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New Delhi, Apr 16, 2017: Surrogacy has proved to be a boon for many singles who wanted the bliss of parenthood. Bollywood stars like Tushar Kapoor and Karan Johar were in the limelight for their recent parenthood obtained via surrogacy.
However, it appears as if it is not going to be that simple to become a parent via surrogacy in future when the proposed surrogacy law comes in action.
Proposed law restricts this method by allowing only legally wedded couples. Several experts including lawyers and doctors, barring a few, were of the view that the window of surrogacy should not be closed for single parents and the couples should have the option to choose anyone who is not a close relative as a surrogate mother.
However, senior advocate Shekhar Naphade had a different and mixed take on the entire issue. While maintaining that it has become a “fashion” among celebrities to become a single parent, he advocated doing away with the provision to allow only a couple’s close relative to become a surrogate mother.
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, introduced in Lok Sabha last year, also faced criticism from practitioners of family law like Priya Hingorani and Anil Malhotra, who assailed the provisions which take away the rights of gays and lesbians from attaining parenthood with a clause that only legally wedded persons can go for surrogacy.
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The proposed law virtually bars all others like unmarried couples, single parents, live-in partners and homosexuals from opting children through surrogacy.
Dr Bikas Kumar Singh, Chief Medical Officer at a major private hospital here who preferred not to comment on the aspect of single parents, expressed reservation on the point of restriction that mandates a surrogate mother to be a close relative.
“The last hope for a childless couple should not be curtailed but extended with due filtering,” Singh said.
Giving a broader perspective, Hingorani said it was not correct to only allow a close relative to be a surrogate mother as her confidentiality has to be maintained and anyone else should be permitted to do so.
Malhotra said the bar on unmarried couples and others from opting for surrogacy was violative of Article 14 of the Constitution which provides equality before the law and equal protection.
As per the bill, the intending couples should be legally married for at least five years and should be Indian citizens to undertake surrogacy which would be allowed only for altruistic reasons. It also specifies the age limit for an infertile couple, where the woman should be aged between 23-50 years and the man between 26-55 years.
Naphade, who has filed a petition in the Supreme Court opposing commercialisation of surrogacy, said he does not subscribe to the concept of single parent and there should be a time frame after which a married couple can go for surrogacy.
“It should not be a substitute for having a child through an unnatural process. The child should have both a father and a mother. When he goes out in the society, he will have a problem if he does not have a father or a mother. It is in the larger interest of the child,” he contended.
However, these experts were united on their view that the clause of close relatives becoming surrogates was “objectionable” and would create family problems as it could reveal the identity of the surrogate mother, which needs to be kept secret.
Hingorani, who was of the opinion that this clause would be challenged in court, said “when a single parent can adopt a child, why can’t they go for surrogacy? It is contradictory.
The intention of the bill is not to make surrogacy commercial.
But you cannot single out gay and lesbian couples. When single mothers and live-in partners are recognised by law, how can you exclude them from surrogacy?”
While Naphade said the provision will be a “little problematic” and it needs to be debated, Dr Singh said the identity of the surrogate mother must be kept secret and if she is their close relative, there are chances that the child would come to know about it at a later stage.
Malhotra was of the view that commercial surrogacy will still flourish and unethical practices continue. So, the better method would be to provide a regulatory authority with statutory powers like CARA is for adoptions.
“This clause of close relatives being surrogates will create family problems and conflicts with relatives in the family fold, as current societal practices in India may not find such a practice acceptable in traditional homes,” he said.
They, however, differed in their opinion on the provision of disallowing foreigners from opting surrogacy in India.
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While Dr Singh agreed with the government in disallowing foreigners saying it would ensure that women from the middle or lower middle classes are not exploited, Hingorani said there should be uniformity on the issue across the world and in many nations, they do not allow surrogacy. So why do people from there come here for it, she asked.
The woman lawyer said surrogacy should be legalised and open to others as well and proper norms should be evolved.
People should be allowed only after they fulfill all criteria.
She said the bill should include that the surrogate mother’s health is properly taken care of, both pre- and post- delivery. And, instead of compensating her with hefty money, her health should be given priority.
Dr Singh said that all medical aspects are covered in the bill and added that health of the woman should be considered but it should not be made the only criteria.
Malhotra said the ban on Non-Resident Indians, Persons of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizens of India per se does not appear to be satisfying any test of a valid bar. Such a discrimination clearly violates Article 14 of the Constitution when brought in parity with adoptions permissible to the NRIs, PIOs and the OCIs, he said.
In January this year, the Rajya Sabha Chairman had referred the legislation, as introduced in the Lok Sabha in November last year, to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare for in-depth examination. The parliamentary panel has invited suggestions on the legislation from all stakeholders.
-prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram Twitter @NikitaTayal6
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana
The emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England brought with it many apprehensions and fears that translated into a new genre in literature: the gothic. Today, the idea of the gothic does not have to much with literature as much as it is associated with fashion.
The Victorians began to wear black more often during the Industrial Revolution to hide the stains of soot on their clothes. Many of the working class were employed in factories. They were newly introduced to technology, the idea of coal as fuel, and the working of machines to serve a certain purpose. This kind of work was hard and messy. Wearing light colours burdened the tired folk when the stubborn stains did not get washed away.
The steam engine was invented to make locomotion easier for the masses, but it brought fear to the people. They had led quiet and simple lives till now, and suddenly their world was infiltrated with loud noises and smoke. Dark places became synonymous with evil deeds and mysteries. It was from this time that horror gained a place in the imaginations of people and artists.
A man sporting gothic clothes and shock coloured hair Image source: wikimedia commons
The gothics of today are those who have held on to these practices. There is no need to fear smoke and noise anymore, but the goths wear black clothes all the time, paint their skin a pale shade, to contrast their clothes, and wear bright shades of red. The traditional gothics decorated themselves with jewellery bearing religious significances, as the belief in Dracula and vampires emerged in the Victorian period. Today, it is a trend to wear studded crosses, or crosses made of black metal either as neck chokers, or earrings.
Modern goths also wear bright monotones to show their patronage of a certain style or order of the goths. They can be seen in neon shades of green, pink, and yellow, often sporting piercings, and matching hair. Their tastes are metallic, and they have an uncanny love for tattoos.
Designers consistently include gothic tastes and styles in their clothing lines to create inclusivity for this subculture. Being gothic, or identifying with them is somewhat a concern even in today's society, and such people are often stigmatised to the extent that it is considered a mental illness associated with the dark arts. The phenomenon is mostly observed in teenagers, and often phases out when they reach adulthood, depending on their sphere of influence.
Keywords: Gothic, Fashion, Victorian, Black, Jewellery