The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) - a top representative body of the Sikh community - has registered strong opposition to the proposed Uniform Civil Code.
Speaking on behalf of the Sikh community, the SGPC declared "The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) proposed by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre government is unnecessary in the country".
The SGPC emphasised that the Constitution recognises the principle of 'unity in diversity'.
The SGPC put forward its views after a high-level meeting on Saturday, 8 July, chaired by the body's president Harjinder Singh Dhami.
Apprehensions Among Minorities: SGPC President
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Harjinder Singh Dhami said, "There is an apprehension among the minorities in the country regarding the Uniform Civil Code that this code will hurt their identity, originality, and principles."
The opposition of the SGPC is on similar lines as the arguments being given by a number of Muslim bodies, indicating concerns across religious minorities.
On the issue of UCC, the SGPC has constituted a sub-committee of Sikh intellectuals, historians, scholars, and lawyers.
In their preliminary observations, the committee sees the UCC as an act of "suppression for the existence of minorities, their religious rites, traditions, and culture".
This committee includes SGPC general secretary Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal, senior Sikh lawyer Puran Singh Hundal, SGPC members Advocate Bhagwant Singh Sialka, Advocate Paramjit Kaur Landran, and Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, Prof Kashmir Singh, Dr Inderjit Singh Gogoani, Dr Paramveer Singh, and Dr Chamkaur Singh.
'Sikh Community Opposes UCC'
Harjinder Singh Dhami said that "any challenge to Bani Bana (Gurbani and traditional Sikh attire), Bol Baale (words or thoughts which are sublime or supreme as well as high and true), principles, traditions, values, lifestyle, culture, independent existence and distinct entity of Sikhs can never be accepted" and that the "Sikh Maryada (code of conduct) cannot be tested by the worldly law".
"Therefore, the Sikh community opposes the UCC," Dhami stressed. He also pointed out that the 21st Law Commission had also rejected the UCC terming it as neither desirable nor feasible.
This is the third resolution passed by the SGPC against the UCC in less than a year.
On 17 November, 2022, the SGPC had termed any proposed UCC as a 'ploy to elevate the majority at the behest of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh' and a 'step towards Hindu Rashtra'.
On 16 December, 2022, the SGPC resolution accused the BJP of floating the UCC proposal to 'polarise majority voters in the Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh'. The resolution had also slammed BJP national executive member Iqbal Singh Lalpura for his silence.