Hyderabad: Muslim parents scramble to marry off daughters

Thousands of marriages performed within a week

Hyderabad: There is growing resentment in the country over the Central Government’s bill presented in the Parliament to increase the girls’ marriage age from 18 to 21.

The said bill has currently been referred to a standing committee for review. There is a debate across the country for and against the bill.

There is growing disquiet among the Muslim parents and they are scrambling to marry off their daughter before the bill becomes a law.

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In Telangana, thousands of marriages were performed within a week. Parents of those girls who have completed 18 years are hurriedly marrying off their daughters.

According to a report received from the “Qazis Offices” across Hyderabadis, 3K marriages were performed in the city. There is a huge rush at the offices of the Qazis across the city. Marriages are performed silently in the presence of the grooms and bride’s close relatives. They are postponing the “Vidaai” (send off) ceremonies for later dates.

According to the information received by these offices, even the parents whose daughter’s marriage were to be held in the coming years are preponing their daughters’ marriages to escape the new law.

A father of a girl at a Qazi’s office in the city told that Islam permits the marriage of a girl when she attains puberty. “In spite of this, we were respecting the government’s law of Marriage for girls at 18 till now. But the Muslim parents can face many difficulties due to this new law,” he said.

The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to raise the age of legal marriage for women from 18 to 21, shall apply to all communities in the country and, once enacted, will supersede existing marriage and personal laws.

The members of Congress and other opposition parties opposed the Bill and questioned the haste with which it had been introduced in the Parliament and said: “It is a violation of fundamental rights and would impact personal laws.”

The Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said: “We want to suggest to the government that if you do anything in a hurry, you are likely to commit mistakes. Across India, this issue has generated a lot of debate. And this government has neither consulted states nor spoken to stakeholders.”

The NCP, DMK, Shiv Sena, and TMC too expressed their reservations over the haste in introducing the Bill.

AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi said it was in violation of fundamental rights under Article 19. E T Mohammed Basheer of IUML said the Bill was unconstitutional and was violative of Article 25 of the Constitution. “This is an attack on personal law and fundamental rights in this country,” he said.

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