Cabinet approves bill for registration of inter-religion marriages *Orissa: 10,000 Christians and Hindus celebrate Easter together
Amendment will be made to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 and a bill in this regard will be introduced in the second half of Budget Session starting on April 24.
The cabinet also gave approval to another bill under which Sikhs would be able to register marriages under the Anand Marriage Act, 1909.
This follows a long-standing demand of the community for a separate provision for them instead of being included under the Hindu Marriage Act.
The Anand Marriage Act was passed by the British but was annulled after partition. Since then the Sikh marriages are registered under the Hindu Marriage Act.
The proposed bill will save women in case of inter-religion marriages from unnecessary harassment in matrimonial and maintenance cases, an official release said.
It will also provide evidentiary value in the matters of custody of children, right of children born from the wedlock and the age of the persons married, it said.
There have been demands by minorities, including Sikhs, for such a provision as weddings are currently registered under Hindu Marriage Act and they are shown as Hindus in official documents.
Besides Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists are also issued certificates under this Act.
According to the Law Ministry officials, making registration of marriages religion neutral would help couples who face social and community pressures for having married according to their wishes.
The present system of issuing religion-based certificates will continue.
Orissa: 10,000 Christians and Hindus celebrate Easter together
Orissa, April 11, 2012: A 12-hour prayer service and cultural meetings are held in a Catholic school in Kandhamal. Together, people from all walks of life sang, read the Bible, prayed and took part in small recitals. Catholic priest says, we brought “our unity” to “bear our Christian witness to all”.
For the first time, more than 10,000 Christians and Hindus celebrated Easter together in the Indian state of Orissa. Most notably, celebrations were held on the grounds of the Vijaya Catholic school in Raikia, Kandhamal District, scene of violent anti-Christian pogroms in 2008 by Hindu radicals.
People from all walks of life, including children, senior citizens, women, politicians, government officials, villages chiefs, religious and nuns, took part in a 12-hour prayer service and attended various cultural meetings.
After songs, bible readings and prayers, Christians of various denominations organised small recitals, exhibits and dances.
“Our goal was to consolidate our unity and bear our Christian witness to all,” Fr Jorlal Singh, from Our Lady of Charity Parish in Raikia, told AsiaNews.
Speaking about the celebrations, Fr Ajaya Sabhasundar, a catechist, said, “The resurrection of Jesus gives fresh hope to overcome the difficulties of life. It is an opportunity to work for peace, justice and unity in Indian society.”