IntroductionIndiais a land of customs and traditions, and marriage, here in India, is consideredas one of the pious process that one has to go through in life. Marriage is themost sanctified, sacred and blessed entente between two individuals establishedon the pillar of mutual understanding and love. India is a country whichencompasses various regions believing in many different practices, and hencedifferent terrain has a set of various rituals of marriage that entrusts aspecial meaning to the togetherness. Here in India, marriages are marked as anevent where one ostentatiously have lavish spending on food, decorations,ornamentation and arrangements.
It is marked as an event where the whole familycomes together to relish the celebration with grandeur and magnificence. It isgenerally a reconstruction of social relationship. Hindu Law marks marriage as aholy union of two individuals. Primarily, there are two concepts of marriagesi.e.
arrange marriage and love marriage. Arrange marriage is substantiallyappreciated by the family unlike love marriage, where acceptance is still milesaway in some Indian societies. With the gradual acceptance of western culture,and learning to appreciate one’s own decision, concept of marriage is changinggradually. People now a days have started believing in spending life with aperson who matters to them, and no longer see marriage as the only pillar tosustain their relation. Marriage is slowly being grounded on legal termsavoiding the rituals, customs and traditions. Journeyof evolution Inthe ancient history, people followed a concept termed as “Swayamvar” where a girl was freely allowed to choose her groom.This system was conventional and was accepted only by people pertaining toupper castes, whereas a girl of a lower caste wasn’t even allowed to wonderabout such privileges.
They were bound to the elder’s decision. A marriage wasstrictly restricted inside the same caste and intra family marriages werecommon in those days. But in today’s world, the phenomenal and superlativegrowth in everyone’s life has changed the behavioural pattern towards eachother. Previously,there were many irrational and groundless rituals that were considerednecessary to sustain the heavenly bond and astonishingly, they were evenapproved by the elders of the family. Dowry system, Child marriage, performing Sati,etc, were a few of them which is still prevalent in modern India where womenare suppressed under such activities. Though this has vividly decreased in the today’sworld, it still has a way to go. The adoption of new culture has progressivelychanged the outlook of the people towards the depressive attitude of the traditionalmarriages.
Law enactments onmarriageTheVedas, Puranas and Scriptures give an eloquent knowledge about the customs andrituals of Hindu marriage structure. It includes literature, compositions and avivid explanation about the ideal human behaviour of the Ancient history. Theliterature served a definite and a decisive impetus for the wellbeing of aperson.
But slowly with the development of the living standards and growth inperceiving pattern, the human beings started depicting the literature in adifferent way which deviated from the main purpose. This resulted in religiousconflicts among the masses. To uproot and rectify these mistakes, laws weremade to prevail harmony, congruency and peace across the world. Various laws andorders were passed to reconstruct and reorient the Hindu marriage practices. Theformulation of laws for the modification revolved around various vulnerableactivities such as Sati, Dowry system, child marriage and domestic violence.
These activities didn’t sabotage the people in that era but noted thedestruction of the future. The necessary acts that were implemented are asfollows.Dowry SystemIndiacomes first when light is thrown at Dowry system. Though many evil socialactivities got bulldozed with the passage of time, the custom of dowry proliferated.Dowry is considered as an indispensable part of marriage, which is still,directly or indirectly, prevalent in many parts of the country.
Below is thestatistical analysis of dowry in India obtained in a survey. Thevindication of such evil venture is salient for a woman’s status, illiteracy,social prominence and dependency for source of income. The above sinful actsresult in domestic violence, divorce and death.
The Dowry Prohibition act waspassed on May 1961 which restrains from taking dowry. It only allows a gift upto Rs 20,000 and imposes a penalty for 6 months imprisonment or a fine up to Rs5000. Performing SatiSatiwas a common practice, which prevailed among the Bengals and Rajputana duringthe British rule. The women were forced to sacrifice their life in theirhusband’s pyre or take their own life after their husband’s death. During theBritish rule, Lord William Bentick banned the practice ordering that the peoplewho encouraged this practice were to be declared guilty of culpable homicide. ThePrevention of Sati Act, 1829 saved the life of many widows who were forced intothis act and were burned or buried alive. Domestic ViolenceProtectionof women from domestic violence act was passed by the Indian government inorder to protect women from domestic violence. It was passed in 2005 and cameinto force from 26 October 2006.
Domestic violence predominantly happensbecause of the disturbance, and uneven mindsets between two individuals andeven Dowry is the sole factor in many cases. A woman goes through a lot ofagony, torture and pressure by her in-laws. The victim doesn’t take any step tomove out of such torture as it can ruin her family’s status and even the othermajor reason of her silence is not being economically independent. Widow Remarriage Inancient India, widow remarriage was strictly prohibited. They believed thatonce a woman’s husband dies, she becomes a bad omen for the society. A widow isdeprived of participating in any function or festival thereafter. HinduWidow Remarriage act was enacted on 26 July 1856 which allowed the widows toremarry under the authority of EastIndia Company.
This act was response to a campaign of Pandit Ishwar ChandraVidyasagar who bestowed the legal screen against loss of certain forms ofinheritance for the remarriage of a Hindu widow.Child Marriage Childmarriage was one of the most important and chief tradition that was to befollowed among the ancient Hindu groups. Ancient Hindu priests had a beliefthat a girl is sin for the society once she enters into puberty, and hence theyserved this as an explanation for child marriage. The journey to change suchmindset of the people is indeed very long ! TheChild Marriage Restraint Act, which is also termed as Sarda act came into forceon 1st April 1930. The law was enacted in order to stop the practiceof child marriage. Prohibiton of child marriage act was enacted in 2006 inorder to fix the limitation of Sarda act. Hindu Marriage Act TheHindu Marriage Act of India is an act that compiles all the necessary laws ofmarriage.
It was enacted by the Parliament of India in 1955.Theparamount conditions for a Hindu Marriage are as follows:- – neither partyhas a spouse living at the time of the marriage;- both the partyshould encompass a sound mind and should be capable of giving a valid consent;- bridegroomshould be of 21 years of age and the bride should be 18 years of age;- prohibitspolygamy strictly.Themarriage could be dissolved on the grounds of adultery, cruelty, desertion,conversion to another religion, unsound mind, disease and presumption of death.There is a possibility of remarriage only when the marriage has been dissolvedby divorce or when the time of appealing has expired.
The journey of Goddessto Victim; and Feeble to DoyenneGoddessto Victim…Indian society has always witnessed women being worshiped right from theancient times. There are various sightings in many temples where it is seenthat women were given the utmost respect in the society, and were considered asgood omen for development and well-being. There are various stories from theancient Hindu mythology which depicts various Hindu goddesses being worshipped.Right from the ancient times, Hindu Goddess “Lakhsmi” is being worshipped andis marked as an epitome of wealth, luxury and love.
Right from the past totoday’s world, the scenario has visibly changed. Women’s living in the societyamongst the so called men has changed drastically. From being forced intodomestic violence to being sexually assaulted and harassed to be forcefullydependent, women in many regions are deprived of the basic human behaviour theyshould get. Feebleto Doyenne…The conventional status of a woman wasfixed and restricted to the society. The women were generally portrayed in fourfolds i.e. a house-wife, mother, daughter and wife.
Gradually there is aremarkable change in the society towards the women. Women are entering intocertain new fields and are actively participating in it. Due to increasedawareness and education in the society the women are trying to improve theirsocial condition and status.
Various jurisdiction set by the IndianConstitution assures equality and eliminates discrimination against women inthe society. There were different acts which were passed for the upliftment ofwomen. Theabove condition is generally about the urban areas. The story of the ruralpeople is completely the other side of the coin.
The women living in the ruralareas are suffering because of illiteracy, ignorance, traditional approach,social evils and superstition and due to that they are still unaware of theirrespective rights. They are completely unenlightened about their social,economic and political rights.