Congress spokesperson and MLA from Bhopal Sajjan Singh Verma has stirred up a political controversy for his regressive comments on a woman’s marriageable age on Wednesday, 13 January.
“When girls can reproduce at 15 years, why raise their marriageable age from 18 to 21 years,” said the former PWD minister, according to ANI.
The issue unfolded after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while inaugurating “Samman” — a fortnight-long public awareness drive about crimes against women — called for a national debate on raising the minimum age of marriage.
Women are currently allowed to get married at 18, three years earlier than the 21-year minimum age limit for men. The Chief Minister had contended that the minimum age for women should also be made 21 years.
Arguing that women are able to reproduce at the age of 15 years, Mr Verma said, “This is not my finding. As per doctors’ report, girls are suitable for child bearing at 15 years of age. Owing to it only, a girl is considered mature enough for marriage at minimum 18 years of age,” Mr Verma had said.
The former minister went on to add, “Girls should go to their ‘sasural’ (in-laws’ home) and be happy after they turn 18”.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights also issued a notice asking Verma to ‘provide an explanation within two days, giving reasons and justifying his intention for making such a discriminatory statement against minor girls and the law’, quoted ANI.