Caste councils, known as Khap Panchayats, called for children to be allowed to marry lawfully as soon as they reach puberty and said they believe it would halt the increase in rape cases which has caused alarm throughout Northern India. Their call came following an outcry over the gang-rape and subsequent suicide of a 16 year old girl, Sharmila, in Sacchakhera village, Haryana, close to the capital New Delhi.The fact that we Westerners can't figure out how this could possibly make sense only goes to show how far removed from the historical human reality our society is. Marriage was historically a form of protection for women. By becoming the property of a man, a woman was protected by her husband, who could be expected to use lethal force against anyone who would offend him by bothering her.
Secular faith in the law gradually replaced this concept of the husband-as-protector, to such an extent that husbands are now considered intrinsically dangerous by many women. But under the thin veil of society, the old human reality remains; a man in Florida recently cut the throat of a Chicago man who made the mistake of approaching and talking to the Florida man's wife, while Richard Gere was kicked out of a restaurant by a diner after he attempted to chat up the man's wife during dinner.
But the deterrent effect of the law requires an amount of long-term thinking that is noticeably lacking in the cultures that are making up an increasing percentage of the populations of the West. I suspect that the decrease of the deterrent effect, combined with the decreasing ability of the legal authorities to maintain civil order, will likely serve to bring about a partial return to the very thinking that we currently find nonsensical, and which many men and women probably find offensive.