Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act… exists???

As, we live in a society, n specially “Indian Society”… thinking, rule-n-regulations, style of living, mentality is near by same, everywhere… as we also say “Kashmir se Kanyakumari tak Bharat ek hai” … n that’s why hamari thinking bhi ek hai…
We also know that the 80% people living in our country are Hindus.
Well, we are a developing country, and every Nation in World’s map know about us, they are discussing about us n about our intelligence, development in every field, our success, our economy etc. If we are developing in every field, in every sector then what happens when we come to the development in thinking about women??? I admit that, we progressed, but is this progress could be seen everywhere???
So, many rules, who were a curse to our society were demolished, like Sati Pratha, Baal-Vivaah. And many plans-n-programs are made in which the best is Ladli Lakshmi Yojna. But what about the Acts or Laws which were already made? In all those Laws, there is a Law which impressed me the most… HINDU WIDOWS’ REMARRIAGE ACT 1856.
Allow me to give some introduction about this Law.
This Law is also known as Act XV, 1856, which was enacted on 25th July, 1856. It legalized the remarriage of Hindu widows in all jurisdictions of India under East India Company rule.
The another quality of this Law which impressed me, is, it was made by that East India Company, of which we know only the worst parts or the worst thing they given to us.
Well… back to the point… In order to protect both what it considered family honour and family property, upper-caste Hindu society had long disallowed the remarriage of widows, even child and adolescent ones, all of whom were expected to live a life of austerity and abnegation. The Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act of 1856, enacted in response to the campaign of Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, provided legal safeguards against loss of certain forms of inheritance for a remarrying Hindu widow, though, under the Act, the widow forsook any inheritance due her from her deceased husband. Especially targeted in the act were Hindu child widows whose husbands had died before consummation of marriage.
Other important stipulations of the Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act, 1856 are:
Status of guardianship of children
If the guardianship of a minor child is not expressly constituted in the will of the deceased, his parents, paternal grandfather, maternal grandmother and any close male relative may appeal to the court for obtaining guardianship on the widow’s remarriage.
Rights of the widow in deceased husband’s property
Upon remarriage, the widow’s rights over the deceased husband’s property, which is received through inheritance or as maintenance, are generally transferred to the next heirs of the deceased.
Status of remarriage of a minor widow
In this case, a valid marriage can only take place when the father of the minor widow gives his consent. If the widow is fatherless, the consent of her paternal grandfather, mother, elder brother or male relative (in the specific order) is required.
Remarriages by widows continue to be largely frowned upon in India, despite the supposed urbanization and modernization sweeping the nation. Family members, from in-laws to long-lost cousins, still have a huge say in the life and choices that women make.

Social Pressures That Work Against Widow Remarriage in India

A Hindu widow is expected to live a life of prayers and noble endeavors by the society she lives in. The expectation does not extend to Hindu widowers. Interestingly, a man who loses his wife is usually pressurized to marry for the sake of ‘companionship’ and so on.
The obvious gender discrimination begins from within the society and percolates to the people who are a part of it. Those who question it are disapproved of or alienated tacitly and those who abide by these social norms are labeled as respectable.
Times are changing and so have many such prejudices. However, in a majority of Hindu families, the concept of widow remarriage is still not fully acceptable. While changing the outlook of family members about remarriage may be an insurmountable task, the Hindu laws support the same to emancipate such aggrieved women and help them lead a fulfilled life.
Even, so many movies are made on the same issue, for example:- Prem Rog, Baabul, Ek Chadar Maili si, Ishwar, and many more.
But, instead of all such things, I think… A woman should take a stand for herself. They must raise their voice for themselves. Because if she can do anything for anyone, she can play many roles to many people in her life, could even move to Yamraj for her husbands’ life as Savitri, could provide her whole life to society as Mother Teressa…  then why not a single step for herself…
Just a SINGLE STEP… the World will be with you…   :)