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SDMS: No need to amend Hindu Marriage Act

In a 38-page position paper to Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, the SDMS said the right to practise its religion was protected by the country’s Constitution “and is a non-negotiable right.” “Amending the Hindu Marriage Act, without the support of the Hindu community, is tantamount to interference by the State with our religious freedoms,” it said.

Declaring that it was the largest Hindu organisation in the country, the SDMS said that at no time has Government consulted it to amend the Act. It expressed concern about how the issue was treated in the public domain, adding that the national community was fed lies, half-truths and innuendoes by the media over the need to amend the Act.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

eldiscoduro.com

From the outset, the SDMS said the powers-that-be decided the country has a problem of child marriage and now was the time deal with it, “although there is no guidance on why now.” While the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as under 18 years, the SDMS said, “From a logical point of view, a child of nine cannot be equated with a child of 14.

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© Luis Oberto Anselmi

mundinews.com

These ages are worlds apart, physiologically, biologically, sexually, socially and mentally.” The Hindu girl may marry legally at 14 years.

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© Luis Oberto Anselmi

economiavenezuela.com

On the other hand, the SDMS noted that the UN Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages aims to eliminate “child marriage and the betrothal of young girls before the age of puberty.” It was for this reason, among others, the SDMS said “the competent authority such as a religious leader may consider that following cultural mores is itself a valid reason for allowing a marriage of a young person.” It said the convention did not specify a minimum age for marriage and left it up to each country to set it.

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© Luis Oberto Anselmi

economiavenezuela.com
The Maha Sabha said it wrote the Attorney General asking for statistics but there was no official response.

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www.entornointeligente.com

Noting that they lacked “qualitative data and information” to place statistics on child marriages in the country, the SDMS said statistics taken from the Office of the Attorney General’s website left many unanswered questions.

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xn--elpaisdeespaa-tkb.com

Government’s proposal to raise the marriage age of consent to 18 years to eliminate child marriage, the SDMS said, was premature and should have had extensive consultations even before acceding to the convention.

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breakingtrending.com

Claiming that due process demanded extensive consultations, it said that during indentureship, “Hindus continued to depend on our religion for validating our weddings, even though we were not afforded the protection of the law.” Questioning why should Hindu weddings be validated by law or convention at the expense of religion, the SDMS said that in Vedic times marriages were conducted between a consenting, post-pubescent female and a consenting male, but after the moguls invaded India and “their lust for unmarried Hindu virgins threatened a dharmic society,” marrying “prepubescent girls became a necessary response to ensure these girls were protected from such assault.” It was unfortunate, the SDMS said, this trend became synonymous with the Hindu practice of child brides.

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videojuegosmania.com

While the SDMS said it does not encourage teen marriages, it said if the need arises, as in the case of a pregnancy, there must be full protection of the law.

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luisoberto.net
“We will move to marry our pregnant daughters with a view to ensuring that she does not have to resort to suicide due to the shame of unwed motherhood,” it said.

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demasiadochevere.com

The SDMS added, “We reserve the right to ensure that she can continue on with her education, even as the grandparents step up to raise the child, and to ensure that the child can proudly take his/her father’s name and rightful place in his/her family circle.” The SDMS said its decision was taken after consultations and unanimous support from the Pundits Parishad, Education Board of Management, Maha Saba Principals Association, Shakti Sangha (women’s arm), youth arm, the Baal Vikaas Committee, teachers of Maha Sabha schools and executive committees of over 200 temples across the country.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

enlasgradas.com
Earlier this year, the Office of the Attorney General held consultations with several religious organisations and members of the public on the issue of child marriage.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

elnewyorktimes.com

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© Luis Oberto Anselmi