The khap panchayat’s suggestion to lower the marriageable age of boys and girls to bring down incidents of rape points to the utter failure of our society to protect a girl child. Instead of strengthening her protection, our khaps want to confine her in home. They say child marriages should be legalised to ‘rescue’ girls from such crimes. Is there any evidence to show that married women are not sexually assaulted or that married men do not commit the heinous crime? Why are solutions to crimes against women in the form of restrictions like ‘don’t go to school, don’t go to work,’ etc? Instead, why not teach our sons to respect girls?
Child marriage is a crime against society, especially girls. The minimum age for marriage has been arrived at after studying various factors. Victims and perpetrators of rape belong to all age groups. The khap panchayat’s proposal has no rationale and lacks vision.
The ‘wonder solution’ of early marriage to bring down instances of rape recommended by the Khap panchayat and endorsed by the former Haryana Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala, smacks of their narrow minded and feudal mentality. Instead of calling for the strengthening of the laws to protect women and punish the rapists, the khaps want to take the country backwards by lowering the marriageable age. All such senseless attempts to legitimise one evil to get rid of another should be resisted.
Child marriage as a remedy for rape is baloney. We may soon find ‘solutions’ like premarital sex and extramarital affairs touted as remedies too. Why are we out to satisfy the sexual needs of psychopaths?
Someone should educate the self-styled chauvinists on the ills of child marriage and maternal mortality rates. The ignominy brought forth on the nation by the rape cases is the result of the malfeasance of the Haryana government.