Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Marriage age for men should not be lowered

Law Commission has recommended that marriage age for men in India be lowered from 21 to 18. The marriage age for men in India was raised from 18 to 21 in 1978. At that time marriage age for women in India was raised from 15 to 18.

The recommendation is not justified. Those who are in favour of reducing the age give two reasons:

1) Voting age is 18.

2) Child marriages take place.

Both reasons are not proper. Voting cannot be equated with marriage. Marriage is a responsibility. A man who marries must be able to take care of himself, his wife and the children that will be born. He should have enough maturity. Voting is for any Indian citizen who is 18 unless legally disqualified. For many years voting age was 21.

As regards child marriages there is a law against it. Lowering marriage age for men will not result in the end of child marriages. The law against child marriages should be implemented. That has not happened. Women who fought against child marriages have faced problems. One woman in Rajasthan was raped and her rapists were let off by the court. Another woman in Madhya Pradesh was attacked.

If anyone thinks marriage age for men and women must be same let marriage age for women be raised to 21.

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