India Uncut

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Thursday, May 05, 2005


The Indian Express reports:
When the mother of a 14-year-old boy, who went missing, filed a kidnap case against their neighbour, a 22-year-old woman, last year, she had hardly expected how the case would turn. The "couple" who had eloped, were found in Rajasthan, married with a 6-month-old daughter.

The boy’s mother yesterday withdrew the case against the accused Khushbooda (22) in Tiz Hazari courts, saying she had accepted her as a daughter-in-law.

Some points to ponder: What reaction does this evoke in you? Did the 14-year-old boy do anything wrong? Or the 22-year-old woman? Should the elopement have been prevented if prior knowledge of it was available? Should it legally be considered a marriage, as the kid is well below the legal age? And, finally, would your answer to the previous questions hold true if you found that the boy was mature beyond his years, more than most 21-year-olds?

Don't consider my questions to be a statement of my position. I don't believe 14-year-olds should be allowed to marry. But what should be done with them now?

Update: Here's another precocious boy with a taste for older women.

Update 2: Michael Higgins and Sanjeev Naik both point me to the case of Mary Kay Letourneau, with Michael informing me that "[t]he Letourneau saga is a great libertarian debating point".

As for this case, Sanjeev says that the "practical answer" might be different from the "moral answer". He points me to the Moral Test.
amit varma, 4:02 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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