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UCC and Tribal Communities UPSC NOTE


  • The debate on the UCC revolves around whether religious minorities can continue following their personal laws, but it also conflicts with the customary laws and practices of tribal communities.

  • Islamic bodies and tribal bodies in states like Jharkhand, Meghalaya, and Nagaland oppose the UCC, as they believe it would infringe upon their customary laws of marriage, divorce, inheritance, and land transfer.

  • Tribal customs often do not grant women the right to inherit property, and they have no system of dowry. 

  • They fear that the UCC could affect property ownership and lead to complex problems in tribal villages.

  • Tribal activists argue that sub-tribes within larger tribal groups have their own separate customary laws for marriage, divorce, and child custody. 

  • Any attempt to bring uniformity through the UCC would face opposition from various tribes.

  • The opposition to the UCC is expected to become a key issue in upcoming state elections, with separate tribal platforms being formed to mobilize against it.

  • India has over 700 recognized tribes, each with their own customary laws and practices protected by the Constitution, primarily under the Sixth Schedule and Articles 371A to 371I.

  • The Constitution grants special provisions to states like Nagaland and Mizoram, allowing them to safeguard their religious and social practices, customary laws, administration of justice, and land ownership.

  • District and Regional Councils have the authority to adjudicate civil and criminal procedures based on customary laws and practices in tribal areas.

  • The 21st Law Commission and judicial precedents have acknowledged the strong opposition from tribes in states like Nagaland, Assam, and Meghalaya due to the conflict between their customary laws and the UCC.

  • Judicial decisions have recognized tribal customary laws around land inheritance, such as the Santhal and Oraon tribes, which have unique customs regarding the status of adoptive sons and property rights.

  • Many have voiced their opposition to the UCC, stating that it goes against the diverse nature of India and undermines the unique customs and traditions of different communities.

  • Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma emphasized that the matrilineal customs of communities like Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia should be respected and cannot be changed through the imposition of a common set of personal laws.

  • The tribal opposition to the UCC highlights the need for careful consideration and accommodation of diverse customary laws and practices in India.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: UCC and Tribal Communities UPSC NOTE
UCC and Tribal Communities UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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