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‘Awargi ka mauka’ to ‘ok to marry at 16 also if fertility is reached’: SP leaders after govt increases marriage age of girls

'Girls should be married when they attain the age of fertility. There is nothing wrong if a mature girl is married at 16', said SP MP ST Hasan.

A day after the central government approved a proposal to raise the legal age of marriage of women from 18 years to 21 years, Samajwadi Party leader Shafiqur Rahman Barq came up with a bizarre remark saying that the decision to raise the marriageable age of girls to 21 years would give the girl’s an excuse to do ‘awargi’ (to indulge in reckless, immoral behaviour).

“I don’t think this is the right step. Increasing the minimum marriageable age of women will deteriorate the situation. 18 years was perfect and the age bar was existent for a long time. Now, it will provide more scope for recklessness (awargi)”, Shafiqur Rahman Barq was heard as saying.

Later, in an interview with ANI, he claimed, “India a poor country and everybody wants to marry off their daughter at an early age. If it comes to education the girl continues her education after marriage also…I will not support this Bill in Parliament,” said the SP leader.

Samajwadi Party leader Shafiqur Rahman Barq takes U-turn after backlash

After receiving severe backlash for his bizarre ‘awargi’ remark, the SP leader backtracked by saying: “I didn’t use the word “awargi”. My statement was misquoted. I said that situation is not conducive.”

‘Girls should be married when they attain the age of fertility, even if 16’: Samajwadi Party MP ST Hasan

Interestingly, Shafiqur Rahman Barq is not the only Samajwadi Party leader who had raised objections to the central government’s decision to raise the legal age of marriage of women. In fact, Samajwadi Party MP ST Hasan went a step ahead and opined that girls should be married when they attain the age of fertility, even if it is at the tender age of sixteen.

“Girls should be married when they attain the age of fertility. There is nothing wrong if a mature girl is married at 16. If she can vote at age of 18, why can’t she marry?” said the SP MP ST Hasan.

IUML dubs the move as an attempt to bring about Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the country

The decision did not go down well with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) also. On Friday (December 17), the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) submitted an adjournment notice in the parliament after the Union Cabinet gave a nod to increasing the minimum marriageable age of women from 18 years to 21 years.

According to reports, IUML had dubbed the move as an attempt to bring about Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the country. The Islamist party also claimed that it would affect society in the future. The Indian Union Muslim League leaders also stated that the move to increase women’s legal marriageable age to 21 years was against the Muslim personal law.

Union Cabinet raises minimum marriageable age of women, personal laws to be amdended

On December 15, the Union Cabinet approved a proposal to raise the legal age of marriage of women from 18 years to 21 years. During the Independence Day address in August 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the same and said the Government was planning to amend the law for the same. He again pointed out the same in an address to the people of the nation in October 2020 and said the government would soon take a decision over it. Once the law is amended, the legal marriageable age for both men and women would become the same, i.e. 21 years.

Following the announcement of the decision, there was speculation that the decision would just affect Hindus because it was unclear whether personal laws would be changed. It was unclear if any change to Muslim Personal Law would be made to amend the minimum age of marriage for women, which is currently 15 years.

The speculation was that the Muslim personal law would give the community the right to marry their girls at 15, and Hindus would follow the law, thereby affecting the fertility rate and screwing the demography further.

OpIndia reached out to sources in the know to get clarity on the issue. Sources have clarified that all personal laws, including Sharia and Christian laws, would also be amended to increase the marital age of women to 21.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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