In Gujarat, the Patidar community has called for the mandatory signature of at least one parent for love, marriage registration, claiming that this will help curb love jihad. Earlier, BJP and Congress MLAs demanded that the signatures of parents be made mandatory for the registration of love marriages and that the document be registered in the same taluka where the couple will live.
BJP MLA Fatehsinh Chauhan claimed that registration of marriages without parental consent leads to an increase in the crime rate in the state. If such marriages are registered with parental consent, the crime rate will come down by 50%.
Chairman Bhupendra Patel urged the government to amend existing laws and make parental consent mandatory for court marriages. He claimed that there are many cases in Kalol where girls were seduced and abducted by anti-social people, and such an amendment is necessary to save them. Congress MLA Geni Thakor stated that the demand for substantial changes in the Hindu Marriage Act has been raised for some time, and leaders are not completely against love marriages but must ensure girls do not face harassment in the future.
The Constitution grants adults the right to marry voluntarily, with the girl and boy being 18 and 21 years old, respectively. However, there is no legal requirement for parental consent for love marriages or arranged marriages. If the Gujarat government considers passing such a law, it is beyond understanding under which law they can give it legal guise. Any law of the government cannot be outside the Constitution; it will be under the Constitution.
The constitutional right of every citizen of India is to live their life as per their wish, as long as they do not interfere with someone else’s fundamental right. It is one’s birthright to spend one’s life as one wishes, and any law of the government cannot be outside the Constitution.
The Gujarat government’s consideration of a live-in relationship could be beneficial in the long run, as it demonstrates the responsibility of children to their parents. Parents have given birth, educated, and financially supported their children, making it their responsibility to ensure their freedom. However, parents also have expectations and a heart that may break when children enforce their legal rights. Additionally, children have a duty to their parents, as they have rights to their father’s property.
While there is no legal requirement for a daughter to maintain her parents, new laws have been introduced under the government’s watch. Parents and children need to walk together in society, and marriage is a positive relationship. However, relationships don’t need to break down. Parents should not insist on marrying their children, and children should listen carefully to their parents’ explanations.
The Gujarat government has considered this issue, but it is important to distinguish between being unethical and illegal. A live-in relationship can be unethical, but it is not illegal. If a child wants to marry against their parent’s wishes, it can be socially wrong, albeit unethical, but not illegal.