A Plea has been filed in Delhi High Court by BJP leader and lawyer to reduce the marriageable age for men to 18 from the current 21, as earlier sanctioned in the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. Besides this, the government also proposes to make child marriages void, and this is surely non debatable.
- The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that it will hear a plea seeking common minimum age of marriage for both men and women on February 19, 2020
- The court was hearing a PIL by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, which found it discriminatory for both genders to have different minimum age for marriage
- The BJP leader also argued the the difference in age was based on a patriarchal stereotype and had no scientific backing
- The Centre has sought more time and thus the bench of Chief Justice D. N. Patel and Justice C. Harishankar have deferred the matter to next year
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We spoke to some of the Mens Rights Activists in the matter to understand their stand and opinion on the same, since the PIL category states ‘Gender Discrimination’ as a premise for making the minimum marriage age as one.
Amit Deshpande – President, Vaastav Foundation said,
True equality would mean keeping ages for both same, irrespective of whether we feel men would be ready for marriage by then or not. There are men who could be ready for marriage by 18 that might not be in our circles, but if they want to marry they should have same choices as women have. It also fights the notion that man alone is protector/ provider for the family. Both could plan their careers together and treat each other equally.
Amit Lakhani who heads Mens Welfare Trust questions the government’s interference in every private matter and also urges them to first ensure Gender Neutral Matrimonial Laws for Men. He states,
We are seeing too much of government interference in personal lives and personal choices of people. Such decisions taken in haste just under the Feminist pressure isn’t a very positive precedence.
It is not whether Indian men can handle standardisation of age for marriage. The change in marriageable age impacts women equally. The bigger question is whether an Indian woman, who mostly looks for a well-educated groom with a house, assets, financial securities, a promising career, and sufficient income to support the entire family, will accept a younger man who would probably not possess all of these.
Article 14 of our Constitution provides for equal protection irrespective of gender, but factually, the matrimony-related laws, and those related to domestic violence, cruelty (498-A), maintenance, child custody are all wife-centric and are being blatantly misused when marriages don’t work for whatever reasons. Somewhere, this is killing the institution of marriage in India.
If the Modi government is indeed concerned, it should first standardise and make these laws gender neutral, curb the misuse and also work upon imparting basic knowledge of these laws at the college level. When it comes to marriage, Indian men are certainly second-class citizens.
Rudolph D’souza of MyNation Foundation was more direct, targeting naive men for jumping into a decision at such an early stage that could go horribly wrong. He said,
S*x hungry Indian men are ready to die early by marring women at such an early age without thinking or comprehending what lies ahead of them. Most such cases could end up in Divorce or face fake cases of Dowry or DV in their teenage, since it is likely that they do not understand the implications of the process of marriage and its outcome.
We also spoke to some other men on the issue and here’s what they have to say!
Professor Shreyas who works as a Law Professor in a private university in Gurgaon said:
It depends on various factors like his family background (social, family etc) , his earning capacity etc. There can be many factors for sure. Medical science also need to be taken into consideration to access whether they are mentally and physically fit to take the plunge so early in life.
Sumant Mishra, from NCR who is a father to a 19-year-old son said,
You can’t pass off everything in the name Gender Equality. My son who is still a teenager barely even understands the real meaning of a sacred union. I understand you are giving the boys an equal choice, but if that’s the case why not increase marriageable age of girls too to 21. I guess both genders are equally immature to handle marriage at this tender age.
And here’s how our readers reacted on social media:
Manish Kumar: The age should not be decreased as most of the guy at the age of 18 just passed the school they might be not able to handle the matrimonial relations at this stage & most of the guy at this age is not earning so it will only create burden on the pockets of parents even woman’s age should also be increased to 21 that will make sense cos getting married & handling responsibility is something which is too hard for school passout & pls don’t compare it with voting rights.
Sumon G: It’s a TRAP…the way society is growing complex and divorce rates sky rocketing, the poor boy have to spend his youth running after court cases instead of setting up his career.
Abu Pame: Population control is what the govt. advocates , and for which in some states , a family with more than 2 children will not get govt jobs any more. Then what is this ? The govt seems to be not understanding what they are going.
Abhishek Mudgal: Here we need to take many factors into consideration Like- PUBERTY AGE OF BOY, PHYSICAL FITNESS, FINANCIAL RESOURCES, HIS SOCIETAL Surroundings etc. First if the Boy is so much enthusiastic to get married after the age of 18 let it be…… Another things is too much sex leading to lot of problem like TB, so Boy also need to be educate on this note Another factor is his family FINANCIAL RESOURCES ( means if he is from well to do family then No problem, in RURAL CASES BOYS after 18 years become restless for SEX if they don’t get it on time then several other consequences LIKE- RAPE, ELOPE WITH A GIRL, ENGAGE IN UNETHICAL ACTIVITIES, this made them A TAME BULL with full of shit in mind)
BOTTOM LINE- it should be legalise but before 21 BOY & GIRL BOTH GET SANCTION from REGIONAL MAGISTRATE to get MARRIED.. ?
Viraj Vaghela: That’s a disaster, not many are matured enough to even pick a career at 18. Marriage is huge decision
Inderbir Vats: My question is are Indian Girls and their parents ready for this equality. For this we need to make our girls capable to earn and handle their expenditure independently instead of hypergamy and law for maintenance to wife need to be deleted.
1)Equality is a Fundamental Right.That’s Violated here. So it’s a good move.
2)Men are adults at,18, & they are made responsible for their actions. But law infantilizes Men when it comes to marriage
3)It’s Sexism to assume,that a woman is mature enough at 18, but a Man is not.1/3
— Gender Inequal INDIA (@IndiaGender) October 31, 2019
Of all the reforms needed in marriage laws in India, who demanded the lowering of minimum age of marriage for men? More meaningful reforms like no fault divorce, prenuptial agreement, relook at maintenance for the duration of marriage, dowry prohibition and DV act required.
— Siddhartha Gupta (@siddh_artha) November 1, 2019
Whoever is deciding this rule just ask them how mature they were At 18. divorce cases will also increase. Also imagine a guy divorcing at age 20 , how will he pay alimony . Most of the Boys at age 20 are in colleges because of education system of india
— shiv ram krishna p.. (@shiv_486) November 1, 2019
It’s a trap!
After this change, you’ll see 18 year boy roaming around court corridors and paying interims.
Death count will rise to surprising numbers.
This move is to weaken the nation
— Marshall Benjamin [MyNation] (@mynation_MJB) October 31, 2019
Raise the age. Force young men to enjoy their hard earned money on themselves before both their money and their lives are forcefully taken away through Indian sponsored legal terrorism, which assist leeching women to getaway with the loot!
— Sumon Kar (@5K4R) November 1, 2019
Thats a grate plane to extort money and make men suicide rate increased by and govt. earn more revenue. Age must be increased by 25 years so that men get more mature to understand this stunt.
— harish vyas (@harishkvyas) November 1, 2019
Increase the marriageable age to 25 or 26 for both men and women. Not sure about other countries but Indians are not matured enough to handle a marriage at the age 18.
— rocky balboa (@hatepeace1979) November 2, 2019
anyways 18yr old men will not get any suitable alliances unless they are rich or powerful. Not sure if there are forced weddings for Men, have heard only about rich/educated guys being kidnapped and forcefully married in some states.
— Avinash Kotni (@KotniAvinash) November 1, 2019
Good move. One more step for equality (for men) . If woman can marry at 18 why can’t man ? Or increase women’s marriageable age to 21. Gender equality should b everywhere in laws too. Men should get every right which women’s have.
— Hiten (@Hiten_12) November 1, 2019
Govt Ko abi husbands k death rate se santushti nahi Mili kya jo age kum Kar k aur logo Ko isme fasaana chahti hai…3 saal aur Sukoon se ji Lene do unhe…
— Saurabh Srivastav (@saurabh_azh) November 1, 2019
What’s the need? Is this a topic of crisis situation?
Govt should focus on population control and uniform civil code first.
— Young India (@Tweelak) November 1, 2019
Like so many policies of this govt demo/abrogation etc avowedly to prevent many unwanted criminal & terror acts, this maybe to prevent rapes.
— Arvind K (@arvindaction) October 31, 2019
The most idiotic intrusion ever made in the personal lives of boys…
— Bhushan Bobade|ビーウシャン ボバド ???☯️??♉? (@Married2Martyr) November 1, 2019
Men’s Day Out Opinion:
- What is marriage? Is it only a union of two individuals and their families or whether it should be a union of two mature minds deciding to unite legally and build a happy life forward?
- Surely, neither boys nor girls have any maturity, especially about this sacred bond, which is not merely about the physical need getting a legal sanction
- When we talk about Equality, surely the age can be uniform for both genders, however, one only wonders why can’t the same be other way round at 21 instead of 18
- At 18, kids are young, still studying, barely aware of what future and career holds for them, and if they or their parents decide to tie them up in a relationship which demands immense responsibility, it will be highly unfair if within 1-2 years they feel marriage has ruined their lives
- When we all were growing up, none of us had any clarity even at 25-years of age perhaps, as to what we really wanted from our companions
- As a progressive civilisation, we must encourage education, career, self dependence and then marriage by default for both genders, so that even if either of them lands up in a tough unforeseen situation, he or she can be confident enough to sail through dark days of life