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What is the news?
Madras High Court is hearing a PIL seeking revision of all official documents that recognise only the father’s name, and offer no space for the mother’s name. During the case, the Madras HC issued a notice to both central and state governments and demanded explanations.
Non-compliance in previous instances
In 2015, the Supreme Court directed the municipal bodies to not insist on a father’s name for issuing birth certificates. But many municipal bodies still do not comply with that.
Similarly, the education department has issued various circulars that a father’s name is not necessary to avail school admissions. But that too is not followed in practice.
Issues associated with not mentioning the mother’s name in the official documents
Promotes Patriarchy: A mother is often the primary caretaker. When a child grows up, seeing her name missing from the official papers will infuse the patriarchal mindset in the children. It creates a notion that a mother is secondary to the father in the home.
So, including the mother’s name in the official document is a much-needed reform.
Source: This post is based on the article “Mother of all forms: Many official documents still don’t allow mother’s name to be a standalone marker of parentage. Change this” published in The Times of India on 8th September 2021.