armed forces’ non-political and non-religious character.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button