The Indian government has put the final touches to a draft of a bill that aims to ban female circumcision, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly planning to sign it.
Modi has been a vocal supporter of the practice, which involves cutting off the foreskin of a male infant’s penis, but has been at pains to distance himself from it.
He has also defended the practice in a Facebook post in 2015, when he was still prime minister.
“I have been a staunch supporter of circumcision for years,” he wrote.
“My mother and I are both doctors and have had the privilege to be able to practice in this profession.”
In 2016, he also said that “circumcision is not a practice that is carried out in a medical manner.
It is done for religious reasons.
I have seen too many people who have been cut without any medical justification,” he said.”
It’s not for religion or tradition but for the protection of the child’s health.”
Modi, who is also the president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, has since been a strong critic of circumcisions, saying the practice “is not just an issue of religious belief or personal preference but also for the health of the nation.”
However, many religious leaders and health experts have argued that the practice is a crucial part of Indian culture and that it can be carried out safely.
“It is the most effective preventive procedure for protecting the health and wellbeing of women,” Dr Aishwarya Raghavan, chairperson of the Medical Council of India, told the Hindustan Times.
“A healthy body is the cornerstone of a healthy society.”
The proposed bill, titled the Uniform Code of Medical Ethics and Ethical Principles of Medical Practice for India, has been discussed in parliament for the past three years and would require doctors to certify that circumcision has been carried out according to the instructions of a qualified doctor, as well as the recommendation of a board of doctors.
The bill would also require doctors and other medical professionals to inform patients that circumcision is medically necessary.
“In this context, the code should not be interpreted as a legal or moral requirement for a person to circumcise,” the draft says.
The draft also says that “medical ethics and ethics of the profession, including in respect of medical care and treatment, and the ethical rules and principles, should be considered in all cases and in consideration of all factors and circumstances”.
However, it has not yet been passed into law.
The draft was signed by the Health Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday and is expected to be signed by other ministers in the coming days.
“We have put in place all the necessary legal and moral requirements to protect the health,” Prasampal said.
However there have been some reservations in the draft. “
The committee will look at the recommendations of the advisory committee and take appropriate action in the matter.”
However there have been some reservations in the draft.
India is one of the world’s top 10 countries in terms of number of infant circumcision procedures performed each year, with almost 8,000 reported cases in the past 12 months.
India has an infant circumcision rate of almost 90 per cent and the country has a total of more than 60 million male newborns.
The practice has been blamed for increasing rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The country has also seen a rise in the number of women being circumcised, and in recent years, several women have publicly complained of pain and suffering from their genitalia being cut off.
In recent years the practice has also been criticized for being a form of female genital mutilation, a practice outlawed in Pakistan and China.
The proposed law would also set up a committee of experts on circumcision, and it would be up to the minister to make recommendations on the guidelines for doctors to follow.
“If we have a lot of women in this country who are circumcised and a lot have problems, then that is a sign of a problem,” Prabhu said.
Experts have also expressed concerns about the impact of the bill on women’s rights.
Dr Sanjeev Kanti Ghose, director of the Center for the Study of Women’s Health, told Al Jazeera that the proposed legislation “will only make the process of female circumcision more difficult.
We will have to look at it with some reservations.”
“If we see women in the future complaining of pain, they will not be able take this procedure because it will not help their health and also it will make it harder for them to get medical care,” he added.
“For many women, it will be impossible to have their procedure.”
“The bill will affect the health status of women, and women will also be less able to go out and have an abortion.
The government is not taking care of the wellbeing of its citizens,”