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Couples who wish to marry under the Special Marriage Act must serve a 30-day notice during which their personal details are on public display. This violates their privacy and leaves many vulnerable to parental and community reprisal.

The police met her, her partner and her father to conduct an ‘inquiry’. Why get married in court? Was the father ok with her decision? Fortunately for ‘S’, he was, even though the Act does not require parental permission, only consenting adults.

“In Uttar Pradesh it is routine to call couples and often their parents to the police station, particularly in cases of inter-religious marriages,” said Lucknow-based lawyer Renu Mishra.

Enacted in 1954, the SMA was for those who wished to marry outside their religion’s personal laws and customs, caste and, often, parental consent.

For gender equality, go beyond symbolic steps

According to a 2015 Dasra report, 23% of girls eventually drop out of school because of a lack of menstrual hygiene facilities (HT PHOTO)

At three of the four schools I attended, including a co-ed one, the uniform was a dress or skirt. Teachers were obsessed with the length of the dress, and let me say that in both the all-girls schools and the co-ed one, the girls never gave up trying to hack the one-inch-above-the-knee rule. Decades after I left school, most had switched to salwar-kameez-dupatta for senior students. But skirt or salwar, the one idea that had endured was modesty for girls.

Acing the game

There’s never been a better time for women athletes in India

The first time Anne Aiza Khan wore a pair of shorts was at a football tournament in Kolkata. (Courtesy: Anne Aiza Khan)

The first time Anne Aiza Khan wore a pair of shorts was at a football tournament in Kolkata. The year was 2016 and although Anne, now 25, had begun playing the game three years earlier, it was always in long pants.