“The year 2022 should be used for a massive educational campaign on the benefits of marrying only after a boy or girl attained the age of 21 years,” Chidambaram said.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram extended support to the proposal of raising the legal age of marriage from 18 to 21 years but said teh amended law should not come into force before January 1, 2023. 2022 should be used for an educational campaign explaining to people the benefits of marrying only after a boy or a girl attain the age of 21 years. “There is a debate on the wisdom of raising the age of marriage to 21 for girls and making it the same as it is for boys. My view is that the age of marriage should be common for both girls and boys at 21 years. But the amended law should come into force on 1-1-2023 or later. The year 2022 should be used for a massive educational campaign on the benefits of marrying only after a boy or girl attained the age of 21 years,” Chidambaram said.
The Union Cabinet is believed to have cleared a proposal to bring uniformity in the marriageable age of men and women. The government is likely to bring a bill in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament to amend the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. The proposed bill may also seek to make consequential changes to various personal laws relating to the marriage of different communities to ensure a uniform marriage age, reports said.
As of now, the legal age of women to get married is 18 while that for men is 21 years.
The proposal, however, has already courted controversies. AIMIM president and Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi slammed the proposal and said both men and women should be allowed to legally marry at 18 as they’re treated as adults by the law for all other purposes.
“Modi government has decided to increase the age of marriage for women to 21. This is typical paternalism that we have come to expect from the govt. 18-year-old men and women can sign contracts, start businesses, choose Prime Ministers and elect MPs and MLAs but not marry? They can consent to sexual relationships and live-in partnerships but cannot choose their life partners? Just ridiculous,” said AIMIM chief.