Invest in changing social norms to end child marriages
It’s a challenge of moral suasion and Assam’s arrests were not a useful way to pursue this noble goal
Arrests, suicides, fear. In Assam, a 17-year-old girl ended her life as she could not marry the man she loved; a young widow and mother-of-two killed herself because she feared her father would be arrested. Ostensibly to reduce infant and maternal mortality, the state government has initiated a drive to arrest those associated with child marriage. It is a case of a good cause pursued with a flawed method. Over 2,400 arrests have been made even as the high court has rightly questioned the police for “causing a havoc". It is ironic that the state did not come to the ‘protection’ of the children when they married many years ago..