Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi has submitted the statement of objects and reasons pertaining to the Sikh Marriage Bill, 2015.
Dr Gandhi was called by the legislative branch after he proposed the draft of the Bill in the Lok Sabha as a private member Bill on December 1 to give his statement of objects and reasons as to why he had proposed the legislation and what would be its benefits.
In reply, Dr Gandhi has written to them that Sikhism is the sixth largest religion in the world having its own traditions and rituals.
“In a federal structure, every religion needs freedom to practice its beliefs. The Sikhs feel that they are not being treated on a par with other religious groups such as Hindus, Muslims or Christians,” he has written.
Dr Gandhi states that “Under Article 25, clause (6), explanation II, Sikhs have been clubbed, along with Buddhists and Jains under the Hindu Marriage Act. This jeopardises the fact of their being a separate religion which is against the spirit of federalism. We are proud of the university in diversity, but we are subjugating diversity to unity with arbitrary imposition of such clauses against the wishes of the Sikhs, which is against the spirit of our Constitution.”
Speaking to The Tribune, Dr Gandhi said he had held discussions on the matter with MPs of all political parties. “Barring BJP and All India Trinamool Congress MPs, who have promised to get back to me after talking to their leadership, all parties have agreed to support the Bill in Parliament. I am sure of its being tabled and getting cleared without any objections,” he said.