06 May 2018: BJP MLA advocates child marriage as it 'prevents' Love Jihad
A BJP lawmaker Gopal Parmar from Madhya Pradesh on Saturday advised parents to fix wedding of their girls before they turn 18, to prevent them from falling into 'dangerous' shackles of Love Jihad, a term coined by right-wing organizations for marriages between Hindu-women and Muslim-men.
Parmar, an MLA from Agar Malwa, added that child-marriages reduced divorces and kept girls and boys from going astray.
Fact: Girls eloping because of '18-year' disease, he says
"Earlier, the elders of the family used to fix marriages in the childhood only and those relations used to last longer. Since the 18-year disease (legal age for girl's marriage) has started, many girls have started eloping as fever of love jihad has gripped," said Parmar.
Details: Parmar asks parents to learn from him
Saying his kids were happy as he fixed their alliances before they attained the legal age of marriage, Parmar said these days girls got 'carried away'.
Parmar also said it was better when groom and bride were unfamiliar with each other as, "Once the marriage is fixed, they know where to return."
To support his statements, Parmar even likened children to tethered cattle.
"Yes, right!": Parmar doesn't backtrack statements, blames Love Jihad for problems
Talking to ANI later, Parmar didn't express regret over his comments and maintained what he said was essential to prevent love jihad.
"There are some 'goonda' elements in Muslims who adopt Hindu names to exploit girls in the name of Love Jihad. If marriages are fixed early then girls can be saved from Love Jihad," Parmar said.