Raipur, March 17: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, slamming the central government’s decision to lower the age of consensual sex to 16 years saying that it is felt by many that the decision is solely based on culture prevalent in metro cities.
“I write to you to convey the grave social concern among people from all walks of life in Chhattisgarh, about the recent decision of the union cabinet on the subject of the age of consensual sex with girls.
“I have been approached by a large number of delegations of parents, teachers and religious leaders, and civil society activists among others who feel that the said decision suffers from a lack of connect with social conditions in as much as it is a metro-centric perspective on sexuality among the young,” he said in the letter, the text of which was released to media here.
Singh who is heading the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government since December 2003, said in his letter: “I find that those in favour of age of consent at 18 years have been unsuccessful in persuading your government that awareness of health hazards is at present low in rural areas; that prevalence of anaemia is widespread and poor girls would suffer the most even if sex were to be consensual; that abortions and unwanted pregnancies may become rampant.”
The union cabinet had on Thursday cleared Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill which lowers the age of consent for sex from 18 to 16 years and makes rape as a gender-specific offence under which men only can be charged for it.