Health ministry calls out Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint on “fake news”

20th August 2020

20th August 2020

Union Health Ministry has called out the fake news of Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint which had claimed the Health ministry is not happy with the prime minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address that women's marriageable age should be increased.

What are the advantages if a woman is a married say by 21 and not 18?

And what ThePrint tried to peddle in defence should remain 18 years?


The article in question was published on August 18 with the title: “Why proposal to review marriage age for women has split Modi govt.” It also claimed that the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is not in favour of increasing the marriageable age of women.


Union Health Ministry denied all these claims in a rebuttal tweet, clarifying that ThePrint's article is far away from the truth.


And the ministry has made it clear that they are all in favour of Modi's decision and support it with all their valid reasons.


The main reason behind their support is that increasing the marriageable age of women will afford them extra time for their educational goals and help them prepare mentally and physically to handle the responsibility of marriage and children.


The ministry also said that this decision of the Modi government would give women a chance to become economically independent. Along with financial independence, they would have more independence in fertility choices.


It would avoid the complications of early age pregnancy and would provide better health for both, mother and child.


Union Health Ministry also said, “supporters of the review say it may help keep the population in check and prevent women from being forced into early motherhood and its multiple complications, while opponents fear it will spell chaos”.


In one particular paragraph of the article of leftist media portal, ThePrint, it was written: “Critics of the idea cite the example of women who become sexually active at 18, and say any increase in the age of marriage may push more of them out of the formal reproductive healthcare framework, given the stigma sex still courts in India.”


Now, this paragraph suggests that marriage is the only way to access healthcare facilities who are below 21 and get pregnant. According to this statement, what they mean to say is, if a woman gets pregnant before 21 and she is not married, then she won't be able to access healthcare facilities. Most women get pregnant before they are 21 and this is the angle ThePrint has overlooked. If the marriageable age gets increased to 21 from 18, the probability is high that the pregnancy rate in India will go down,


In his Independence Day speech, Modi had mentioned that a committee has been set up to prepare a report to decide whether the marriageable age of women should be increased or not. The final decision would be taken only after the submission of the report.


It's not the first time that ThePrint has published fake news about PM Modi. Before this, it had published fake quotes about the finance minister; it had questioned the efforts of the government to fight the COVID-19, and it had also published a piece of disparaging fake news about the Indian Railways.

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