Raising age of girl’s marriage against natural justice: JIH

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Raising age of girl’s marriage against natural justice: JIH

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New Delhi: Prof. Salim Engineer, vice-president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), has expressed grave concern over the rise in hate crimes and hate speeches across the country and has called on the government to take decisive steps to combat it effectively. The JIH Vice President, speaking to the media on current problems at an online news briefing on January 1, 2022, praised the Jharkhand government’s law against mob lynching.

Prof. Salim, responding to media questions about recent hate speeches at the Haridwar Dharma Sansad, in which an open call was allegedly given to take up arms against Muslims, said that it was a direct challenge to the government’s authority, the Indian Constitution, and law and order agencies, which guaranteed protection to life and property of all citizens regardless of faith.

The JIH leader expressed concern over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the hate speeches delivered at the Hardiwar, saying it was the government’s constitutional duty to take action. Prof. Salim lamented that the police and administration did not appear to be serious about the matter, so no tangible action was taken against the accused.

“It is deplorable that this politics of hate is practised to divert the attention of people, especially when elections are around, from the real issues so that the government and ruling establishment’s performance is shifted from development to other emotional issues,” Prof. Salim said, expressing grave concern over the rising attacks on places of worship of minorities.

The JIH Vice President praised the Jharkhand government’s Bill against mob lynching and urged other state governments to pass similar legislation to send a strong message to those who took the law into their own hands. After Rajasthan and West Bengal, Jharkhand is the third state to pass legislation prohibiting mob lynching.

Speaking on the issue, Prof. Salim said, “hate crimes and lynching of Muslims and Dalits have increased a lot recently. Some well-organized groups and cow-vigilante gangs, along with anti-social and criminal elements, feel emboldened to carry out lynchings in broad daylight, filming them and circulating them on social media. They do so with impunity because no serious action has been taken against them by the police. JIH feels that the Central government and the state governments must protect the life of its citizens. Hence, they must take the lead and quickly pass similar ‘Prevention of Mob Lynching’ bills and ensure that lynchings become history in our country.”

Prof. Salim stated that extending the marriage age for girls from 18 to 21 would only result in atrocities against women and their parents if legislation was rushed through. “Currently, there is a global consensus that the legal age of marriage for women should be 18 years,” he added. This is the case in almost all countries, including many industrialized ones. The move, according to JIH, violates natural law. The rise in the age restriction will influence our demographic dividend in the long run.

Why should boys and girls wait until they are 21 to marry if they may vote at the age of 18 to choose a decent candidate for assembly and Parliament?

Prof. Salim hoped that the Parliamentary Standing Committee, tasked with evaluating the Bill and submitting a report, would reject the recommendations. Syed Tanveer Ahmad conducted the briefing.