While campaigning for the upcoming State Assembly elections, BJP candidate Shobha Chauhan went an extra mile ahead and assured her potential voters that there will be no interference by the police in curbing child marriages if she wins. She is fighting from Sojat in Pali district and is the wife of an IAS officer Rajesh Chauhan. The shocking part is that the audience applauded at this promise of hers.
Shobha is contesting for the second time. On one end, there are activists trying to demolish the practice of child marriage in the country and on the other side there are political leaders who are backing this practice that takes away all the rights, desires and admirations of the children who can barely understand the meaning of the term “marriage”.
The central government’s “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” ideology is all washed away with a single statement of this leader. In her campaigning speech, Shobha said “ We have ‘satta’ (power) and ‘sangathan’ (state government) at our disposal. We won’t let police intervene in child marriages,” as quoted by dailyO.
In order to win the election from a single constituency with a fraction of the country’s population, the leader has put the party’s reputation at stake. For their short-term goals, i.e. winning the elections, the leaders are ready to sell away the long-term development goals of the country.
According to dailyO’s data, India has the largest number of child ‘wives’ in the country. The contradiction of Modi government’s “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” motto is very clearly put out here. The rate of child marriages in Rajasthan, according to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, is even higher than the national average, about 10% in urban areas and 90% in rural areas.
The facts and figures are all out in the open and the next agenda on any political party’s list should be to find out a solution to this problem and not encourage an illegal practice in order to garner an uninformed vote bank