Hindu Marriage Act of Pakistan

Finally Sindh Province of Pakistan approved Hindu Marriage Act.

There is a hope that it will get accepted at national level.

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“Now after passage of this bill in Sindh assembly, after 70 years, Hindus will have marriage certificate as Muslims do”

-Shahnaz Sheedi

This act shows how outdated Pakistan is. Dr. Ambedkar made revolutionary changes in social institution of Hindu marriage when he drafted Hindu Marriage Act. I had similar expectations from act esp. since it took decades to get passed, but what act talks about are basics…

  1. The groom & bride should be 18 years old at the time of marriage.
  2. Hindus can now register their marriage.
  3. If one of the spouse converts to Islam then marriage is over.

After 7 decades a Hindu, Sikh or Parsi in Pakistan can get his marriage registered!

In absence of this law, Hindu women were kidnapped, raped and converted to Islam, the husband in absence of any documents could not prove that the woman was his wife. Non registration also meant not getting visa for spouse, it was difficult for widows to claim husband’s property etc.

Passing of this act will give some protection to Hindu women.

But there are fears that clause 12(iii) of act which states that marriage will be annulled if any of the spouses convert to another religion, will be misused esp. in cases of forced conversions.

“There are fears that the clause would be misused for forced conversions of married women the same way young girls are being subjected to forced conversions”

-Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani,

 

 

 

 

 

 

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