Marriage age bill: `Nikhas' register two-fold increase in Hyderabad

Ever since the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Parliament, marriages in the community have registered a two-fold increase.

By J.S. Ifthekhar  Published on  3 Jan 2022 3:26 AM GMT
Marriage age bill: `Nikhas register two-fold increase in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: In what appears to be a race against time, Hyderabad is seeing a spate of marriages these days, particularly in the Muslim community.

This follows the Centre's move to raise the age of legal marriage for women from 18 to 21 years. Ever since the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Parliament, marriages in the community have registered a two-fold increase.

Though the Bill has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee for further discussion, parents are seen in a tearing hurry to marry off their girls so as to obviate the implications of the Bill.

A good number of marriages of Muslim girls are scheduled in 2022 and 2023 and in the event of the proposed law getting the Presidential assent and becoming an Act then these marriages have to be postponed on the ground of age restrictions. "Therefore, many parents want to perform marriages of their daughters immediately", a Qazi said explaining the present hurry.

This has obviously led to increased demand for Qazis too. Most of them are now called to perform a dozen-odd 'Nikhas' every day.

Parents who have not yet fixed the alliance of their daughters are also now busy finding a suitable match. "I can't wait for three years to perform the marriage of my daughter", says Mujahid of Charminar echoing the views of many others. There is widespread anxiety among parents with regard to the draft Bill on women's marriage and many see it as an interference in Personal Laws.

Several Muslim bodies including the United Muslim Forum have opposed the Bill. "The Bill has not become an Act yet and therefore there is no need to panic", the Forum said in a statement.

Forum members, Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, Maulana Shah Mohammed Jaml-ur-Rahman, Syed Qubool Badshah Shattari have appealed to Muslims not to get unduly upset. As per the existing law, they can marry girls of 18 years without any hassle. During the Friday sermons also Khateebs in several mosques spoke on this issue and urged parents not to show undue haste in marrying their daughters.

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