Adoption law in India is discriminatory

AS a devoted Indian and a student of law, I am committed to secularism. However, I do not understand why in a secular nation like ours only a Hindu citizen can legally adopt a child. ‘Hindu’ as given in the definition of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, includes Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists and specifically excludes Muslims, Christians, Jews and Parsis, who can only take a child under their guardianship under the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890. The children taken by a non-Hindu foster parent do not enjoy the same legal status accorded to those children taken by a Hindu parent.

Under Articles 14 and 15, the Indian Constitution guarantees that there shall be equality before law and that there shall be no discrimination or restrictions on any person only on the basis of religion.

Since the process of adoption in our country is governed by one Act — the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 — there is no provision under the law for a non-Hindu citizen of India to adopt a child with the same legal rights, status, opportunity and respect as that of a child adopted by a Hindu. Is this constitutional and in the spirit of a secular nation? In my humble opinion, it is not.

I propose the creation of a secular Indian Adoptions Act to correct this injustice. The absence of a law under which non-Hindus can legally adopt amounts to discrimination and restrictions only on the basis of religion and therefore is unconstitutional.




Letters to the Editor

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Parthenium menace

Dharmshala, known for its scenic beauty and environment, is infested with parthenium (Gajjar Buti). this obnoxious weed, native to the countries bordering the Gulf of Mexico and well known for airborne allergies, is spreading fast in Dharmshala due to non-implementation of preventive and control measures.

I urge the authorities concerned to check the menace through effective measures before it is too late. Public bodies and people at large should also help the government agencies in tackling the problem.

NAMRITA KALIA, Govt PG College, Dharmshala

Internet: Plea for tariff parity

TO promote Internet in the rural areas, the tariff should be revised without bias between urban and rural areas. In urban area, the speed of Internet is high and in rural area it remains 19 kbps to 24 kbps in peak hours. At off peak hours, it remains 24 kbps to 37 kbps. Rural exchanges are not capable of handling the peak hour load and the Internet connection gets disconnected frequently.

The rural Internet subscribers are paying more for the same surfing time compared to the urban users. This is happening due to the low speed of the rural exchange and frequent disconnection there. The Telecom Regulation Authority of India (TARI) should study this genuine problem of the rural people and amend the existing tariff structure accordingly.

The peak hour pulse for a rural area Internet connection should be 360 seconds instead of 180 seconds as at present. It should be based on time calculation and not on pulse calculation. The BSNL, TRAI and the Ministry of Information Technology should consider this genuine problem of rural India and act accordingly.

D.D. THAKUR, Kutahch (Sukki-Bain)


B.Ed teachers

The State Council for Education, Research and Training, Punjab, plans to appoint ETT teachers. I would urge the state government to consider the plight of thousands of unemployed B.Ed teachers and absorb them in the existing vacancies on priority. They are ready to work against ETT posts in the same scale of pay. The SAD-BJP government appointed a few teachers, but there are too many vacancies, hampering teaching in the schools.

There is a need to give priority to B.Ed teachers in recruitment to meet the ends of natural justice.

RAKESH KUMAR MEELU, Chandpur Rurki, Balachaur

Good news for farmers

Apropos of the news-item “Potato cultivation brings prosperity” (Sept 13), the people of Kararwal village of Malwa region are lucky. The report, which makes an impressive and useful reading, provides an alternative to the farming community. It has been aptly highlighted in The Tribune.

Keeping in view the general plight of farmers, especially marginal farmers, the report is a ray of hope. Punjabi newspapers should highlight such reports frequently for helping the rural farmers.

The report is an example of how the economy changes the general outlook of the public. Three cheers for Sardar Sukhdev Singh Dhillon, the pioneer.

Prof DARSHAN KUMAR, Senior Lecturer in Economics, G.G.S. College, Sanghera (Barnala)

Census report

The census report should be used to enlighten people about the positive and negative trends in the socio-economic life of the country. Religious affiliations should not be used as criteria to check population growth.

The census report on the increasing incidence of female foeticide is a matter of concern. What we can conclude from the report is the need for women’s empowerment. We should educate women more vigorously on their reproductive and health rights and intensify efforts to improve their socio-economic conditions.


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