Wednesday 16th Jan 2019
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Declare Sex Outside Marriage as a Crime
JIH, other religious bodies demand withdrawal of move to lower consensual sex age limit

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT

The government’s decision to bring down the age of consensual sex from 18 to 16 years has raised many eyebrows. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind strongly opposed the Union Government’s move. While consensual sex outside marriage is itself a big social evil, lowering the age limit for consensual sex will further jeopardise the social and family structure in a religious country like India.

A group of ministers, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, on 14 March decided that the age of consent will be lowered from 18 to 16 years. The Government at the Centre had formed the group to finalise the upcoming anti-rape law.

Reacting to the development, Mr. Nusrat Ali, Secretary General of JIH on 15 March opposed the decision of the group of ministers. He said this provision would lead to sexual anarchy in the country as school going children aged 16 and above will get involved in sexual activities.

“We are of the view that sex, consensual or forced, outside marriage should be a crime. It must be a punishable offence irrespective of the age limit. As for lowering the age limit for consensual sex, this will lead to an unimaginable socially corrupt situation in the society. Not only this, this provision will increase in crimes rather than controlling it as the government wishes,” said Mr. Ali.

“We demand the Government to first withdraw its move to lower the age limit of consensual sex. We demand that consensual sex outside marriage be declared a cognizable offence,” he demanded.

In Rajasthan, hundreds of activists from different social organisations on 15 March assembled at Statue Circle, Jaipur, and protested the government’s decision. They said the pre-marriage physical intimacy, whether with or without consent, cannot be allowed at all as it is against the nitty-gritty of a religious country like India, apart from inviting many other crimes against women. They said the ruling would lead the younger generation to moral degradation and would open doors to crimes girls and women especially minors.

According to them, the decision would promote flesh trade and the culture of single parent as can be observed in Western countries. Moreover, mere lowering the age of ‘maturity’ will not do any good to stop the crimes against women. The leaders further demanded from the government to implement the existing anti-rape law and to treat all types of sex outside marriage as a punishable offence.

The organisations which took part in the protest are Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Rajasthan; Rajasthan Muslim Forum, All Saints Church, Masihi Shakti Samiti, Sadbhau Manch, Rajasthan; Bharatiya Bodh Mahasabha, Students Islamic Organisation of India, Rajasthan, Welfare Party of India, Rajasthan, Girls Islamic Organisation of India, Rajasthan, Association for Protection of Civil Rights, Rajasthan; Medical Services Society, Rajasthan; Prarambh Foundation, Jaipur and Helping Hand Foundation, to name a few.

 



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