Indian Child Marriage System and Society

Indian laws pertaining to child marriages


Indian Society from the perspective of Indian Child Marriage System

I remember that when I was studying abroad in India, I once did a credit-based essay. Since it was a topic selected by the school, when the dormitory network was not strong, there were not many topics left. Because I did not understand Lokpa, I chose the topic at that time. It is the Indian child marriage system. My partner is an Indian female classmate. Of course, from a female perspective, she hates this behavior. But this phenomenon is not only present in India, it is also a custom in Africa and even in some parts of China.


What does UNICEF say on child marriage?

According to UNICEF’s definition, child marriage, that is, girls younger than 18 years old, is a violation of human rights. At the same time, such marriages also reflect that young girls who are forced to marry are immature and treat them.

Joe faces not only the choice of life partner, but the lack of understanding of the meaning and responsibilities of marriage.

In many developing countries, sexual relations and pregnancy have become socially, culturally, and legally acceptable conditions, but only when these occur within marriage.

Marriage age at different times and places but with the same “elderly definition” is a phenomenon of child marriage, a part of the child’s marriage and the custom of child brides-in-law.

Girls in child marriages do not even have enough mature mentality and body to face the upcoming marriage life, so they face premature pregnancy and teenage mothers.

At the same time, according to data released by UNICEF, And during childbirth, girls under 15 are five times more likely to die from pregnancy and childbirth than women with an average age of about 20 in the world.


When a social phenomenon turns into a global problem, we must pay more attention to it.


At the same time, as a legal worker, the question in my mind is how does the social phenomenon arise? Is there a way to solve this problem step by step? Can human rights be protected?


What are the reasons that child marriages are more common in India?


(1) How is Indian patriarchal social system responsible for child marriage?


What is the reason or justification for child marriage?

It is difficult to determine and ascertain the reasons or roots of child marriage customs. Customs can also be the main reason for explaining social phenomena.

However, in a specific system at a specific period, religion, customs and culture will always appear as scheduled. It is just a matter of social phenomenon, perhaps it is sublimated into a tribe, the “rules” of the village. However, these can definitely be attributed to the patriarchal structure of a society.

The patriarchal system prevails, not only in India but also in developing countries. In a wide area, the specific impact of cultural and religious changes on patriarchy also changes accordingly.


The impact of patriarchy on Indian society is to maintain the strongness of its social system, which is reflected in the different classes, gender, age and caste of Indian society.

This is also done to:

1. Lower the status of Indian women-the most common manifestation is : The division of labor between production and reproduction. Men are responsible for production activities and women are responsible for reproduction

2. Strengthen the protection of women’s subordinate status and make them dependent on men to obtain additional attributes such as housing and jewelry outside of marriage.


Patriarchy In Indian culture, the role of the mother is the glory. It can be seen from a graduation certificate.

Often the name of the mother is written in the graduation certificate issued after graduation from an Indian university.

Because this is also a strengthening of its subordinate status, Tterefore, when there is no role that can replace “wife” and “mother”, women’s social identity and so-called economic security mainly come from marriage, which is the existence of this important factor, and child marriage can last forever. Because it helps to replicate and strengthen their subordinate position.


(2) How is the control of sex responsible for child marriages?

In an unequal Indian society, the control of female sex and reproduction is also an important manifestation of the child marriage system. Indian society and culture embed the concept of virginity and purity to control female sexual behavior.

Clan in India symbolizes glory and status, and also reflects clan, caste, and caste group. Therefore, alliances between families will also choose to be in the form of marriage. At this time, “purity” becomes particularly important, which is a measure of power Dignity and honor.


Indian society is also paying too much attention to the chastity of women. The earlier you get married, the purer you will be, so this is also an important factor in the existence of child marriage.

 Otherwise, the community talks about a young girl who is pregnant too early and not married will bring bad reputation to the family.

 In order to avoid the problem of teenage pregnancy, one solution for parents and society is to marry girls at a young age, instead of teenage sex and encouraging safe and protective sex, parents arranged marriages and so-called social pressures make children marriages It is considered the only and correct solution.


On the other hand, if men and women have deviant behaviors when they are married, the possible control is not only given from the social class.

In Indian law, adultery is defined by law as an improper relationship between a man and a woman regardless of who is married or not, as long as one of them is the consensual sexual relationship between the other husband or wife.


Adultery was considered a crime in India and is punished in accordance with Section 497 of Chapter 20 of the Indian Penal Code.

 The provisions were as follows: “Whenever the two parties have sex, one party knows or has reason to believe that the other party is a wife, if not If the husband’s consent or connivance, the behavior cannot be a crime of sex, but the crime is committed adultery, and the male party should be punished with a fixed-term imprisonment that can be extended to five years or a fine, or both. And in this case, the adulterer’s wife should not be a joint criminal.”

Therefore, in terms of sexual control, the attitude towards men is completely different from the attitude towards women. Those in a subordinate position can be exempted, but the same male power must be cracked down.


Not only that, adultery, also known as infidelity or extra marriage is a moral crime, and almost all religions are considered a crime.

There are also provisions in the Manu Code, imposing *** capital punishment on both sides of adultery in order to emulate you. Regardless of religion or law, the control of sex is also one of the indelible marks of Indian society.


(3) What are the Economic reasons for Indian child marriage?

People’s social and economic background determines the number of resources available for marriage ceremonies, and also shows their social strength with marriage values ​​and attitudes. I once attended the wedding of a classmate. Both parents are high-level government officials.

Since we arrived in his hometown, the good wine has not been stopped. The accommodation is his father’s private villa, and the trip is even by private car.

At the wedding site, the nearly 1,000 square meters of venue, all kinds of free food, the bridegroom’s father’s gesture of squandering rupees, and the luxury of the wedding ceremony all reflect their social status and economic strength.


In India, the parents of a girl are required to give a dowry, or “dowry”, whether in cash or in kind, in the form requested by the groom and his family. As the marriage is delayed, the number of gifts may increase. The reason is that as the girl gets older, she needs a groom who matches her age. An older groom is likely to receive more education, and more education requires more bridegroom, “

“More” is an established trend. In order to avoid getting married at an older age, parents are more willing to marry her at a very early age. As a result, the children’s marriage dowry system has been recognized by the society. If there are more girls in the family and they all marry out at the same time, it will save money during the wedding celebration.


(4) What are some religious reasons for Childrens’ marriage?

In ancient India, the Code of Manu mentioned that a man should marry a girl when he is 24 years old.

It is also mentioned in other sacred scriptures to let a girl marry before she grows up. From these we can know that this is a problem left over from history, especially religious culture and local customs and cultures that cause this phenomenon.

The government can amend the law at any time, but the “sacred bible” is eternal for religion. The religious texts of Hinduism have stipulated the use of all childbearing periods from the beginning. For example, dharmasutras and smritis assume that younger girls get married. Among Muslims, there are early marriages, that is, puberty marriage is the best. Because of the requirements for virginity and purity.


There is a view that clarifies the role of religion in these marriages. In Dar es Salaam and coastal areas, some interviewees said that religious beliefs have played a role. These practices have contributed to child marriages. The community places more emphasis on boys and girls getting married after puberty.


(5) How does lack of legal awareness result in child marriage?

India enacted the Child Marriage Restrain Act (CMRA>) in 1929 to reduce the practice of child marriage.

 An amendment was promulgated in 1978, stipulating the terms of 18 and 21 years as the legal marriage age for women and men.

Despite the fact that this behavior has been controlled by legal provisions for more than 70 years, child marriages are still common and even widespread in certain areas of India.

One of the main reasons why child marriage was not controlled after the bill was enacted is that the people are largely unaware of the law.

Because CMRA is not a household name among Indian women, especially those women who belong to the disadvantaged class of Indian society, and even illiterate people from rural areas (including the bottom Indian people from SC and ST). At the same time, the Indian Marriage Law (HMA) of 1955 also had such a clause to inhibit child marriage.

The Muslim Marriage Law also has similar provisions, but the effect has not been satisfactory.


If people don’t know anything about the law, it’s hard to expect them to obey the law. In addition, even if people know the law, their attitude will not be conducive to such an attempt to bring about changes in social values ​​and interfere with the implementation of the law.

 If the cultural and religious influence of this region is strong, people will either oppose such laws or simply ignore them. Unless people are confident and explain the need to prevent child marriages, it is impossible for them to comply with the law.



The child marriage system has existed in this world for a long time. There are many reasons and reasons, such as different cultural customs, different socio-economic conditions, different laws, and so on.


Does the existence of the child marriage system ignore women’s rights and fail to respect human rights?

The answer is absolutely yes. Child marriage violates women’s rights. It not only affects girls’ reproductive health, because when they are married, adolescent girls do not even Physical maturity is not enough to face the consequences of sexual relations.


Law has always been the most effective tool for social management, but how to make full use of this tool to solve the problem of child marriage is also debatable. In some areas, child marriage has its own customs and culture, is deeply rooted, and also relies on religious texts.

It is indeed difficult for religious people to solve a problem. Different analytical abilities and weak education levels, as well as the people’s weakened legal consciousness, must disseminate education to improve the quality of the people to solve children’s marriage, the popularization of some legal seminars, and the promotion of human rights and women’s rights.

Only a complete fastening of the chain can gradually solve social problems.



The integrity and uniformity of the law are the most basic attributes of the law. Only when the law can provide fair and uniform penalties, such as how to better suppress historical and cultural issues in order to better resolve them.



Author’s Bio

Name: Ajay Rastogi

Educational Qualification: LLB

Profession: Advocate / Lawyer

Work Experience: 20 Years of Legal Practice

Profile Link:

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