Marriage is enigmatic institution as secret of happy marriage remains a secret. What is marriage? Mythological and spiritual explanations are abound. In Christianity marriage is union ’till death do us part’. In Hinduism Marriage is a union ‘for seven life times’. Of course they must also believe in another fairy tale that marriages are made in heaven and performed on earth.
It appears that in past few decades there has been some disorder or some disruption in the routine of heaven. It is getting increasingly difficult to find happily married couple or worse a suitable prospective spouse.
Child Marriage or marriage of minors, like most of the other countries, was a traditional practice in India; where elders would commit to marry their minor children. Various laws have been enacted from time to time to curb this practice, but it is not completely routed out. However, among Hindus, the child marriage itself has never been declared void by law. In respect to other religions, the problem had not been addressed at all. However there are two High Courts of India whose Full Benches have held that now, in the wake of changes in law, Child Marriage is illegal and ineffectual till the child reaches age of consent, and a two-year time period elapses thereafter during which he/she can seek annulment of child marriage.
The ill-effect of such marriages are well-known. Besides the health and life of child, it has social fallout as well. Some of the ill effects have been summarised by UNICEF here. According to Unicef, world’s 40% child marriages take place in India. Continue reading →