A big step forward
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