Surrogacy bill is medieval, says Congress

New Delhi: Dubbing the Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2016, as “medieval and
non-progressive”, the Congress on Friday said the Centre should have discussed it with
other political parties before approving it.

“The bill seems to be of the Stone Age. It is totally out of tune with the present times,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told a press conference here.

He said the bill’s version presented by the earlier United Progressive Alliance government in 2010 was far better, and cautioned the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government that the proposed law might not get parliamentary approval.

“I doubt this will get parliamentary approval,” Singhvi said, adding it was a step in the backward direction.

Calling for a “rethink” on the bill, the Congress leader said: “It seems that surrogate agency like the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) created its draft.”

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to the bill, which seeks to prohibit
“commercial” surrogacy and denies foreigners, non-resident Indians, single parents, live-in partners and same-sex couples from becoming parents through surrogacy.

Touching upon the issue of former Congress MP Ramya, against whom a sedition case was
registered for her remark on Pakistan wherein she had contradicted Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar comment that Pakistan is hell, Singhvi said that there is no freedom of speech in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s regime.

The Congress leader recounted how churches were attacked, an elderly nun was raped and how people of minority communities are being harassed in the name of cow protection ever since NDA came to power, and accused the central government of ruining the image of the country.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it intolerant India,” he charged, and asked why
people would like to live in a country which does not allow freedom of speech and does
not inspire confidence among minority communities.

“Would we all like to live in a country like this,” he asked, adding that definition of India was changing from tolerant India to intolerant India.

On the Kashmir turmoil, Singhvi said that there should be coordination among all concerned.

“It’s not that it cannot be solved, but you need coordination for it,” he added.