Stunningly beautiful Miss World Bangladesh Jannatul Nayeem Avril has been stripped off her title recently at an announcement made by the authorities at a plush hotel in Dhaka. The reason for such a stringent action is that Avril had not clarified her marital status before the pageant.
Talking to BBC Bangla, Avril confirmed that she had been married off at a tender age of 16, days after she passed her SSC examinations. Avril also came out clear on how she had been literally forced to marry at such a tender age and said that this entire episode is not her failure but rather the failure of Bangladesh’s social and personal laws.
She also went live on her Facebook profile and came out clear on her marital status, addressing some burning questions on the social system of the modern day Bangladeshi society. She said:
All I wanted was to prove that a 16-year-old girl who was married off against her will can come as far as I have, despite the social impediments.
It’s funny how our society wouldn’t laugh or make trolls about it when a 16-year-old adolescent is married off, but it will make fun of me for not caving into the marriage. I had not faced this much controversy when I started off as a biker.
Avril’s questions indeed point a finger at the faulty Bangladesh system, which is still coping with raging issues such as child marriage. In the Child Marriage Restraint Bill introduced earlier this year, although the minimum marriageable age for boys and girls were decided to be 21 and 18 respectively, but with exceptions in “special cases” or for in the “best interests” of the adolescent. The point to be noted here is that there is no age limit for such “special cases”, which according to activists, may pump up child marriages and even legitimise rapes to a large extent.
Coming from such a country, Avril did define Miss World’s motto “Beauty with a Purpose” but alas! all the faulty social laws of the country as well as the pageant (which could not stand by the defiant Avril) could do was stop her for being a role model to many.
Do you think whatever happened with her is justified?