An Undying Social Evil: Childhood Marriage in India

Ramalingam By Ramalingam, 21st Jun 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>Off Beat

The modern India is still having some of the social evils such as the caste system, dowry system, female infanticide and childhood marriage etc.However, it is gradually shedding of its evils.Two recent episodes of childhood marriage are examples.

Childhood marriage

An Undying Social Evil: Childhood Marriage in India

India has many social evils even today, such as the incorrigible caste system, the female infanticide, the dowry system and the childhood marriage etc, to mention a few. Thanks to Lord William Bentinck who strove hard by enacting legislations to put an end to the inhuman practices such as female infanticide and Sati etc even during the colonial days in India.In the post-independent modern India, despite enacting laws against the caste system such as the untouchability act and the dowry prohibition act etc, still the Indian society and politics ridden by the caste system; the dowry system is as rampant as ever.

However, modern India is trying its level best to get itself redeemed from these social evils and the age-old unreasonable customs. Increasing rate of inter-caste marriages, Women education, their rapid progress and significant economic growth especially from the rural areas clearly shows that modern India is gradually shedding its social evils.

Two recent episodes from the state of Rajasthan clearly prove that there is a growing trend and awareness especially among women to shed those inhuman and unreasonable practices and the outdated customs that hamper their progress, thanks to the modern education that made them more reasonable and oppose age-old customs that defied logic.

Interestingly both cases were against the age-old and unreasonable custom of childhood marriage. One Rekha Kumari, a twenty year old girl residing at Peepar in Jodhpur District and doing her college education repudiated her childhood marriage that took place when she was hardly five years old. Her husband was an illiterate and following her everywhere calling upon her to come to her marital home for cohabitation. The girl had preferred a complaint to the Government authorities against her husband seeking protection from her husband and the community as well. The village community refused to rescind the childhood marriage besides threatening the girl’s family to impose a ban and levy a heavy sum as fine. Another school teacher namely Santara, aged 23, residing at Manpuria village Dausa District, refused to return to her marital home repudiating her childhood marriage that took place 14 years ago. She had also preferred a complaint to the District administration against her in-laws and the defying community as well

In the above cases, the girls were right in repudiating their childhood marriage that took place, when they were neither mentally nor physically ready and could not even understand the concept of marriage. In fact it took several years for them to understand that they were married. Though the girls repudiated their marriage, the village community ridden by backwardness and illiteracy opposed them tooth and nail even threatening them with dire consequences.

It shows that though a few girls by virtue of their education are ready to oppose such unreasonable customs, it is unfortunate to note that a large section of the society is still immersed in superstitions, unreasonable customs and certainly they will hamper the progress of the society .


Age-Old, Childhood, Customs, Evil, Marriage, Mentally, Physically, Ready, Social, Unreasonable

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author avatar Ramalingam
I am a freelancer and practicing lawyer.I am interested in writing articles with special reference to legal topics, history and society.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
23rd Jun 2012 (#)

Education is the key to cure many of the ills - siva

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author avatar Ramalingam
23rd Jun 2012 (#)

You are absolutely right.Only by education human civilization has advanced by leaps and bounds.

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