BJP MLA Says Child Marriages Can Solve ‘Love Jihad’ & Divorces
Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi warning his party members to ‘think before they speak’, a BJP MLA has landed in the spotlight for advocating child marriages as a way to counter ‘love jihad’ and divorce.
On Saturday, 5 May, BJP MLA from Madhya Pradesh’s Agar, Gopal Parmar said that ‘later marriages’ were responsible for love jihad, unlike “back in the day” when an early marriage would ensure that the bride and groom never saw each other, leading to their marriage ‘lasting forever.’
Speaking to ANI, Parmar said:
Pehle gaon mein bacchon ki shaadi bachpan mein ho jaati thi, toh uss vyakti ki maansikta safe ho jaati thi. Aaj agar kisi ki shaadi sahi samay pe nahi hoti, woh bhatak jaata hai aur phir Love Jihad jaisi ghatnaayein hoti hain. (Earlier in villages, children would get married early, and hence they would be stable. Now, if someone does not get married on time, they wander and get stuck in issues like ‘love jihad’.)
Later defending his comment to The Indian Express, Parmar reiterated his earlier stance, saying that if marriages are not fixed at a ‘tender age of before 18’, people are more susceptible to fall to ‘vices like love jihad’.
To further his point, Parmar told the daily:
Parmar further likened children to tethered cattle and said that once their marriage was fixed, “they’d know where to return.”
While he said that he would not give a written recommendation to the government regarding lowering the legal age for marriage, he expected parents to do what was right, reported The Indian Express.