Did Someone say Marriages are Made in Heaven? Metaphorically, Yes!

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Marriages
  • As you are aware, the Indian way of living is not unique, diverse, and intriguing but also largely derives its varied hues from the ancient traditions, cultures, practices, beliefs, and faiths passed on to us from our ancestors. Of course, our rich traditions are interspersed with a mélange of class, creed, caste, religion, languages, and ethnicity that an outsider cannot simply comprehend. Forget about outsiders, most Indians themselves may not be still familiar with the diversity defining our existence. For such a vast swathe of the landscape spread across the nook and corner of the country, even the union between man and woman is based on age-old practices despite making tremendous progress over the last few decades vis-à-vis advancement on all economic indices.

Divorce

PC: Legal Vidhiya

  • Notably, the consecration of any union between man and woman in marriage is always accompanied by traditional rituals associated with the event. No wonder, we Indians irrespective of our religious beliefs, practices, and faiths consider marriage as a sacred alliance for eternity. Such is the sanctity accorded by society to this holy coming together of man and woman resulting in the solemnization of partnership/relationship. Of course, not every marriage ends happily as envisaged by the elders and the couples themselves. With the fast-changing times, the ending of marriages by divorce too is on the rise. Remember, divorce can be the true test of marriage. Interestingly, this was one takeaway from a case SC judged this week.
  • The SC was hearing a couple who were on the path of divorce, took a singular leap, and asked for its marriage to be declared invalid instead. Reason? Because no customs, rites, or rituals had been performed. The two justices granted the required relief and also an illuminating tutorial on the Hindu Marriage Act, of 1955. In a nutshell, per law, a marriage performed without appropriate ceremonies cannot be said to be solemnized. Why is this then jaw-dropping? Because up and down the country Indians get married in a glorious diversity of ways. And all of these should have equal standing in the eyes of modern law. But between the different laws that pronounce rigidities on the matter, they don’t. This is the crux of the ruling that sets people thinking.

Marriages SC

PC: iPleaders

  • The judges in this instance declared marriage is not an event for song and dance and wining and dining. Really? But why can’t it be? Or rather, in the countless cases where it already is, surely the law shouldn’t ruin the party. HMA itself has been criticized for flattening wedding practices over time. Some of the famed rituals are being completed sidestep of late. Is there any elegant solution to all this confusion and exclusion? Indeed, the state should remain the registry for all marriages, but no longer have anything to do with sacraments and ceremonies. What we need is a dramatically reformed version of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 where it becomes the sole interface between the state, the law, and citizens. Progressive India doesn’t need policing here.