Goa BJP opposes govt’s pre-marriage counselling proposal

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The Goa BJP has opposed its government’s move to make counselling mandatory before registration of marriage, state party president Sadanand Shet Tanavade said on Thursday, adding that he had requested Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to direct the Law Minister to nip the plan in the bud.

“We have told the CM to direct the Minister to stop the issue here itself. Don’t take it ahead,” Tanavade told reporters, adding that the reaction to the proposed decision was unpopular.

“We have informed the Chief Minister that counselling should not be made mandatory before marriage. Goa is the only state where marriages are 100 per cent registered because of the uniform civil code.

Registration is the right thing to do. but to make counselling mandatory before it, is something we oppose,” the state Bharatiya Janata Party president said.

Earlier this week, Goa Law Minister Nilesh Cabral had said that his ministry was tinkering with a policy to make pre-marriage counselling mandatory to stem the rising tide of quick divorces in the state, even as he was unable to provide statistics related to registration of divorces in the state.

According to Cabral, a government agency was formulating a counselling module and that religious institutes could also be roped in to provide pre-marriage counselling sessions.

Tanavade said that the real counsellors of the prospective brides and grooms were their parents or family elders and it would be improper to say that government servants as counsellors, would be in a position to impart better counselling.

“The real counsellors are the parents (of bride and groom) or a family elder. This may create more hassle for people,” he said.

“There are love marriages and arranged marriages. In an arranged marriage, issues are thoroughly discussed. It is not like the old times, when (family elders) would make it mandatory to marry someone. Now boys and girls have the freedom. A proposal is vetted properly by everyone,” he also said.

Tanavade said that the divorce rate in Goa is 0.18 per cent which is way below the national average of 0.24 per cent and therefore questioned the rationale behind the Law Minister’s statement that divorces are rampant in the state.

–IANS

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