Introduction love. India is a country which encompasses

Introduction

India
is a land of customs and traditions, and marriage, here in India, is considered
as one of the pious process that one has to go through in life. Marriage is the
most sanctified, sacred and blessed entente between two individuals established
on the pillar of mutual understanding and love. India is a country which
encompasses various regions believing in many different practices, and hence
different terrain has a set of various rituals of marriage that entrusts a
special meaning to the togetherness. Here in India, marriages are marked as an
event where one ostentatiously have lavish spending on food, decorations,
ornamentation and arrangements. It is marked as an event where the whole family
comes together to relish the celebration with grandeur and magnificence. It is
generally a reconstruction of social relationship. Hindu Law marks marriage as a
holy union of two individuals. Primarily, there are two concepts of marriages
i.e. arrange marriage and love marriage. Arrange marriage is substantially
appreciated by the family unlike love marriage, where acceptance is still miles
away in some Indian societies. With the gradual acceptance of western culture,
and learning to appreciate one’s own decision, concept of marriage is changing
gradually. People now a days have started believing in spending life with a
person who matters to them, and no longer see marriage as the only pillar to
sustain their relation. Marriage is slowly being grounded on legal terms
avoiding the rituals, customs and traditions.

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Journey
of evolution

In
the 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 to
upper castes, whereas a girl of a lower caste wasn’t even allowed to wonder
about such privileges. They were bound to the elder’s decision. A marriage was
strictly restricted inside the same caste and intra family marriages were
common in those days. But in today’s world, the phenomenal and superlative
growth in everyone’s life has changed the behavioural pattern towards each
other.

Previously,
there were many irrational and groundless rituals that were considered
necessary to sustain the heavenly bond and astonishingly, they were even
approved 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 women
are suppressed under such activities. Though this has vividly decreased in the today’s
world, it still has a way to go. The adoption of new culture has progressively
changed the outlook of the people towards the depressive attitude of the traditional
marriages.

Law enactments on
marriage

The
Vedas, Puranas and Scriptures give an eloquent knowledge about the customs and
rituals of Hindu marriage structure. It includes literature, compositions and a
vivid explanation about the ideal human behaviour of the Ancient history. The
literature served a definite and a decisive impetus for the wellbeing of a
person. But slowly with the development of the living standards and growth in
perceiving pattern, the human beings started depicting the literature in a
different way which deviated from the main purpose. This resulted in religious
conflicts among the masses. To uproot and rectify these mistakes, laws were
made to prevail harmony, congruency and peace across the world. Various laws and
orders were passed to reconstruct and reorient the Hindu marriage practices.

The
formulation of laws for the modification revolved around various vulnerable
activities such as Sati, Dowry system, child marriage and domestic violence.
These activities didn’t sabotage the people in that era but noted the
destruction of the future. The necessary acts that were implemented are as
follows.

Dowry System

India
comes first when light is thrown at Dowry system. Though many evil social
activities 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 the
statistical analysis of dowry in India obtained in a survey.

The
vindication of such evil venture is salient for a woman’s status, illiteracy,
social prominence and dependency for source of income. The above sinful acts
result in domestic violence, divorce and death. The Dowry Prohibition act was
passed on May 1961 which restrains from taking dowry. It only allows a gift up
to Rs 20,000 and imposes a penalty for 6 months imprisonment or a fine up to Rs
5000.

Performing Sati

Sati
was a common practice, which prevailed among the Bengals and Rajputana during
the British rule. The women were forced to sacrifice their life in their
husband’s pyre or take their own life after their husband’s death. During the
British rule, Lord William Bentick banned the practice ordering that the people
who encouraged this practice were to be declared guilty of culpable homicide.

The
Prevention of Sati Act, 1829 saved the life of many widows who were forced into
this act and were burned or buried alive.

Domestic Violence

Protection
of women from domestic violence act was passed by the Indian government in
order to protect women from domestic violence. It was passed in 2005 and came
into force from 26 October 2006. Domestic violence predominantly happens
because of the disturbance, and uneven mindsets between two individuals and
even Dowry is the sole factor in many cases. A woman goes through a lot of
agony, torture and pressure by her in-laws. The victim doesn’t take any step to
move out of such torture as it can ruin her family’s status and even the other
major reason of her silence is not being economically independent.

 

Widow Remarriage

In
ancient India, widow remarriage was strictly prohibited. They believed that
once a woman’s husband dies, she becomes a bad omen for the society. A widow is
deprived of participating in any function or festival thereafter.

Hindu
Widow Remarriage act was enacted on 26 July 1856 which allowed the widows to
remarry under the authority of  East
India Company. This act was response to a campaign of Pandit Ishwar Chandra
Vidyasagar who bestowed the legal screen against loss of certain forms of
inheritance for the remarriage of a Hindu widow.

Child Marriage

Child
marriage was one of the most important and chief tradition that was to be
followed among the ancient Hindu groups. Ancient Hindu priests had a belief
that a girl is sin for the society once she enters into puberty, and hence they
served this as an explanation for child marriage. The journey to change such
mindset of the people is indeed very long !

The
Child Marriage Restraint Act, which is also termed as Sarda act came into force
on 1st April 1930. The law was enacted in order to stop the practice
of child marriage. Prohibiton of child marriage act was enacted in 2006 in
order to fix the limitation of Sarda act.

Hindu Marriage Act

The
Hindu Marriage Act of India is an act that compiles all the necessary laws of
marriage. It was enacted by the Parliament of India in 1955.

The
paramount conditions for a Hindu Marriage are as follows:-

– neither party
has a spouse living at the time of the marriage;

– both the party
should encompass a sound mind and should be capable of giving a valid consent;

– bridegroom
should be of 21 years of age and the bride should be 18 years of age;

– prohibits
polygamy strictly.

The
marriage 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 dissolved
by divorce or when the time of appealing has expired.

The journey of Goddess
to Victim; and Feeble to Doyenne

Goddess
to Victim…
Indian society has always witnessed women being worshiped right from the
ancient times. There are various sightings in many temples where it is seen
that women were given the utmost respect in the society, and were considered as
good omen for development and well-being. There are various stories from the
ancient Hindu mythology which depicts various Hindu goddesses being worshipped.
Right from the ancient times, Hindu Goddess “Lakhsmi” is being worshipped and
is marked as an epitome of wealth, luxury and love. Right from the past to
today’s world, the scenario has visibly changed. Women’s living in the society
amongst the so called men has changed drastically. From being forced into
domestic violence to being sexually assaulted and harassed to be forcefully
dependent, women in many regions are deprived of the basic human behaviour they
should get.

Feeble
to Doyenne…The conventional status of a woman was
fixed and restricted to the society. The women were generally portrayed in four
folds i.e. a house-wife, mother, daughter and wife. Gradually there is a
remarkable change in the society towards the women. Women are entering into
certain new fields and are actively participating in it. Due to increased
awareness and education in the society the women are trying to improve their
social condition and status. Various jurisdiction set by the Indian
Constitution assures equality and eliminates discrimination against women in
the society. There were different acts which were passed for the upliftment of
women.

The
above condition is generally about the urban areas. The story of the rural
people is completely the other side of the coin. The women living in the rural
areas are suffering because of illiteracy, ignorance, traditional approach,
social evils and superstition and due to that they are still unaware of their
respective rights. They are completely unenlightened about their social,
economic and political rights.

Conclusion

 

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