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Leading Muslim Scholar Tufail Ahmad proposes Revolutionary Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to initiate Public Debate on the Issue

A draft Uniform Civil Code is the first-ever attempt to bring specific issues before the public for a wider discussion, said Tufail Ahmad

Women belonging to Muslim community, VOA

New Delhi, November 30, 2016: Tufail Ahmad, a leading Muslim scholar on Wednesday proposed a draft Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to initiate a public debate on it.

A former journalist with BBC World Service and author of Jihadist Threat to India – The Case for Islamic Reformation by an Indian Muslim, Ahmad has called it a working draft for public consultation.

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[bctt tweet=”Even civil society organisations and human rights activists have shied away from advocating a UCC for Indian citizens.” username=””]

A uniform civil code was desired by the framers of the Constitution to ensure that basic fundamental rights of citizens, irrespective of their religious and other identities, are protected within a larger human rights framework, he said in a statement.

This UCC is drafted within a broader context of a Universal Bill of Rights for the Indian citizen (Ubric). This draft UCC is the first-ever attempt to bring specific issues before the public for a wider discussion, he added.

The 12-clause document is a working draft to be improved through wider public consultation.

At present, no draft UCC exists that could enlighten the people of India regarding the specifics that will constitute such a code, Ahmad explained of his venture.

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It is necessary to emphasise that the word ‘uniform’ in the uniform civil code is not meant to homogenise the lifestyles and identities of Indian citizens but to ensure that certain fundamental rights to equality and liberty are protected for them by the Indian state.

Ahmad also questioned political parties and civil society who have failed to make any attempt towards advocating UCC and said: No attempt has been made by the Indian government to draft a Uniform Civil Code for fear that political parties could lose Muslim votes.

Even civil society organisations and human rights activists have shied away from advocating a UCC for Indian citizens. This is a result of the prevailing erroneous belief that the uniform civil code is meant to curb personal laws, especially only of Muslims.

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The Law Commission had, on October 7, floated a 16-point questionnaire on its website asking the common people, activists, organisations and other stakeholders to give suggestions on the implementation of the UCC. The Commission has extended the period for submission of replies to December 21. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google, Facebook face greater scrutiny in Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?