Patna: Raising marriageable age for boys to 25 would ensure good health and reduce malnutrition of children, said Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi recently, taking a leaf out of Hindu tradition. At present, the marriageable age in India is 21 years for boys and 18 years for girls.
“I believe marriage age for both boys and girls should be raised to 25 years as prescribed in Hindu philosophy’s Ashrama system. Marrying at the age of 25 years, one would have good health and even children will not be malnourished,” said Mr. Manjhi on the sidelines of his weekly janata durbar at his official residence.
The Dalit leader clarified that he was stating his own views and not citing any law book. “Earlier, as the age-old Ashrama system had explained in religious scriptures, there were four periods in life of a 100 years. First, it was Brahmacharya till the age of 25, then Grihastha from 25-48 and then came Vanaprastha from 48-72 and the last stage was of Sanyasa from 72 to the last breath.”
Mr. Manjhi said the age difference between his four siblings were of about seven-eight years and it was thanks to this that “even at the age of 70 years I do not take any medicines … only recently I’ve started taking a pill for my high blood pressure.” He claimed that in ancient times, when this practice was followed, the average height of people had been 7 feet while today it was 5 feet. “It’s all because of early marriage. If the girls are to be married at the age of 25, children will be born healthy and free from malnutrition,” he said.