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Haryana: Hurried Weddings Being Conducted In Mewat Over Anxiety Of New Marriage Law

Hundreds of weddings of girls aged 18-20 took place across Nuh region over the weekend, with parents hurrying to complete their "duty" while it was still legal.

Haryana

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As the government proposed to bring a new reform, putting the woman on an equal pedestal as a man in the matrimonial domain by raising the legal marriage age of women to 21 from 18 earlier, a new trend of hurried marriages being conducted in some areas has come to the fore.

Latest reports suggest that families have fast-tracked the process to get their daughters married soon, anticipating that the new reform tabled by the Centre will become a legal tender soon. As per a report, the villages of Haryana have been hit by a flurry of weddings. The report reveals that the Muslim-dominated Mewat region, especially the Nuh district is witnessing a high demand for grooms who are ready to get married within two days.

Hurried marriages being conducted in Mewat over anxiety of new law

In the Nuh region, girls are generally married off at an early age, as it is prevalent amongst the most backward districts in the country. Hundreds of weddings of girls aged 18 to 20 took place across the region over the weekend, with parents hurrying to complete their "duty" while it was still legal. 

The Imams are flooded with requests to find suitable grooms for girls in the region and they say that they pronounce such requests during the Azaan. The report also suggests that since the government’s announcement on Thursday, there has been an increase in court weddings. According to two local lawyers, the number of inter-caste couples seeking judicial marriage in Gurugram increased fourfold over the weekend.

However, contrastingly, Nuh girls had participated actively in a campaign requesting that the marriageable age be raised. “They wanted the registration of such marriages to be halted until the law is approved because they were seeing parents hurrying their daughters into marriage," said Sunil Jaglan, who spearheaded the Haryana campaign to raise the marriageable age.

Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development, Smriti Irani on Tuesday tabled The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the Lok Sabha, calling it a 'historic step'. 

Centre clears proposal for raising the marriage age for women

The Union Cabinet on December 15 cleared a proposal that would increase the minimum marriage age for women from 18 to 21 years, the same as that of men. The proposal was framed on the basis of recommendations made by a task force set up by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. 

Headed by Jaya Jaitley, the task force made extensive recommendations based on consultations from experts, young adults, young women, and others whom the decision affects directly. The development comes over a year after the plan was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address in 2020. 

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