Monday 27 June 2022
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SP MP: Will not support bill to raise min marriage age of women

'Whether it's my daughter or yours, we have to think the best for them,' SP MP Shafiqur Rahman Burq said, adding that the current social phase is 'immoral'

While the Narendra Modi government is all set to raise the minimum marriage age of a woman from 18 to 21, Samajwadi Party (SP) Lok Sabha MP Shafiqur Rahman Burq said today he would not support the bill for this, whenever it is brought for discussion in the parliament. The reason is that since “India is a poor country, may want to marry off their daughters at an early age”, the SP MP said.

“We are a poor country, so many people may wish to get their girls married at an early age. As far as the girls’ is concerned, it is possible for them to be educated either in their own home or at their in-laws’ place,” the SP MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal said.

However, the SP MP clarified that this was his personal opinion and it did not represent the views of his party.

“Whether it’s my daughter or yours, we have to think the best for them. I also want to clarify an earlier remark. Then, I was actually talking about the immoral times we are living in,” the SP MP said further.

Burq was referring to a in which he is heard telling a reporter that girls will “go astray” if the minimum legal age for marriage is raised.

SP chief has distanced himself from the comment of his party’s MP. He said, “The Samajwadi Party has nothing to do with any such statement. The SP is a progressive party & has launched schemes for the progress of girls and women.”

The union cabinet had cleared the said modification in a meeting the day before yesterday. It plans to bring the legislation in the ongoing winter session of Sansad.

Under the existing law, the minimum legal age at which a woman can get married is 18 while that for a man is 21.

The proposed law has sparked a nationwide debate where activists who work with the underprivileged sections of society say it will push members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to illegal marriages.

On the other hand, a section of the media has quoted “sources” to claim that the proposed law will apply to followers of all religions, notwithstanding the existence of personal laws. This has given hope to a section of Hindus who find in the proposed legislation a hint of a uniform civil code. They also believe that this would help keep the Muslim population in check.

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