Jodhpur Child Bride, Santa Devi Meghwal was fined Rs 1.6 million rupees for not accepting her child marriage. She was married off when she was 11 months old. When she learnt about her marriage at an age of 16, she flatly refused to go to her in-law’s home. The village panchayat slapped a fine of Rs 1.6 million rupees on her & her family.
In the time when we hear girls achieving new heights in different fields, in a small village near Jodhpur, Rajasthan a girl is married off at an age of 11 months. She doesn’t even understand the meaning of marriage or even her own existence. Child marriage, a sad reality, is a social evil that still very much exist in our society. Every year hundreds of children are married off when the don’t even hit puberty.
Going by the prevalent custom, Santa Devi Meghwal’s parents married her off at an early age. But when she came to know about it at an age of 16, she refused to bow before this rotten custom. She faced stringent opposition from her parents as well as villagers. Her in-laws & husband threatened to take her away forcefully. Later, on her perusal, her parents supported her decision. The village panchayat, instead of supporting, fined her for refusing child marriage.
Are these village panchayats & khap not part of the Indian constitution. Do they have right to mock the law & enforce their own decision making a mockery of The law of the land? Are they above law & order? Many such questions haunt our minds. We seek justice whereas in some part of the land there is no respect for the law itself. They act as an independent entity. While we condemn terrorist group & extremists, we have our own Taliban to deal with. Kudos to the girl who had the courage to face the dictates. More power to her !