27 July 2010

On Child Marriage: Or Arguments towards its Legalisation

The institution of marriage is recognised by a majority of humanity in almost all the hospitable parts of the globe as particularly conducive to the sustenance and propagation of the race in a manner as holistic as is humanly possible. Where it combines, it leaves a legacy to be carried forward; where it sunders, it creates a bridge that brings together. That matrimony has survived and that it will regardless of infidelity, prostitution, rape, violence and sundry other forms of emotional and psychosomatic attyachaar is proof enough of the vitality and vivacity of the force which keeps it so, and will in the ages to come.

To matrimony is wedded another institution, another great and abiding collection of men and their kind: the family. As a carrier of both virtù and virtue, the repository of culture, goodness and light and the bearer of the wisdom of generations, the accumulated worth of countless minds, the family is undoubtedly the single most vital instrument for the propagation of marriage and all its attendant virtues, baby diapers and paternity leave included. Marriage builds from and to family and family evolves to marriage, and so on and so forth goes the circle of life, one into the other, ying to yang and so all along.

Considering, therefore, the centrality of marriage, and family, to the current order of being and well nigh to the order of things yet to come, it may not, thus, be irrelevant to prescribe the same - the former; precursor to the latter - as vital and essential in all senses of the word to humans in all walks of life, age, sex and monthly income regardless. These conditions withstanding, it will not, then, be aimless to suggest and propose the same as particularly beneficial and, indeed, as altogether complementary to the holistic development and growth of that characteristic class of humans so loved and hated by others in all ages: adolescents.

Indeed, for though there be laws against the same in almost all major principalities of the world, it can, with good reason, be demonstrated that these same are more or less the monstrous outgrowths of certain obsolete, misguided and, at their best, eminently Puritanical notions of propriety and acceptable sexual behaviour for humans of that particular age, eleven or twelve to nineteen - the age group generally classed and classified as adolescent. There will, I know, be marked opposition to this idea and some may go as far as evoking morality and tradition against my name, but to them and the like I can only advise a more critical scrutiny into the ways of the world and the sundry manners in which they are constructed and presented, the forms of interaction which govern our kind’s interactions with each other and limit our horizon.

Any talk of law, therefore, must not preclude the factuality that laws too are societal constructs, of and by the chosen few in power over and above the rest in subservience and as such reflect, or at least attempt to, the necessities of that particular people in that age and time, these necessities in themselves being contingent upon these forces - the chosen few - which conspire to define, guide and ossify the course of history. As times change, so do these defining forces and the necessities which typify them and which they in turn seek to define: so, then, must the laws which attempt through a series of checks and regulations to consolidate and propagate these forces and necessities.

My arguments for the legalisation of child marriage are founded on precisely these premises: that matrimony as an abiding human institution aids the reproduction and sustenance of the race and that the laws which have come to govern its legality are based on outdated models of interaction, acceptability and intercourse. In opening this institution to those currently deemed not of age, society will not only put itself in greater sync with a tradition as old as civilisation and, by all means, closer to the customs of the animal world of which we humans are but more stylized and evolved members but also take yet another giant leap towards resolving so many of the concerns and debilitating humours which are supposed to stem from that fastidious and wayward sect of specialized homo sapiens, adolescents.

By allowing them to interact, mingle and freely consort with any that they choose, members of this clan will not only develop and discover affinities and respects early in the walk of life, but will also learn tolerance and temperance, those two qualities which any in the married state will readily acknowledge as its most crucial gifts and which in any case would do our temperamental adolescents a world of good. To those who are likely to question this proposal on grounds of health and body development and the adverse affects of early pregnancy on the same, may I be allowed to highlight the ready availability and widespread use of contraceptives, preventive and abortive, and of the culpability of adolescents to in any case submit to their passions - and often in a fashion altogether regrettable. Under the protective yoke of matrimony, these passions would be legalised and, under the expert and helpful guidance of guardians, given an acceptable outlet in as healthy a manner as possible.

This last is the final founding premise of the argument, that as young, hot-blooded souls most teenagers and adolescents are wont to acts of passions which in the current moral and ethical setup are looked down upon as regrettable and unfortunate. That these passions, classed commonly as love, find their way to fruition is not any more the stuff of Shakespeare and fairy tale romances: love does conquer all, though khaps, of course, are never too far behind. To guide these passions then, and to provide those victim to them an acceptable outlet, matrimony is the only true and tested answer, a solution that in the form of this modest proposal must be acceptable to all but the staunchest of the traditionalist liberals.

It must be. Indeed, for considering the significance those with a more orthodox bend of mind have steadily been gaining these past few decades within this secular, democratic and socialist republic of India, these needs must be adopted as the necessary compromise between them and the liberal. In any case, it must be readily acknowledged that given our existing setup, the so-called licentious and eminently promiscuous behaviour of our teenagers and adolescents merits no other solution that would not involve blood.

There is, of course, one that would absolve them of the guilt of sin that currently a la olde albatross hangs across their necks and clear the situation remarkably. Cutting through all those outdated norms and principles which in defense of a fabricated morality usurp the throne of tradition and uphold a restricting and well nigh ritualised mode of interaction and intercourse, society could move towards a more open and inclusive model of interaction wherein the existing biases against love and its demands would no longer be valid. The trappings of traditional restraint, upheld only as homage to a dead ideal, can all be cut through and free love - an idea not as new as it may seem - may be embraced without the hesitations and prejudices which have attended it so long. Hostility, violence and all other such jealousies contingent on convention and normatively can be slowly weeded out till they truly become what they are, relics of a order past its vitality. Love and its demands, emotional and physical, could be allowed their own course, limited by constraints purely of practicality: health and finance.

But this is only what could be. Given, yes, given our existing moral and ethical setup, we have, as this humble commentator has taken pains to expline, naught but one solution: marriage, a resolution at once traditional and modern. For the benefit of the race, then, and of futurity still to come, let this be the word to go by: marriage.


Life 101 said...

You should put a "Follow" button on your blog to make it easier for people to follow your updates.

AP said...

Hullo Life101!

Well, I've thought about that often, but somehow I never felt too much for the idea...as in, don't have anything against people doing it, nor do judge any for it, but to my own self the idea of letting other people know who all are following me felt a bit too presumptious for an amateur like me.