The social evolution has been a long process. While we now live in a progressive society, the same has been derived through continuous improvisations such that the ill practices were shunned through education and awareness. During the process of social development in the earliest ages, some crude thoughts and philosophies also found entry and acceptance too in the nascent social matrices. Ironically, many like sati gained ‘unpopular acceptance’ in the upper castes of the society. This could be called as the paradox! Child marriage was another weird custom & on the pretext of unfounded beliefs, this began to be practiced by substantial section of Indian population. It still continues in some parts of India like Rajasthan. Many religions like Sikhism that came up lately, shunned such assumptions that were irrational. Child marriage is not allowed as per the SRM or the Sikh reht maryada.
Child marriage negated in Sikhism
Sikhism as a distinct faith started taking shape with the preaching of Guru Nanak who is also the first guru of Sikhism. He adopted a liberal approach to life and society and this became the hallmark attribute to lay the foundations of a new faith. He was followed by nine more gurus, the last being Guru Gobind Singh. All the gurus preached with the superior aims of life and thus also touched upon the unwise social customs that were prevalent in the social domains lived by them. Their teachings created strong impact on the society. Those segments of society that felt oppressed by the orthodox caste system and the other ill offshoots emerged as the active takers of gurus’ preaching that was inspired by humanism and spirituality. Child marriage found therefore no floor in Sikhism because the gurus knew that nothing good could ever be achieved through such custom.
Sikhism teaches against practices like child marriage
Sikhism faith lays emphasis on high spirituality that concerns the life truths and connection to god. The followers are offered a fine practical code to live and prosper through etiquettes that are well founded and reasonable. Child marriage could arrest the good life potentials and thus can aberrate the progress of the social development that run contrary to the higher aims of humanity. We are all in this world to make the positive contributions through all means and efforts from our side. Sikhism eliminated all such bad and undesirable potentials from the life of each follower so that he/she could make his/her contribution to the fullest. The other faiths started to practice the higher aims very late; mainly because the ill functions were offered support through pseudo religious principles which never existed! Sikhism is therefore among those faiths that generated the frontline progressive societies around the world.
Child marriage is now an offence
Child marriage was also forbidden by the modern ruling regimes way back in India on grounds of ill health consequences. The social reformers did their campaigning against this practice and still the organizations are engaged in making the corrections as some sections continue with this practice. There need to be more awareness through the wise principles like those offered in Sikhism to teach the ignorant minds.