Forced marriages in India are quite common. Even though India is fast moving towards becoming a developed Nation, forced marriages do exist in many parts of the country. According to figures released by the UK Home Office, India was among the top four countries that the United Kingdom focused on in 2017 for forced marriages.
When women In India cross a certain age, they are emotionally blackmailed or forced into marriage. In many parts of the country, girls below 18 years are also forced into marriage. But, not every girl would love to get married at an early age. There are many girls in India who have dreams of pursuing higher education and standing on their own feet. So, it is very important for every woman to be aware of their rights and legal options available against forced marriages in India.
Both parties consent is very important for a marriage. If one party has no interest than it is forced marriage. Children and at-risk adults cannot agree for marriage. Boys below the age of 21 years and girls below the age of 18 years cannot legally marry in India.
Forced marriage is when you are forced into marriage through blackmail, harassment, financial pressure, emotional pressure, guilt, and threats.
You cannot say all the arranged marriages are forced marriages. Arranged marriage is a tradition that exists in India for many years. This tradition is followed by almost all the communities. The arranged marriage can be called as forced marriage if one of the parties changes his/her mind and in spite of this marriage takes place.
3. It is illegal if you force someone to get married to you. Forced marriage in India is a violation of human rights.
Civil laws which are applicable to all the communities regarding forced marriage include:
According to the law, both men and women enjoy rights against forced marriages. There is no discrimination among men and women.
Both have all the right to freely choose a partner of their choice and enter into marriage. The Delhi High Court has said the right to choose one’s life partner is a fundamental right.
If you are being pushed into forced marriage, you can contact the Women Cell of the nearest police station and file a written complaint even against your parents.
You can also file a complaint with National Commission for Women if someone is forcing you into marriage. This commission is in operation, across the Nation.
See Also: Cases of Matrimonial Fraud in India