New Delhi: Three
leading Muslim groups are against the government decision to lower
the age for consensual sex, saying it will be a blow to family and
Some of the groups are asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to
withdraw the proposal.
The Jamaat Islami Hind, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board
and the Muslim Majlis Mushwarat, an apex body of Muslim social and
religious groups, said the move will have "dangerous consequences"
for the society.
The government must abandon the proposal, they said.
While consensual sex is itself a social evil, lowering the age
limit for sex outside marriage will prove detrimental for social
values and India's family structure, said Nusrat Ali of Jamaat
A group of ministers headed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has
decided that the age for consensual sex will be lowered from 18 to
16 years. The central government formed the group to finalize the
Ali said this provision would lead to "sexual anarchy" in India as
schoolgoing children aged 16 and above will get involved in sexual
"We are of the view that sex (outside marriage) should be a crime.
It must be a punishable offense irrespective of the age limit,"
Ali told IANS.
"As for lowering the age limit for consensual sex, this will lead
to an unimaginable socially corrupt situation in the society.
"Not only this, this provision will increase crime against women
rather than controlling it.
"We want the government to withdraw it and declare sex outside
marriage a cognizable offence," he said.
Maulana Ahmed Ali Quasi of the Muslims Majlis Mushwarat shared the
He said the government should have sought the opinion of religious
groups on this sensitive issue.
"One must visualise its impact on the whole society," he said. "It
will harms the Indian social system."
The All India Muslims Personal Law Board also opposed the move.
"It is an irony that the government proposes to lower the age of
sex to 16 when the marriagable age is for girls in 18," senior
functionary Abdul Rahim Quereshi said.
He said pre marital sex was against social norms and culture.