Minority communities concerned about personal law, not age of marriage

Ground Report | New Delhi: Minority communities personal law; The central government has sent the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2021 to a parliamentary standing committee, raising the minimum age of marriage for girls from 18 to 21, but concerned about the impact of minority communities on their personal laws in the country. are expressing.

The Indian Express’ reported that most of the minority communities are not concerned about increasing the age of marriage but about the protection of personal law provided by the Constitution.

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According to the draft bill, the proposed law, once implemented, would be applicable to all communities, replacing the recent marriage and personal law.

Dr Shernaz Cama, director of Jio Parsi, an organization representing the Parsi community, says the law will not affect their community as “both men and women marry late” but it needs to be investigated whether it affects individuals. does. What is the potential effect on the law as it gets through the constitution.

She says, “Personally I feel that once a person becomes an adult, no one has the right to interfere in the issue of who can and cannot get married.”

“Women in the Parsi community do not marry below the age of 28–30 years, and males generally do not marry below the age of 35. This is much higher than the national average age of 22–24 years…( But) personal laws are protected under the Constitution. It should be studied by a standing committee, which should have mainly women members,” said Cama, who is also the director of UNESCO’s Parsi-Parsi project PARZOR.

“I personally do not think that anyone has a right to interfere in the issue of whether a person can or cannot marry if that person has reached adulthood,” she said.

Father Savari Muthu, the spokesman for the Delhi Archdiocese, says the Christian community welcomes the government’s move but warns of the impact of the proposed law on marginalized societies in rural areas.

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The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which has spoken out against the proposed law, called it “very irrational”.

“It is not just about personal laws, but also looking at what really benefits women. The biggest need in India is the safety and security of women. And when a girl has to be kept at home, her safety becomes the responsibility of the parents, which is why she is often married off. When women and men are given the right to vote at the age of 18, they can make any decisions independently when they are adults. How can the government stop them from getting married?” said Niyaz Ahmed Farooqui, general secretary of Jamiat-Ulama-e-Hind and member of AIMPLB.

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