DIVORCE, INDIA STYLE: Eight-year-old girl divorces 14-year-old husband
Girl, who became engaged at the age of four, says she wanted to turn 18 first
Married when she was just four years of age, Fatima Mangre refused to go away with her betrothed, 14-year-old husband Arjun Bakridi when she turned eight years old. Fatima's father belatedly realized it was wrong and reneged on her daughter's arranged marriage.
Over 32.9 percent of the girls are married against the national average of 22.1 percent below the legally permissible age of 18 in the state,according to UNICEF.
Given away by her father Anil, from the Shravasti district of Uttar Pradesh state, Fatima was in an arranged marriage with the-then 10-year-old. Papa Anil said he wanted the girl to wait until she was 18 before leaving home.
AFTER THE UNSPEAKABLE, WE SPEAK HOPE. Support Catholic Online's response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. DONATE NOW ...
"I finally realized that this practice of marrying off daughters so young was wrong and that she should have a childhood, and that it was my duty to provide that," he said.
Arjun's father, Dipak was reportedly unhappy with the decision, and an argument broke out after which Anil filed for divorce.
The Indian government has since called for an inquiry into the incident. New Delhi-based National Commission for Women (NCW) member Nirmala Samant sent a letter, demanding details of the divorce. She also threatened action against the parents of the girl and the boy.
"This is a scandal, we need more details before taking action. The girl's father must answer why he married her off at four years old and the boy's father must answer why he agreed to such a marriage and then went to demand the girl when she is barely eight years old.
"This is insensitive, controversial and objectionable," she added.
Fatima's father has already written to NCW, saying he should be pardoned because he stopped his daughter from being taken away by her in-laws.
"I have already admitted my mistake. Social pressures are high in our village. But the marriage has been annulled. I have admitted it was wrong to marry her off so early," he said in a handwritten note.
"I now want to make things right. I want to give my daughter a good childhood. I will do everything to protect her."
Over 32.9 percent of the girls are married against the national average of 22.1 percent below the legally permissible age of 18 in the state,according to UNICEF. The Shravasti district accounts for the majority underage weddings in India where the female literacy is just 19 per cent.
A birth foretold: click here to learn more!
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Asia Pacific News
- Top Malaysia court delays ruling on use of 'Allah'
- Filipino Cardinal blasts Catholics for hypocrisy
- Chinese train massacre carried out by Islamist gang on 'Holy War' spree
- Pakistan feeling wages of sin; Drug addiction, AIDS rife is South Asian nation
- Indian economy slows in most recent quarter
- While Cambodia's poverty rate drops, many still struggle to survive
- Slavery scandal involving teenage girls shocks Indian Tea Company
- Australian airlines Qantas to cut 5,000 jobs
- Philippine cardinal stresses that church must address poverty
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?