Child Marriage: Reasons
Submitted to:- Submitted by:- Dr Anupam Bahri
I am highly indebted to my Professor who gave me such an interesting project and who helped me in every way possible to complete the project. I owe my deepest sense of gratitude to my parents who influenced me and helped me to complete this project. I would also like to thank the library staff who helped me finding the reference texts.
Child marriage in India, according to Indian law, is a marriage where either the woman is below age 18 or the man is below age 21. Most child marriages involve underage women, many of whom are in poor socio-economic conditions. Child marriages are prevalent in India. Estimates vary widely between sources as to the extent and scale of child marriages. The International Centre for Research on Women-UNICEF publications have estimated India's child marriage rate to be 47% from small sample surveys of 1998, while the United Nations reports it to be 30% in 2005. The Census of India has counted and reported married women by age, with proportion of females in child marriage falling in each 10 year census period since 1981. In its 2001 census report, India stated zero married girls below age 10, 1.4 million married girls out of 59.2 million girls in the age 10-14, and 11.3 million married girls out of 46.3 million girls in the age 15-19 (which includes 18-19 age groups). Since 2001, child marriage rates in India have fallen another 46%, reaching an overall nationwide average 7% child marriage rates by 2009. Jharkhand is the state with highest child marriage rates in India (14.1%), while Kerala is the only state where child marriage rates have increased in recent years, particularly in its Muslim community. Rural rates of child marriages were three times higher than urban India rates in 2009. Child marriage was outlawed in 1929, under Indian law. However, in the British colonial times, the legal minimum age of marriage was set at 15 for girls and 18 for boys. Under protests from Muslim organizations in the undivided British India, a personal law Shariat Act was passed in 1937 that allowed child marriages with consent from girl's guardian. After independence and adoption of Indian constitution in 1950, the child marriage act has undergone several revisions. The minimum legal age for marriage, since 1978, has been 18 for women and 21 for men. The child marriage prevention laws have been challenged in Indian courts, with some Muslim Indian organizations seeking no minimum age and that the age matter is left to their personal law. Child marriage is an active political subject as well as a subject of continuing cases under review in the highest courts of India. The children are forced into the institution of marriage without knowing about its significance in the long run. Though parents are of the opinion that they involve their children in such rituals because it is an age old custom and it will also secure the future of their children but the reality is not so. Though in some cases parents believe in such superstitions and dogmas in other cases greed is the most significant factor. How can a girl’s future become secured if she gets married to a man who is 60 years of age while the girl herself is barely 14 or 15? Only their parent’s future will be secured with the amount of money the man and his family pay in return of the girl. This heinous crime cannot be termed as marriage it is simply selling of the girl child. The man will molest her at a tender age and at the same time he will kiss death pretty soon. The girl will end up being so horrified with the custom of marriage that she will dare not enter the institution again. A whole future filled...
Bibliography: 1) Jaya Sagade, “Child Marriage in India” Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
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