A big step for­ward

The Hindu - - EDITORIAL -

The Supreme Court ver­dict, co-in­ci­den­tally de­liv­ered on the In­ter­na­tional Day of the Girl Child, should be cel­e­brated (“Sex­ual in­ter­course with mi­nor wife is rape, says SC”, Oct. 12). How­ever, this gov­ern­ment’s at­ti­tude to­wards women’s em­pow­er­ment is of­ten con­tra­dic­tory. While on the one hand the Cen­tre ad­vo­cated against triple talaq, which is also an ageold tra­di­tion, this time it wished to re­tain Sec­tion 375 of the In­dian Pe­nal Code, which vi­o­lates the rights of the girl child, by stat­ing that mar­riage of mi­nors is an age-old tra­di­tion. The gov­ern­ment should not en­gage in vote-bank pol­i­tics, but act as an agent of change.

Gu­nasekar T., Chen­nai The Supreme Court ver­dict is pos­i­tive but its suc­cess lies in ed­u­cat­ing girls and mak­ing them aware of their rights. Fur­ther, the judg­ment is not an end in it­self. The fight to erad­i­cate the prac­tice of child mar­riage con­tin­ues.

Dik­sha Pant, Dehradun The gov­ern­ment’s stand was ir­ra­tional and hol­low. We must not blindly prac­tice any form of in­jus­tice just be­cause it is an old cus­tom. Sati, de­nial of widow re­mar­riage, and ill­treat­ment of wid­ows were all cus­toms, but they have no place in so­ci­ety now. The rich­ness of a cul­ture is marked by how a so­ci­ety treats its women, which the court has rightly up­held.

P. Al­warap­pan, Coim­bat­ore In­dia is a land of glar­ing con­tra­dic­tions. While it has an eye on ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and bul­let trains, the gov­ern­ment's ef­fort to jus­tify child mar­riage on the pre­text of tra­di­tion is loath­some. If the gov­ern­ment it­self fans the flames of su­per­sti­tion, prej­u­dice and op­pres­sive pa­tri­ar­chal prac­tices, In­dia will for­ever re­main a de­vel­op­ing coun­try. On the one hand Sec­tion 67B of the IT Act, 2000 makes it il­le­gal to browse child pornog­ra­phy and man­dates five-year im­pris­on­ment and a ₹10 lakh fine for elec­tronic de­pic­tion of chil­dren in a sex­ual way; on the other hand it is ar­gued that the act of vi­o­la­tion of a child’s body in a sex­ual way should be al­lowed to con­tinue in the name of tra­di­tion. Be­fore the age of 18, a child can­not vote, but can be al­lowed to con­sent to sex? Wel­fare schemes such as Beti Bachao, Beti Pad­hao and Uj­jawala be­come a mock­ery if the gov­ern­ment puts forth such ar­gu­ments in court. The Supreme Court ver­dict is great, but im­ple­men­ta­tion is go­ing to be dif­fi­cult.

Shreyashi Panja, New Delhi

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