Friday, December 15, 2017

IRO’s position sad and backward

The IRO is free to express its “religious” views. But, the church is not charged with the responsibility to run the affairs of State. A constituted political system with duly elected officials is charged with that responsibility.
That said, it is my humble view that Bro Harrypersad Maharaj and the IRO’s support of child marriage is sad and unfortunate. Their position is archaic. It is tantamount to child slavery and abuse. An adult, according to the law, is someone who has attained the age of 18. He/she is reasonably developed both physically and mentally to act independently.
How come the law supports the marriage of a child, when marriage is ultimately an adult undertaking in all respects—physically and mentally?
This law also encourages the abuse of children by depraved parents, guardians, and other adults, and even has the potential to legitimise paedophiliac acts, and other kinds of child abuse. This arrangement could very well prove advantageous to some parents, and the child could become nothing more than a pawn in a sordid game. (There is nothing religious and noble about this, other than a convenient, ill-conceived use of “religion”).
In these modern times of technological advancement and untold opportunities for children to realise their potential, this law robs children, especially underprivileged and disadvantaged youngsters, of their childhood and opportunities for self-development.
This is sad. Even more sad is the IRO’s expressed view—supporting child marriage. The Children’s Authority must act decisively and bring to bear all relevant authorities to repeal this law, which surprisingly exists.

RP Joseph
San Fernando