At a recent discussion for Repealing and Amending (fourth) Bill, BJD (Biju Janta Dal) member Tathagata Satpathy made a passionate argument revoking “socially evil and outdated laws”. The bill seeks to repeal 295 laws and was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday. It is supposed repeal obsolete and redundant laws.
Satpathy recommended that the country debate the Uniform Civil Code, stop moral policing and change laws that make homosexual behavior illegal.
Union law minister Sadanand Gowda chose to steer clear of the contentious issues, stating merely the more archaic laws would be repealed. Gowda said that the government was working to ensure that future Appropriation Acts would have an automatic repeal clause. The Centre proposes to repeal 1,863 acts.
“Having a second look at the law that relates to homosexuality would be a step forward towards creating a modern society in India which this government has been professing that it has been trying to do,” Satpathy said.
He also expressed concern over the recent porn ban: “We recently saw how the government banned certain sites and then again rescinded its orders, for reasons unknown. Today, it could be a bad site, it could be a pornographic site which we all support should not be watched by people. But when you start doing something like that, then there is no end to the attitude that I will only ban this much and no more.”
“Once you allow the bureaucracy…there is no end to moral policing,” added Satpathy. He raised the question of how bhang (cannabis) was made illegal when it is part of religious festivities.
The MP asked Gowda to initiate a debate on the issue of Uniform Civil Code, saying that if society has to battle evil organizations like ISIS, it would have to be more alert and modern, with all citizens being encompassed. “The moment you start diving society, you fall prey to the evil organizations like ISIS,” he said.
“We have based our laws on old religious scriptures whereas the world is moving way beyond religious scriptures, way beyond thoughts which are akin maybe in some ways to the thoughts that are being propagated by organizations like ISIS.”