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New marriage age on cards, Mewat region sees flurry of weddings – The Tribune

Sumedha Sharma

Tribune News Service

Gurugram, December 19

It was just a week ago that 18-year-old Safeena Ahmed (name changed) was shopping for a perfect salwar-kameez for the Christmas celebrations at her college. Little did she know that she would instead have to choose a wedding “sharara”.

Weekend rush

  • Nearly 450 marriages in Mewat region over Dec 18-19 weekend. Of these, just 180 were scheduled
  • 20 couples requested for court marriage on Friday in Gurugram, which generally sees 5-6 such requests daily
  • 55 married at temples in Gurugram, which on an average sees 5-7 marriages daily

“I knew who my husband would be since I was 5, he is my aunt’s relative. I am from a relatively more liberal and educated family and the first in my family to go to Delhi University. I was allowed to stay in hostel and the wedding was never spoken about. However on Friday when I was out shopping with my mother, my father called and suddenly my mother put aside the salwar-kameez and started looking for bridal ‘gararas’.

“I was shocked. When we got home, I was told a new law was being made to raise women’s marriage age to 21. My family wanted to hurry up with the wedding, fearing that the boy and his family wouldn’t wait for another 3 years. The wedding has now been fixed for Monday,” says the teenager from Ferozpur Jhirka.

Safeena’s is not a lone story, as the government’s nod to a Bill raising women’s marriage age has sent many into a tizzy in the Muslim-dominated Mewat region, particularly Nuh district, where girls are generally married off early. Nuh is among the most backward districts in the country.

The region witnessed hundreds of weddings over the weekend of girls aged between 18 and 20 with parents rushing to get over with their “responsibility” while it was still legal to do so.

“I am flooded with requests for grooms who are ready to marry within two days. We are making these announcements during prayer meetings,” says Mushtaq, an imam from Nuh.

“Ironically, girls from Nuh had actively participated in a campaign demanding an increase in marriageable age. Seeing parents rushing their girls into matrimony, we want that the registration of such marriages should be stalled till the law is passed,” said Sunil Jaglan, who spearheaded the campaign in Haryana for enhancement of marriageable age.

Incidentally, there has also been a rise in court weddings after the government announcement on Thursday. The number of inter-caste couples seeking court marriage in Gurugram went up 4 times over the weekend, reveal two local lawyers. 

Source: https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/new-marriage-age-on-cards-mewat-region-sees-flurry-of-weddings-352274

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PM Modi takes swipe at rivals for criticising move to raise marriage age for girls – The Indian Express

Highlighting his government’s recent decision to raise the legal age of marriage for girls from 18 to 21 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took on his political rivals for criticising this move.

“Earlier, the legal age of marriage for sons was 21 years, but for daughters it was only 18 years. The daughters also wanted that they should get time to pursue their studies and to get equal opportunities. Therefore, efforts are being made to bring the age of marriage to 21 years for daughters. The country is taking this decision for the sake of daughters,” Modi said.

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