NEW DELHI: Gujarat's Patidars have decided to ask the state government to increase marriage age from 18 to 21 for women and also make the parent's signature mandatory in all love marriages.
The office-bearers of around 12 to 15 Patidar community associations met on Wednesday at the Vishwa Umiya Dham Jaspur centre here to discuss issues pertaining to their community.
Vishwa Umiya Dham president R.P. Patel said, "We have decided to ask the state government to raise the marriageable age for girls. Considering the present social issues faced by all communities, especially when the girls are in their teens and can be influenced easily, it is important that steps be taken. Only mature people can make the right decisions, so it has been decided to request the state government to increase girl's the marriage age from 18 to 21."
"In relation to love marriages, we want the state government to make necessary changes in the Marriage Act. It should be made compulsory to get the signatures of parents in case of a love marriage. The girls' parents' signatures will be made mandatory as witnesses in love marriages," said Patel.
Elaborating on this, Leuva Patidar leader Jayrambhai Vansjaliya said, "Girl's coming from well to do families are being trapped and then after domestic issues erupt, the couple goes for divorce. The issue is not limited to Patidars only, but all communities are facing this and the number of divorces are on the rise."
Besides, the Patidars are also going to take up the police recruitment issue. "The other issues to be taken up with the government is the recruitment process of the Police Sub Inspectors. It has come to the notice of community leaders injustice is being done to the general category aspiring candidates, though the recruitment notification asks to call three times candidates of vacant posts of each category for written test, for the general category the recruitment board has called just 10 per cent students against the vacant posts of general category," he explained.
Patidar community leaders will soon meet the Chief Minister and request the government to withdraw all pending cases against them that were lodged during the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti movement. The government had promised to give jobs to family members of those who had lost their lives during the protest.