Hyderabad residents advance nikah dates after marriage bill gets govt nod

Hyderabad: The residents of Hyderabad are advancing their daughters’ nikah dates after the central government gave a nod to a bill that aims to increase the marriage age for women to 21 years.

The brides whose marriages are being preponed are in the age group of 18 to 20 years and nikahs of most of them were scheduled to be held in 2022-23, Times of India reported.

Fearing that the bill may become an act, parents of one of the brides from Babanagar whose nikah was supposed to take place in mid-2022 have preponded it.

To avoid legal complications after the enactment of the bill, some of the parents are performing nikah of their daughters now, however, seeking time for vidaai (farewell ceremony).

Bill to increase marriage age for women

The Bill on raising the marriageable age of women was introduced in Lok Sabha during the Winter Session and has been sent to a parliamentary committee for scrutiny.

The government’s justification behind increasing the marriageable age of women to 21 years is that it will allow girls to study further.

However, many sections of society including the clerics of Darul-Uloom Deoband, the Khaps of western Uttar Pradesh have expressed their opposition to the move.

The legal marriage age for women in India was first set to 14 years in 1929. It was defined in Child Marriage Restraint Act. The same act also set the legal marriage age for men to 18 years.

After the independence, the law was amended twice i.e., in 1949 and 1978. Both the amendments have increased the marriage age for women.

In 1949, the age for women was increased to 15 and no changes were made to the marriage age of men. The ages for women and men were increased to 18 and 21 respectively in 1978.