Special Marriages in India
By Team Legistify / 2017-06-08
The Special Marriage Act covers marriages among Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. This act applies to every state of India, except the state of Jammu & Kashmir. This Act extends not only to the Indian citizens belonging to different castes and religions but also to the Indian nationals living abroad. This piece of legislation has really helped in easing out the rough process of inter-faith or inter-caste marriages in the country.

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‘Marriage’ is considered a sacred institution in the Indian subcontinent.  It is an integral part of our culture. India is a diverse country and thus has people from a number of religions and cultures who call this country home. Two primary acts govern most Indian marriages: the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Special Marriage Act, 1954.

For any marriage between two Hindus, the Hindu Marriage Act applies. An Arya Samaj wedding is convenient and speedy, but applicable only to Hindus. A person from another religion must convert to Hinduism before being eligible for it (similar for example, in traditional Muslim weddings, where the Maulvi can’t solemnise the marriage if one party is not Muslim).

However, anyone can opt for the Special Marriage Act, irrespective of religion. For inter-faith marriages, couples can get legally married under the Special Marriage Act.

Putting things into Perspective

Earlier, marriages were commenced where the bride and the groom were unaware of who they were getting married to, as every decision was taken by their respective parents and meeting of bride and the groom was not a practice that prevailed (though this was in the ancient times). Times have changed and every decision relating to marriage is taken by the bride and groom themselves in this age of nuclear families and heightened individuality.

We as Indians are all mostly aware of the extent of influence that caste and religion have in our country. And when it comes to marriage, it is considered the most important criteria for a properly solemnized marriage.

The Special Marriage Act covers marriages among Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. This act applies to every state of India, except the state of Jammu & Kashmir. This Act extends not only to the Indian citizens belonging to different castes and religions but also to the Indian nationals living abroad. This piece of legislation has really helped in easing out the rough process of inter-faith or inter-caste marriages in the country.

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