Chennai: Veteran Tamil Actor Manorama says that couples should be made to take potency tests before getting married.
Manorama says it should be made compulsory for both men and women to produce medical certificates before getting married and in the case of the groom the certificate should prove that he is sexually potent.
"There should be a certification that he is potent and he doesn't have HIV. In case of women... she is a woman and she's fertile and does not have AIDS. And if the doctor gives a fake certificate, then he should be jailed," said Manorama.
Manorama is planning to float a trust to campaign for a law on her proposals. Doctors and rights activists welcome the initiative but warn that legislation is not the way out
"It can't be through legislation. Then the sequel would be that the girl has to produce medical certificates to show whether she is actually either a virgin or whether she's actually matured enough for matrimony and all her medical records also... whether she's obtained puberty or not. All these things will come out," said Sudha Ramalingam, State President of PUCL.
Even doctors are not sure what should be the certificate be about.
"If somebody's expecting a certificate, just as you mentioned, what exactly they want? Is it a sexual fitness certificate or is it a fertility fitness certificate? There should be clarity. No. 2, assuming that it's only a sexual fitness certificate, on what basis, anybody can certify a person fit or not?" asked Dr D Narayana Reddy, consultant sexual medicine.
Doctors also point out that conditions like personality disorders and homosexuality are very difficult to pick unless the person himself confesses.
Though activists and the medical fraternity agree with the need to create awareness about the problem, they feel legislation on potency may be far-fetched.
But Manorama is all set pressurise the Chief Minister to do precisely that.